Pointing to the crucial contributions of ICAO compliant connectivity to sustainable socio-economic development, the President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu and the President of Bolivia, Dr. Juan Evo Morales Ayma, affirmed the need to continue the progress that led to Bolivia’s achievement of an ICAO Council President Certificate. With Bolivia’s Representative on the ICAO Council, Mr. Javier Garcia Soruco, in attendance, Dr. Aliu presented the Certificate personally to President Morales Ayma on Thursday. The presentation of the certificate took place at the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of Bolivia’s General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics. The Certificate was awarded in recognition of Bolivia’s significant progress on the effective implementation with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), which is key to accessing the international civil aviation network. The criteria used to identify the recipients of these certificates are objective and transparent, and are based on the results of ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme Continuous Monitoring Approach activities. In bilateral talks, both leaders underscored the importance of encouraging the sustainable development of international air connectivity as a crucial lever for socio-economic development. President Morales Ayma highlighted investment at Santa Cruz Airport and his vision of Viru Viru airport’s development as a regional hub as examples of his Government’s commitment. Dr. Aliu stressed ICAO’s full support of these efforts through the UN agency’s No Country Left Behind initiative. He recalled that the cooperation established through this initiative reflects the spirit and intent of the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation that established ICAO, of which Bolivia was one of the original signatories. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Bolivia’s General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics, the President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu (right), presented a Council President Certification to the President of Bolivia, Dr. Juan Evo Morales Ayma, in recognition of Bolivia’s progress on the effective implementation with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). Compliance with ICAO SARPs is key to accessing the international civil aviation network. Photo credit: Jose Lirauze. “It has been the great legacy of ICAO to serve as the focal point for the international cooperation which has made aviation what it is today, and it is Bolivia’s great legacy to have been involved in that work since the very beginning of the modern aviation era,” Dr. Aliu remarked. “Looking forward, ICAO will continue to guide the future of air transport at the service of States and in partnership with industry. We will be counting on the partnership of countries like Bolivia as we do, fully confident that our shared commitments will keep air transport an essential and sustainable network at the service of all mankind.” Dr. Aliu’s mission also provided an opportunity for high-level meetings with Bolivia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Fernando Huanacuni Mamani and Minister of Transport, Mr. Milton Claros Hinojosa. These meetings focussed on the identification of specific areas of focus for the technical and regulatory improvement of Bolivia’s air transport sector and operations. Dr. Aliu’s guidance was well received by the Ministers, who accepted the crucial importance of pursuing progress given the particularly strong socio-economic benefits of air connectivity to land-locked developing countries such as Bolivia.