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In 1944, 52 nations gathered in the US city of Chicago to sign the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which established the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The organization is headquartered in Montreal, Canada, and is tasked with developing the principles governing global aviation as well as facilitating the planning and development of international air transport.

The ROC was also a founding member of ICAO, but lost its representation in 1971. Nevertheless, the ROC continues to abide by the convention and obtain information on ICAO decisions from friendly member countries and other indirect channels. This allows Taiwan to bring its laws in line with ICAO regulations and better ensures aviation safety in the Taipei Flight Information Region(Taipei, FIR).

The Taipei FIR abuts the Fukuoka, Manila, Hong Kong, and Shanghai flight information regions. The Taipei FIR, standing between Japan and the Philippines and running along mainland China’s southeast coast, provided more than 1.85 million navigation services to aircraft carrying more than 72.1 million passengers in 2019. The Taipei FIR forms an indispensible part of the East Asia aviation network.

In 2013, the President of ICAO Council invited Taiwan to attend the 38th Session of the ICAO Assembly as guests and under the name Chinese Taipei CAA. The inclusion of Taiwan in the ICAO would help improve management of civil aviation in the Asia-Pacific region and ensure the safety of all passengers.

Although Taiwan was not invited to the 39th Session and 40th of the ICAO Assembly in 2016 and 2019, we have received unprecedented international support for our participation to contribute to ICAO’s “seamless sky.” Administrative branches of our diplomatic allies and friendly countries sent letters of support or requested ICAO to adopt Taiwan’s professional participation, while members from the legislative branches passed resolutions, issued statements, published news releases, and posted on social networks to muster support for Taiwan. Upon knowing Taiwan was not invited to the Assembly, the U.S. and Japanese governments also expreseed publicly that they would like to see Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the ICAO.In April 2019, the foreign ministers of G7 nations—the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Italy—issued a first-ever joint communique supporting Taiwan's case. Furthermore, it is widely belived that not inviting Taiwan can cause difficulties for ICAO to achieve its goal of “no country left behind,” and ICAO has to seek ways to include Taiwan as soon as possible.

Taiwan’s participation in the ICAO Assembly is but one step in its bid for professional, pragmatic and constructive participation in ICAO. Building on the foundation that has been laid, the ROC will continue to generate international consensus as it seeks broader participation in the organization’s meetings, activities, and mechanisms. The aim is for Taiwan to fully integrate into the global aviation network and do its part to help achieve ICAO’s goal of a seamless sky.

MOFA reiterates that Taiwan is an active and responsible member of the international civil aviation community, and that it therefore should not be prevented from taking part in ICAO so as to obtain complete and critical information pertaining to aviation safety and security in a timely manner. As a global and professional civil aviation organization, ICAO should remain neutral, refrain from political machinations, and refuse to act on political pressure brought to bear on it by any individual country. It should include Taiwan as soon as possible in the global aviation safety system, so as to realize its goals of a seamless sky and uniting aviation.