African aviation ministers kick against imposition of vaccine passport on air travelers

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African Aviation Ministers have unanimously rejected the planned imposition of the vaccine passport rule on air travelers, describing the proposal as discriminatory, anti-Africa and an insult to the Chicago Convention.

A vaccine passport is proof that a traveler has tested negative for or been protected against certain infections like COVID-19; which can be digital, like a phone app, or physical, such as a small paper card.

The African Aviation Ministers registered their rejection on Wednesday in Montreal, Canada, via the presentation made by Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Mr Hadi Sirika, at the ongoing International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) High Level Conference on COVID-19.

According to them, imposing vaccine passport on the continent remains unacceptable, as it smacks of discrimination against certain groups of population, especially on the African continent, which still has considerable number of its citizens unvaccinated.

They also described the proposal as going against the intent of the Chicago Convention on the need to preserve friendship and understanding, reduce threat to general security and establish international air transport based on equal opportunity, operated soundly and economically.

Rather than imposing vaccine passports, the African delegation recommended that states party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation should continue to minimise the risks during travel by ensuring compliance with existing multinational treaties, international frameworks, guidelines, and recommendations.

Sirika, on their behalf, also recommended that human rights, regional/continental/global health security, economic growth, social cohesion, and good international relations and use of innovation and technology worldwide to harmonise requirements should be promoted, while transmission of critical information across borders related to public health issues such as COVID-19 and coordination among key players should also be considered.

He also stated that African nations frowned at states imposing unilateral measures of global nature related to public health and asked such states to refrain from such practices and instead take measures that would facilitate the reopening and reconnection of the world.

SOURCE: THE SUN

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