Sessions of the Assembly (from 30th to the 40th)


This chapter provides philatelic material related to the 30th Session, and the Sessions held thereafter until the 40th Session. All these Sessions were held in Montreal, Canada, at ICAO Headquarters.


30th Session (Extraordinary Session, held in Montréal, Canada, from 25 to 26 May 1993):



31th Session (held in Montréal, Canada, from 19 September to 4 October 1995):


Cover autographed by Capt. Jeppesen.

In 1995, the 29th Edward Warner Award was bestowed upon Captain Elrey Berber Jeppesen, USA, for the development of international civil aviation and air navigation in particular. When flying in the early 1930s, he recorded and sketched all the landing sites, obstacles and other standard Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) navigation reference. The introduction of the Jeppesen Airway Manual in the 1930s contributed significantly to a reduction of operational accidents in the air transport field, since neither government nor airline aviation charts existed at that time. The cachet depicts an extract of a Jeppesen Low Altitude Enroute Chart (Boston region).


32th Session (held in Montréal, Canada, from 22 September to 2 October 1998):



The Aerial Symphony mural, shown on this cover, is one of the works of art on display at ICAO Headquarters (3rd floor in the Conference Centre). It is comprised of forty panels of anodized aluminum, designed by Montreal artist Michel Guilbeault and donated in 1997 by the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA). The mural emphasizes the subtle interface between art and science in civil aviation. It also traces the evolution of flight, this time through a variety of aircraft types, alternating with depictions of eastern and western hemispheres of the earth and brilliantly iridescent hand-coloured butterfly wings. Finally, it also suggests ICAO’s strong leadership role in guiding international civil aviation through the 21st century.

On the opposite left, is the pin prepared by ICAO and offered to the Delegates attending this Session of the Assembly.


33th Session (held in Montréal, Canada, from 25 September to 5 October 2001):

It was not supposed to focus intensely on aviation security, but in the aftermath of 11 September, the 33rd Session of the ICAO Assembly dealt extensively with security concerns. Security at airports and abroad aircraft was on every delegate’s mind, and became the cornerstone of most discussions, both in formal proceedings in the assembly hall and in less formal talk between meetings. The 33rd Assembly itself was conducted in an atmosphere of heightened security, with a conspicuous police presence and metal detectors, and a temporary flight restriction for the airspace around ICAO headquarters in downtown Montréal. There was also a heightened spirit of cooperation at the Assembly, a determined resolve among Delegates from around the world to address the security weaknesses unveiled tragically by the events of 11 September. A record 1130 participants from 169 Contracting States and observers from 32 international civil aviation organizations adopted the resolutions.


Note that the ICAO Journal (name which had been in use since the first Assembly) had been renamed The Daily Bulletin from this Session.



The postage stamp used on the envelope marked a century and a half of Canadian administration of the postal service; designed by Sir Sandford Flemming in 1851, the original Three Pence Beaver was Canada’s first postage stamp.

On the opposite left, is the pin prepared by ICAO and offered to the Delegates attending this Session of the Assembly.


36th Session (held in Montréal, Canada, from 18 to 28 September 2007):



The cachet reproduces the pure wool tapestry Man in Flight hanging behind the chair of the ANC President; it was donated to ICAO by Romania in 1976 and represents the winged mythological figure Icarus with the symbols of ICAO and the United Nations in the background of concentric curves that suggest the propagation of waves into space.

The postage stamp used on the envelope was one of the first new non-denominated stamps released by Canada Post on 16 November 2006. It bears a new icon, the letter “P” within a maple leaf; this icon indicates that the stamp is PERMANENT and valid indefinitely.

The stamp features the striking spotted coralroot (Corallorhiza maculata). This member of the orchid family grows in deeply shaded, wooded areas from Newfoundland to British Columbia, and blossoms in midsummer.


Excerpt from the Journal of the United Nations Philatelists, Vol. 32 #1, February 2008, Page 21.


37th Session (held in Montréal, Canada, from 28 September to 8 October 2010):



120 commemorative covers, as shown here above, were produced and sold during the Assembly Session.

Some particularities of this cover need to be highlighted:

1.        The stamp is unique and original, since this is the first time in history that the emblem of the Organization, as represented on its flag, is depicted on a postage stamp. This personalized stamp was printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited, by order of Canada Post.

2.        The text on the cachet is printed in green, referring to one of the main topics of discussion during this Session of the Assembly, i.e., the environment. On the other hand, the central part of figure 37 is designed from a selection of drawings by children submitted during the competition on the theme of Aviation in a Green Environment, held at ICAO in 2009 for the World Environment Day (WED). The theme of that year’s WED celebration was: Many Species. One Planet. One Future.. Commemorated on 5 June since 1972, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) stimulate worldwide awareness of the environmental challenges, thereby enhancing political attention and action. To show its support for WED, ICAO invited children and dependants of ICAO employees and of National Delegations (ages 3 to 12) to submit drawings on the theme: Aviation in a Green Environment. The winning artist was Keely McGann (10 years old).

