A conference of the 128-nation International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has begun in Rome. Soon?
A conference of the 128-nation International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has begun in Rome. Soon after the session started on Tuesday (28th August), the delegates accepted an Arab proposal to discuss steps against hi jacking by states, as opposed to individuals.
The decision was in line with a recommendation by ICAU's 30 nation Council earlier this month after Israeli airforce fighters forced a Lebanese airliner to land in Israel. No legal machinery exists at present to penalise hi jacking by states.
ICAO, a United Nations Agency, acts as the top international authority on air transport. It's three-week meeting will also debate two main proposals - one by Britain and Switzerland, and the other by France. Each would make it mandatory for ICAO member states to either extradite or try an aircraft hi jacker landing on its territory. But the proposals differ on the penalties to be provided for states refusing to comply.
The British-Swiss proposal urges that offending members have their aircraft barred from the airspace of other ICAO countries. France would rather make the penalty automatic expulsion from the ICAO.
SYNOPSIS: In Rome, members of the International Civil Aviation Organisation - ICAO are meeting in an attempt to work out more effective measures to combat air piracy.
128 Nations belong to the ICAO, a United Nations Agency which is the top international authority on air transport. The conference, which began on Tuesday, will go on for three weeks. On the first day, the delegates agreed to discuss sanctions against hijackings by states, as opposed to individuals. No legal machinery exists at present to deal with such hijackings.
The debate was proposed by Lebanon and was supported by the Arab delegations at the conference.
It stems from an incident earlier this month when Israeli fighters forced a Lebanese airliner to land in Israel. The Israelis mistakenly believed that Palestinian resistance leaders were on board.
Thirty-eight of the member countries were absent from the opening session, including Libya and Syria. They both support the Palestinian resistance movement which has been responsible for many aircraft hijackings.
The conference will also debate two main proposals to make it mandatory for ICAO member states to either extradite or put on trial an aircraft hi jacker landing in their territory.
One proposal calls for the aircraft of offending members to be banned from the airspace of ICAO members - the other urges expulsion from the organisation for offenders.