Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird (seated, left) signs the new ICAO Supplementary Agreement on behalf of the Canadian Government while ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin (seated, right) signs on behalf of ICAO. Also present on the occasion are ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh González (centre) Quebec International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade Minister Jean-Francois Lisée (right) and Montréal Mayor Michael Applebaum (left).


ICAO and Canada formalized a new Supplementary Agreement to their Headquarters Agreement on Monday, capping a brief and somewhat extraordinary period of uncertainty regarding where the coveted UN aviation agency would be based as of end-2016.


The new Supplementary Agreement comes into force at the end of 2016, when the current Supplementary Agreement (signed in 1996) expires. It remains in force until the end of November 2036 and prescribes the operational and financial conditions relating to ICAO’s use of the prestigious premises Canada built for the international civil aviation standards body during the mid-1990s.


“ICAO is very grateful to Canada and the local Quebec and Montréal governments for their continuing efforts to facilitate the work of our Organization and its diplomatic missions,” remarked ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin. “Montréal is the third most influential aerospace metropolis in the world and has served as a natural home to ICAO for well over 60 years.”


Benjamin was on hand to sign the new Supplementary Agreement alongside Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird. The two were joined on the occasion by ICAO Council President, Roberto Kobeh González, Quebec Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, Jean-Francois Lisée and Montréal Mayor, Michael Applebaum. Members of ICAO’s Governing Council and other high-level officials from the UN agency’s Secretariat were also on hand at Montréal City Hall for the special signing ceremony.


The signing of the new Supplementary Agreement comes shortly after the State of Qatar withdrew a recent offer to become the new Permanent Seat of ICAO. The Qatar offer was to have been voted upon by ICAO’s Member States in September and could have led to ICAO leaving for Doha in 2016.