3.        The bottom frame on the right side commemorates the 100th anniversary of the first flight over Montreal by Count Jacques de Lesseps on 2 July 1910 with his Bleriot XI named "Le Scarabée", during the first-ever air show held in Canada, named International Aviation Congress. Son of the famous builder of the Suez Canal, Jacques de Lesseps was born in Paris and trained in 1909 at the Blériot flying school on an Anzani-powered Blériot XI. He qualified for F.A.I. license No.27. In March 1910, he purchased one of the first Gnome-powered Blériot XI and named it “Le Scarabée” (c/r C-ISCA). In it, on 21 May 1910, he made the second aeroplane crossing of the English Channel. Only 5 weeks later, de Lesseps brought his 2 Bleriot to Canada's first aviation meet (and Quebec’s first aeroplane occurrence ever) at Lakeside, near Pointe-Claire, in the West Island, Montréal. There, in “Le Scarabée”, he made the first flight over the city of Montreal by an aeroplane, on 2 July 1910; he took off from the field at Lakeside, flew along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, then over the City Hall, and returned to Pointe Claire. The flight lasted 49 minutes; the plane was made of wood and fabric. The exploit made him an instant hero. In honour of the 100th anniversary of the first airplane flight over Montréal, an exact replica of "Le Scarabée" was on display in the hall of honour at the City Hall, Montréal from 24 June to 31 July 2010; it may now be viewed at the Canadian Aviation Heritage Museum, McGill Macdonald Campus, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada.

The International Aviation Congress was held in Montreal from 25 June to 5 July 1910. Almost 20,000 people a day attended extraordinary demonstrations for ten days and could see paratroopers throwing themselves from the top of a hot air balloon, airplanes crashing, etc. About twenty airmen and balloonists came for the event; world altitude record holder (5,460 feet) Walker Brookins had the honour of opening the festivities and flying his device first.





Excerpt from The Journal of the UN Philatelists, Vol. 35 #1, February 2011.


Keely McGann’s winning drawing.


38th Session (held in Montréal, Canada, from 24 September to 4 October 2013). A total of 140 commemorative covers, as shown here-below, were prepared with two different stamps, both bearing the same cachet/design on the left side. In all, 1,851 participants from 184 Members States and 54 Observer Delegations helped to make the 38th Assembly the largest in ICAO’s history at that time.


The stamp features the ICAO emblem in white on a blue background. The Picture Postage or personalized stamp is valued at the domestic rate to mail a standard-size envelope weighing up to 30 grams anywhere in Canada.


This cover shows the Canadian stamp issued on 10 June 2013 to mark 250 years of Canadian postal history with a “P” stamp (permanent stamp then worth 63¢) depicting Benjamin Franklin who was involved with the beginnings of the British-Canadian postal service. This isn’t the first time Franklin has been featured on a Canadian stamp; he was pictured on a stamp once before on 1 June 1976 to commemorate 200 years of independence of the United States of America. Franklin is a powerful reminder to Canadians and Americans of a common heritage.

Benjamin Franklin, then Philadelphia’s Postmaster since 1737, was promoted in 1753 to Deputy Postmaster General for the British North American colonies and opened the first post office in Halifax (now present-day Canada) to link the Atlantic colonies with Britain.  In 1763, following Britain’s victory over New France in the Seven Years’ War, the Treaty of Paris in 1763 confirmed the loss of the French possessions in North America and Asia to the British and opened the doors to a formalized postal system as the British invested further by opening more post offices in what is now known as Québec. Franklin eventually organized postal service throughout the British colonies in North America.

Early in 1763, Hugh Finlay, merchant, office holder, seigneur, politician, and landowner, sailed from Glasgow for Québec; his appointment as Postmaster at Québec had been arranged in the last months of the administration of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, then Prime Minister of Great Britain, and confirmed on 10 June 1763. Finlay soon built a weekly postal service between Québec and Montréal via Trois-Rivières with communication by means of courier between Montréal and New York, to reach the monthly packet sailing to England; it was an ambitious innovation that put cash in the coffers of the British Post Office, which paid Finlay on the basis of his earnings.

This lovely stamp is also a historical fraud, as its date of issue reveals; it was released on 10 June, the very day Finlay was made Postmaster General at Québec; that is why Québec City is featured in the background.

