Kamina Johnson Smith (center), Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica, is elected as the new Assembly President
On Monday, the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) started its deliberations of the 25th annual session in Kingston, Jamaica.
Throughout the day, the Assembly addressed organizational matters; elected its President, Vice Presidents, and a member for the Finance Committee filling a relevant vacancy; considered requests for observer status from four entities; discussed the development of guidelines for observer status requests; heard the report of the ISA25 Council President; and introduced the discussion on the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2019-2023.
A side event, organized by the Authority and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), discussed the progress report on the implementation of the Abyssal Initiative Project.
Highlights of the day include the:
election of Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica, as Assembly President for the 25th Session;
an introduction to the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2019-2023, including a high-level action plan and performance indicators; and
a lengthy discussion in plenary and in informal discussions on draft guidelines for granting observer status to NGOs to ISA, with many delegates finding the original version of the guidelines overly restrictive.
The discussion on the draft guidelines on observer status revealed interesting opinions among the delegates, including on the differences between the Authority and organizations like the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These delegates noted that the Authority has “a higher moral role” compared to an organization solely regulating an industrial sector, like the IMO, listing all its social and economic considerations. Concerns were also tabled regarding provisions in the draft guidelines addressing the periodic review of the list of NGOs, potential conflicts of interest, exclusion of the common heritage regime as well as provisions that require organizations to, inter alia:
“reasonably demonstrate” their interest;
prove that their purposes are directly related to those of the ISA;
demonstrate their expertise and capacity to contribute to the Authority’s work as well as support ISA’s activities; and
have objectives and function “in consonance” with those of the Authority.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and daily reports from the 2nd Part of ISA-25. In addition, IISD Reporting Services, has published a summary and analysis from the meeting, which is now available in HTML and PDF.
L-R: Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera, ISA Legal Counsel and Deputy to the Secretary-General; Michael Lodge, ISA Secretary-General; Mariusz Orion Jędrysek, outgoing Assembly President; Cai Yongsheng and Talatu Akindolire, ISA Secretariat, during a moment of silence.
Mariusz Orion Jędrysek, outgoing Assembly President
Carlos Alberto Michaelsen den Hartog, Brazil
Kamina Johnson Smith, Assembly President
Pavel Kavina, Czech Republic
Guy Sevrin, Belgium
Marzia Rovere, Italy
Gina Guillén Grillo, Costa Rica
Tevita Suka Mangisi, Tonga, and Franck Kokou Kpayedo, Togo
Li Linlin, China
Tom Diederen, the Netherlands
Urs Daniel Engels and Bernd von Münchow-Pohl, Germany
Lowri Mai Griffiths, UK
Diva Amon, Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI)
Lenin Naranjo, Ecuador (center)
Hau Do Suan, Myanmar
Sandor Mulsow, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21)
M. Burhanudin Borut, Indonesia
Lumka Yengeni, Council President for the 25th Session
Franck Kokou Kpayedo, Laré Penn, and John Fintakpa Lamega, Togo
Michelle Walker, Jamaica, with Marcello Iocca and Marzia Rovere, Italy
Delegates from Nigeria in discussion during a break in the session
Observers during the afternoon session
ISA Secretary-General Michael Lodge (second left) with participants holding up signs related to SDG 14, which concerns the ocean.
The delegation from the Russian Federation
The delegation from Ecuador with Kamina Johnson Smith, Assembly President (center)
The delegation from the Republic of Korea
Members of the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) with Kamina Johnson Smith, Assembly President (center)
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