FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PIO 3/96

ICAO COUNCIL AUTHORIZES INVESTIGATION OF 24 FEBRUARY 1996 SHOOTING DOWN OF TWO US-REGISTERED PRIVATE CIVIL AIRCRAFT

MONTREAL, 7 March 1996 - Responding to requests from the Government of the United States of America, the Government of Cuba and the United Nations Security Council, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) yesterday considered the incident in which two United States-registered private civil aircraft were destroyed on 24 February 1996 by Cuban military aircraft. The Council has directed the ICAO Secretary General to immediately initiate an investigation of the incident in its entirety. The report of the investigation is to be submitted to the ICAO Council within 60 days. It will then be forwarded to the United Nations Security Council.

The text of the ICAO Council's resolution is as follows:

THE COUNCIL
HAVING CONSIDERED that two US-registered private civil aircraft were destroyed on 24 February 1996 by Cuban military aircraft;
HAVING CONSIDERED the request of the Government of the United States for an investigation concerning this incident;
HAVING CONSIDERED the request of the Government of Cuba inviting the Organization to carry-out an exhaustive investigation;
HAVING CONSIDERED the request of the United Nations Security Council in a Presidential Statement of 27February 1996 that the International Civil Aviation Organization investigate this incident in its entirety;
RECOGNIZING that the United Nations Security Council in a Presidential Statement of 27 February 1996, has strongly deplored the shooting down by the Cuban air force of two civil aircraft on 24 February 1996;
STRONGLY DEPLORING the shooting down by the Cuban air force of two civil aircraft on 24 February 1996, which has resulted in the death of four persons;
EXPRESSING its deepest sympathy with the families bereaved in this tragic incident;
URGING the parties concerned to assist in the prompt recovery, if possible, of the bodies and personal effects of the victims;
RECOGNIZING that the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight is incompatible with elementary considerations of humanity and the norms governing international behaviour and with the rules and Standards and Recommended Practices enshrined in the Chicago Convention and its Annexes;
REAFFIRMING the principle that States must refrain from the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight and that, when intercepting civil aircraft, the lives of persons on board and the safety of the aircraft must not be endangered;

1. DIRECTS the Secretary General to immediately initiate an investigation of the incident in its entirety to determine all relevant facts and technical aspects in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Presidential Statement and to report to the ICAO Council within 60 days of the adoption of this Resolution, for consideration during its 148th Session;

2. CALLS UPON the parties concerned to cooperate fully in the investigation;

3. RESOLVES that the Council will immediately transmit the Secretary General's report with comments, if any, to the United Nations Security Council;

4. REQUESTS the President of the Council to report on the implementation of this Resolution to all ICAO Contracting States as soon as possible, and to the next ordinary Session of the Assembly in 1998 for any action the Assembly may wish to take;

5. URGES all States which have not yet done so to ratify as soon as possible Article 3 bis of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

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Copyright 1996 International Civil Aviation Organization and U.N.