Government of Canada honours victims of Flight PS752 and marks 4 years since tragedy

News release

January 8, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Today marks 4 years since the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (Flight PS752), and Canada continues to honour the victims and stand in solidarity with their families and loved ones.

This morning, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport, met with family members of victims of the downing of Flight PS752 to reaffirm Canada’s unwavering support of those who lost loved ones in this senseless tragedy.

Over the past 4 years, Canada has taken concrete actions to hold the Iranian regime accountable for the unlawful downing of Flight PS752.

Today, Canada and its partners in the International Coordination and Response Group (Coordination Group)—Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom—have jointly initiated dispute settlement proceedings before the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) against the Islamic Republic of Iran for its failure to refrain from resorting to the use of weapons against a civil aircraft in flight, in breach of its international legal obligations under article 3bis of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (known as the Chicago Convention). 

In July 2023, the Coordination Group jointly filed an application with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, instituting proceedings against Iran in relation to its breaches of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation of 1971 (known as the 1971 Montréal Convention).

In addition to fighting for justice and accountability, Canada is working to ensure that tragedies like this never happen again. To this end, Canada and its international partners continue to advance the Safer Skies Initiative to enhance safety and security for commercial airlines travelling in or near conflict zones. Canada also continues to advocate for improvements to ICAO’s aircraft accident investigation framework to ensure that future investigations are conducted in a more credible, transparent and impartial manner.

In June 2023, Canada and the Netherlands co-hosted the third annual Safer Skies Forum, where they joined their international partners in renewing their commitment to better protecting civil aviation from the risks posed by conflict zones. 

The Government of Canada is also providing support to help countries around the world be better prepared to provide the timely and effective support that victims and their families need after an air incident. In March 2023, Transport Canada funded the participation of 30 countries in a course on assistance to aircraft accident victims and their families and contributed to the development of related training materials. The department is also contributing additional funds to support ICAO’s second Global Symposium on Assistance to Aircraft Accident Victims and Their Families, which will bring together a diverse range of participants to enhance international cooperation on this important matter.

Last fall, Canada launched the Flight PS752 Commemorative Scholarship Program, which will offer 176 1-year scholarships over 5 years to Canadian and international students studying in colleges and universities in Canada. For the current academic year, more than 30 students have been selected to receive the scholarship, several of whom have ties to the victims of Flight PS752. This initiative illustrates Canada’s unwavering commitment to honouring the memory of those whose lives were tragically cut short in the disaster.


“Canada remains unwavering in its commitment to the pursuit of transparency, justice and accountability for the victims of this tragedy and their loved ones. Iran must take full legal responsibility for taking the lives of 176 innocent people and forever changing the lives of their loved ones. Iran owes this to Canada, to the world and, most importantly, to the victims and their families. Today, and every day, we remember and honour the legacies of those whose lives were so cruelly cut short.”

 - Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Four years ago today, the lives of each one of these victims’ family members changed forever. It was an honour to meet and join them in keeping the memories of their loved ones alive. We’re taking action before the International Court of Justice and now ICAO as well to hold Iran to account for its actions. We’ll continue working hard to help prevent similar tragedies from ever happening again.”

- Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport 

Quick facts

  • On January 8, 2020, Flight PS752 was shot down minutes after taking off. Fifty-five Canadian citizens and 30 Canadian permanent residents were among the 176 people killed in this tragedy.

  • The Coordination Group was formed to support the families of the victims of PS752 by coordinating legal efforts to pursue accountability by and reparation from Iran so that the families and loved ones might get the answers and justice they deserve.

  • Despite multiple attempts by the Coordination Group to engage with Iran in negotiations, Iran continues to deny its international legal responsibility for the downing and has failed to make full reparation. The Coordination Group, therefore, took action to resolve this dispute in accordance with international law by filing 2 distinct cases pursuant to the 1971 Montréal Convention before the ICJ and under the Chicago Convention before the ICAO Council.

  • In October 2023, another major Safer Skies Initiative milestone was reached. The amended guidance provided by the Safer Skies Consultative Committee was finalized and the updated version of ICAO’s Risk Assessment Manual for Civil Aircraft Operations Over or Near Conflict Zones (Doc 10087) was published. Canada is now working with ICAO to develop and deliver training workshops based on the guidance document to make the skies safer.

  • In October 2023, Global Affairs Canada launched the PS752 Commemorative Scholarship Program, open to both international and Canadian college and university students in Canada.

Associated links


Isabella Orozco-Madison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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Laura Scaffidi
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport

Media Relations
Transport Canada

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