Juan Carlos Salazar of Colombia assumed the office of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Secretary-General on August 1, 2021, succeeding Fang Liu of China.
Salazar holds the chief executive office for ICAO, the United Nations’ (UN) specialized agency for civil aviation responsible for aviation safety, security, efficiency and environmental protection. He was elected in February 2021 by the ICAO Council after an elaborative process and assessment of various international candidates.
“It is a great honour to be assuming this role at this time and to have the opportunity to help governments and ICAO play an important part in how this sector builds back better and recovers from the global pandemic,” commented Salazar in a press release.”We are still facing some tremendous challenges to the restoration of global air connectivity today, and with many regions and populations all over the world facing prolonged economic, social, and emotional hardship as a result.”
Prior to becoming ICAO’s Secretary-General, Salazar was the Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Colombia. He intends to work closely with the ICAO Council to strengthen the agency’s governance and ethical framework, build a digital transformation programme, and modernize the organization’s working methods to keep pace with aviation innovation.
ICAO aims to support member states to soon implement the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to catalyze the reduction in harmful emissions globally.
“It’s important that ICAO remains a key partner for the countries of the world as they work with this agency to recover from the pandemic, to share their skies to their mutual benefit, and to continuously improve the global aviation standards and practices which keep those skies as safe, secure, efficient, and sustainable as the world expects,” said Salazar, in a statement. “I will also work to innovate internally and improve the efficiency by which ICAO performs its important standard-setting role, and to assure that it continuously improves in helping governments, industry, and civil society advocates to consult, coordinate, and achieve consensus together effectively.”