South Africa has kick-started a campaign to be re-elected into the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council.
As part of the campaign, the Department of Transport met High Commissioners and Ambassadors from 40 different countries on Thursday morning to lobby for their support. Among those keen to support South Africa are European Union countries.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation Council (ICAO) is a multilateral body dealing with diplomacy and cooperation in air transport. It comprises 193 members who are signatories to the Chicago Convention of 1944.
South Africa’s membership of the ICAO council ends this year. This is why the Transport Department started lobbying other member states to be re-elected into the council.
“We’ve been a member since 2003 and we’d want to be re-elected into that council because it is important, it is strategic. That is where you get to know information first as a country, but that is also where you make your contributions known,” says Deputy Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga.
Members of the Diplomatic Corps from 40 countries honoured South Africa’s invitation to lobby their support. Among them, the European Union has indicated it will support South Africa’s candidacy in return for the same favour.
“We appreciate very much the work that South Africa is doing in ICAO and for this reason we have agreed as European Union together with African countries to support each other and we would support the candidature of South Africa and seven African countries re ICAO and South Africa will support the candidature of the European countries to the ICAO. So it’s a nice reciprocity effort that we are making,” says European Union Head of Delegation Raul de Luzenberger.
Chikunga urged members of the diplomatic corps not to politicise the ICAO which is the platform where issues of aviation are addressed.