The stamp shows Franklin’s portrait on the left side superimposed on a vintage scene of Québec City. Finlay’s watermark symbol of a horse and rider, the chief means of mail delivery in 1763, appears at the top the new stamp. Franklin’s portrait appears to be the same portrait that features prominently on the current U.S. $100 bill; this image also appeared on the first American postage stamp (5-cent, issued on 1 July 1847), in recognition of his appointment as the first U.S. Postmaster General on 26 July 1775, a year before he helped write and signed the Declaration of Independence.


Excerpt from The Journal of UN Philatelists, Vol. 38 #2, April 2014.


39th Session (held in Montréal, Canada, from 27 September to 7 October 2016). In all, 2,225 Delegates from 184 Members States, 1 Non-Member State (Tuvalu), 56 Observer Delegations and one other Delegation (Media/Press) participated in this Session and endorsed over 500 working papers and other documents (30% more than previously), providing ICAO and the air transport sector with clear and comprehensive mandates for the next ICAO triennium.

The 39th Assembly benefitted from the participation of some 20% more Delegates than any previous event of its kind. Significant and far-reaching progress was achieved across all of ICAO’s five Strategic Objectives for Aviation Safety, Air Navigation Capacity and Efficiency, Aviation Security and Facilitation, the Economic Development of Air Transport, and Environmental Protection.

The 39th Session of the ICAO Assembly delivered an historic agreement on a new global market-based measure (GMBM) to offset CO2 emissions from international flights, as well as combined Resolutions supporting a more strategic, dynamic and innovative future for international civil aviation.

Clearly, the most significant Assembly development that year was the landmark adoption by States of the Resolution for the new Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). This was one of the most important environmental achievements in the history of civil aviation. CORSIA is designed to complement the basket of mitigation measures the air transport community was already pursuing to reduce CO2 emissions from international aviation. These include technical and operational improvements and advances in the production and use of sustainable alternative fuels for aviation. Implementation of the CORSIA will begin with a pilot phase from 2021 through 2023, followed by a first phase, from 2024 through 2026.

Another world environmental first which was welcomed by the 39th Assembly was ICAO’s development of a new CO2 standard for aircraft, which will apply to various new aircraft types entering service in the global fleet as of 2021.

ICAO Member States delivered very clear endorsements for the targets and approaches being pursued globally under ICAO’s comprehensive strategic plans for aviation safety and air navigation capacity and efficiency, and supported the need for it to provide similar high-level leadership at the global level in the form of two new Global Plans to be developed for aviation security and air transport economic development. The new Global Aviation Security Plan (GASP) in particular was requested to be prepared on a fast-track basis.

A special souvenir cover was prepared to commemorate this event. The personalized stamp and the postmark were prepared in cooperation with Canada Post; the character set of the text is identical to the one used in the main logo shown on the left side of the cover.



40th Session (held in Montréal, Canada, from 24 September to 4 October 2019). In all, participated in this Session: 2014 Delegates from Members States, 387 Delegates from Observer Delegations, 1 Special Guest, and 23 Representatives from Media/Press. For a grand total of 2,425 Delegates. In terms of Delegations represented: 184 Members States and 55 Observer Delegations (Total of 239 Delegations).

The year 2019 marked the 75th Anniversary of ICAO and the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known more popularly as the ‘Chicago Convention’. Delegates to the 40th Session of the Assembly commemorated this important milestone that was achieved through an exceptional spirit of cooperation towards fostering social, economic and sustainable development through air transport.

In her closing speech to the ICAO 40th Assembly, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu highlighted several critical new endorsements by world governments relevant to aviation safety and air navigation capacity and efficiency, including “new revisions to ICAO’s Global Aviation Safety and Air Navigation Plans (GASP and GANP) which will be instrumental both to achieving reduced flight emissions and managing the adoption and integration of new 21st Century aircraft and operations alongside traditional aircraft operations.” Key to these objectives will be separate goals relating to continuous reductions in operational risk, the strengthening of State Safety Programmes and oversight capabilities, expanded industry programmes, and establishing suitable infrastructure in support of safer air services, Dr. Liu added. Dr. Liu also underscored that States had tasked ICAO “on the pursuit of a new global target of zero aviation fatalities by 2030,” adding that a new Global Aviation Safety Oversight System (GASOS) had also been adopted this year “which will help augment safety cooperation and assist many States in terms of their aviation safety oversight, management, and accident investigation capabilities.” Several Regional bodies submitted positions to the 40th ICAO Assembly stressing the benefits of the new GASOS approach, which they had determined during its assessment period. 2019 also marks the 20th anniversary of ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP), which will be updated following the Assembly in order to increase its effectiveness and maintain its status as the foremost means of establishing both a national and global perspective on effective civil aviation oversight. The 40th Assembly also expressed its clear support for the scope and value inherent in ICAO’s capacity-building prioritization both through its now five-year-old No Country Left Behind initiative or the numerous programmes for technical cooperation training, and other forms of assistance currently being delivered by the Organization. As regards the Next Generation Aviation Professionals (NGAP) programme, national governments also expressed their appreciation for the invaluable contributions of ICAO toward achieving and maintaining “the highest competencies of aviation personnel through ICAO’s aviation training programmes,” Dr. Liu added.

ICAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme, in fact, continued to grow through a range of new agreements signed during the Assembly period, in addition to numerous bilateral meetings with civil aviation authorities from Member States and International Organizations. All were aimed at increasing technical cooperation, capacity building and compliance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.

In the legal field, Member States drew ICAO’s attention to the need to enhance the ability of States to implement air law treaties and to update national laws and regulations, and further highlighted the more detailed guidance they would appreciate being developed to help them manage cases of unruly and disruptive passengers.

40th Assembly - Plenary working Session related Environmental Protection.

Important civil aviation Environmental Protection outcomes were established this year at the 40th ICAO Assembly, including the strengthening of international resolve to move forward on the implementation of the CORSIA emissions offsetting solution for international flights and the basket of measures of environmental protection to reduce emissions. States’ decisions relevant to CORSIA included advancing work supporting CORSIA-eligible fuels and emission units, progressing the structure of the CORSIA central registry, and the continuation of ICAO’s ACT CORSIA capacity-building initiative, which has been of tremendous assistance to many national governments. With the 40th Assembly taking place during a period characterized by the world’s largest-ever climate marches (including one which passed right before ICAO’s doorstep on 27 September led by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg), it was recognized as an encouraging signal that governments reconfirm their resolve in support of the CORSIA global offsetting solution. While highlighting the successful adoption of the new fourth volume to Annex 16, and the ICAO-driven development and implementation of 116 State Action Plans to reduce aviation-related CO2 emissions, further ICAO Assembly decisions called for prioritization of a long-term global aspirational goal for international aviation CO2 emissions reduction, and the need for further elaboration of the 2050 ICAO Vision on Sustainable Aviation Fuel. States also acknowledged the excellent progress recently achieved through ICAO on the first aeroplane CO2 emissions standard, and the non-volatile Particulate Matter standard for aircraft engines. They also called for ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) to prioritize an exploratory study on environmental impacts of new supersonic aircraft being developed.

States endorsed a wide range of security and facilitation-related topics at the 40th Session of the ICAO Assembly, reflecting both their long-term objectives and their broad support for a new Declaration on Aviation Security, affirming global commitment to strengthen implementation. States welcomed and endorsed the ICAO Cybersecurity strategy for the air transport sector, a first-of-its-kind response which features key goals relating to information sharing, improved coordination among all partnering government and enforcement entities, and timely and aligned responses to related risks and events. They further endorsed ICAO’s expeditious delivery of the Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP) and supported the ICAO Secretariat’s initiative to establish a mechanism for reporting implementation progress, which is critical in encouraging all States to reach the GASeP aspirational targets for 2020, 2023, and 2030.

Further Security and Facilitation developments included States’ endorsement of ICAO’s continuing work on passport and border control modernization, and identity-related infrastructure, under its Traveller Identification Programme (TRIP) Strategy. States additionally supported the recommendation that governmental authorities worldwide should join the ICAO Public Key Directory to boost their ePassport security.

Decisions in the area of Economic Development of Air Transport at ICAO’s 40th Assembly endorsed that the UN agency should continue to promote the important socio-economic benefits of air transport. Related objectives regarding the ICAO work programme for new aviation infrastructure/system financing, and the economics of airports and air navigation services, were also supported. The Assembly also endorsed a range of items supporting the ICAO Long-term Vision for International Air Transport Liberalization. Specific work items in this area included forging a more detailed understanding of the benefits of liberalization and barriers to opening market access, both in terms of passenger and cargo services. The Assembly also called for the continuation of ICAO’s work to develop a Convention on Foreign Investment in Airlines. With respect to ICAO’s work in developing robust aviation data, monitoring and analysis, the Assembly endorsed new objectives for ICAO in the areas of statistics, big data analytics, forecasting and economic analysis, and the development of an aviation satellite account methodological framework. In terms of global air transport consumer protection, the Assembly encouraged States to apply the ICAO Core Principles on consumer protection in their regulatory practices, and urged them to sign and ratify the Montreal Convention of 1999. It was also agreed that ICAO should facilitate an exchange of views and good practices regarding the application of the ICAO Core Principles.


40th Assembly – Plenary Session in the Assembly Hall


40th Assembly banner displayed on the ICAO headquarters building.


A special souvenir cover was prepared to commemorate this event. The personalized stamp and the postmark were prepared in cooperation with Canada Post. The cachet at the left-side shows the special emblem designed by ICAO for this Session; this design is also reproduced on the postmark and the stamp.