In accepting his appointment, which runs through 2004, Mr. Kotaite stressed the importance of cooperation in civil aviation, in view of the enormous security challenges posed by the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States. “We must work together to live up to this challenge,” he told the Council. “We must protect air transport, a driver off economic development, in order to restore public confidence and ensure an early return to normalcy.” Mr. Kotaite, who has led ICAO for 25 years, emphasized that air transport remained “the safest mode of transportation ever”. As a specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO promotes the safe and orderly development of civil aviation in the world, setting international standards and regulations necessary for the safety, security, efficiency and regularity of air transport. It also serves as the medium for cooperation among its 187 Contracting States.