The decision comes days after Belarus forcibly landed a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius, and arrested opposition blogger Roman Protasevich, who was on board.
The UN civil aviation agency will launch an investigation into the May 23 diversion by Belarus of a European flight and arrest of a dissident on board.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council "decided to undertake a fact-finding investigation of this event," the statement said.
It added that, at a meeting, the body "underlined the importance of establishing the facts of what happened, and of understanding whether there had been any breach by any ICAO Member State of international aviation law."
The council "requested the ICAO Secretariat to prepare an interim report to the Council for a subsequent meeting of the current session."
READ MORE: Belarus releases transcript after Ryanair plane landing furore
In response to the apparent forced landing of a commercial passenger plane in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, the UN aviation agency @icao , has convened an urgent meeting if its council. But what powers does the agency have to act? https://t.co/YlaBIk61Rn— UN News (@UN_News_Centre) May 26, 2021
Belarus's strongman President Alexander Lukashenko sparked international outrage by dispatching a fighter jet on Sunday to intercept a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius carrying opposition journalist and activist Roman Protasevich, 26, and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega, 23.
His parents pleaded on Thursday for international help to get him released, and the G7 global powers also demanded he be freed, with the EU's foreign policy chief threatening economic sanctions.
The ICAO, of which Belarus is a member, has no power to order sanctions.
But European leaders this week agreed to cut air links with Belarus and told airlines to avoid the country's airspace.
Its meeting Thursday came after Western powers on the UN Security Council called on it to investigate, echoing an earlier call from NATO.
But Russia's support for Minsk means the UN Security Council is unlikely to agree on a collective statement.
READ MORE: Lukashenko defends plane diversion, says Belarus acted ‘lawfully’