Russia will lose its position on the governing council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations agency which promotes diplomacy and cooperation across the aviation industry among its 193 member nations, after it failed to secure enough votes to be re-elected at the agency’s 41st Assembly now underway in Montreal.
Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) said the country secured 80 votes from member nations when it needed 86 to stay on the council. Spots on the 36-member board are reserved for “states of chief importance in air transport.” Since it invaded Ukraine, Russia has been accused of violating provisions of the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, including dual-registering aircraft.
“We cannot accept that a member, breaching so clearly the Chicago Convention, sits in the very council that should act as its guardian. This is not about politics. It is about the fundamentals of this organization,” said European Union Transport Commissioner Adina Valean ahead of Saturday’s vote.
In contrast to Russia, Australia was comfortably re-elected to the governing council with 147 votes; Brazil with 158 votes; Canada with 144 votes; China with 148 votes; France with 148 votes; Germany with 149 votes; Italy with 151 votes; Japan with 150 votes; the United Kingdom with 148 votes: and the United States with 152 votes.
The 10-day assembly runs through to October 7 and happens every three years. Aside from procedural matters such as governing council re-elections, the assembly is listing net zero emissions, post-Covid recovery, and innovation as its top priorities.
However, it is also the first time in ICAO’s 86-year history that a country has been voted off the governing council. Following the vote, Russia unsuccessfully called for a procedural review. Russia argued that a re-vote was required. Rosaviatsiya called the refusal “unfriendly” and said it was “political and temporary.”
“We’d like to express regret regarding the outcome of the voting,” said the Russian representative at the ICAO Assembly. “We view this as a purely political step and has nothing to do with Russia’s position in the field of civil aviation.”
This content was originally published here.