Today, for the first time in history, Poland was elected to the ICAO Council – the governing body of the most important aviation organization in the world - International Civil Aviation Organization. Thus, our country is a part of a small group of 36 of the 191 Member States, which will govern the work of ICAO for the next three years. It is a great Polish success which indicates the appreciation throughout the world of Polish contribution to civil aviation. The election in the third group, in which Poland won, took place on October 1, 2013 during the 38th Session of the ICAO Assembly in Montreal.
Poland has stood for election to the ICAO Council by a decision of the Minister of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy – Mr. Sławomir Nowak. On behalf of Minister Nowak during a two-week 38th Session of the ICAO Assembly Poland is represented by Mr. Piotr Ołowski, President of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Poland.
Electing Poland to the executive organ in such a prestigious organization means noticing all of our contributions to the world of civil aviation and also a chance for a better representation of Polish interests in the global market. In Montreal, where the Organization has its headquarters, Poland will have its Permanent Delegate to the Council. The Permanent Delegate will be Małgorzata Polkowska, PhD, an aviation law expert and lecturer at numerous Polish and foreign universities, associated with the Civil Aviation Authority for 11 years (for more information about Ms. Polkowska - click here).
Poland has been supported by 147 countries. In the third group, the following countries have been also elected to the Council: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Republic of Korea, United Arab Emirates, and United Republic of Tanzania. In this group United Arab Emirates has won with 158 votes. From the first group their Permanent Representatives will have: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK, and the USA. Most of the votes (160) have got Brazil. After the second group elections the Permanent Representative will be delegated from: Argentina, Egypt, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain and Venezuela. In this group Singapore has won with 163 votes.
During the 65 years of ICAO’s existence, Poland has never had a representative to the ICAO Council. Although our country is one of the Member States that signed the Chicago Convention on 7 December 1944. Poland stood in the elections to ICAO Council in 1974, 1977 and 1980 but has not obtained the required number of votes.
The ICAO Council is composed of 36 Member States elected from 191 Member States by the Assembly for a three-year term. The Member States are selected from three groups: states of chief importance for air transport, states not otherwise included but which make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for international civil air navigation and states not otherwise included whose designation will ensure that all major geographic areas of the world are represented on the Council. Poland stood as a candidate in the third group as a representative of Central and Eastern Europe.
Poland has been a member of the Central European Rotation Group (CERG) since 2009. CERG Member States are: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary. Greece has applied for membership. These countries candidate in rotation in the following election to the Council under the Agreement on cooperation and representation in the ICAO Council of 1 December 2011, which established the rules for cooperation and representation of the rotation in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. After election, Poland will assume the presidency in the group for the next three years.
ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations, mainly responsible for the development and implementation of international regulations governing the safety of air traffic and air transport economics. ICAO was created in 1944 under the provision of Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention). The Council is a permanent body to conduct the business of the ICAO, gives continuing direction to the work of ICAO and is responsible to the Assembly. Currently President of the Council is Mr. Roberto Kobeh González from Mexico. The next election of the Council’s President will be held in November 2013.