L-R: Stephen Vasciannie, President, University of Technology, Jamaica; Kamina Johnson Smith, Assembly President; and ISA Secretary-General Michael Lodge
On Tuesday, the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) continued its deliberations, addressing the annual report of the Secretary General, which outlines the Authority’s activities from July 2018 to June 2019.
Highlights of the day include the:
the inaugural lecture on the role of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the ISA in contributing to the rule of law;
growing support and interest for workshops on regional environmental management plans (REMPs);
calls for increased transparency, including via the development of the new ISA website and the launch of the Authority’s database management strategy; and
emphasis on the operationalization of the common heritage of humankind regime, notwithstanding different interpretations of the principle.
In his report, Secretary-General Michael Lodge highlighted a series of activities and considerations, including those related to:
the financial resources necessary for the Authority’s operations, including the financial status of the ISA’s trust funds;
progress towards the completion of the data management strategy and the development of the new ISA website;
workshops organized to facilitate the development and review of REMPs as well as advance the Authority’s priorities;
the Authority’s voluntary commitments registered at the UN Ocean Conference; and
collaboration with many international organizations and participation in global and regional conferences, including the biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) process.
In the ensuing discussion, many delegates acknowledged the importance of the draft exploitation regulations balancing sound commercial principles with best environment practices and reiterated that their quality should be prioritized over self-imposed arbitrary deadlines. They further stressed the need to ensure that the relevant regulatory framework is robust enough for present and future generations, as well as to take into account the effects of deep-sea mining on terrestrial mines and fisheries.
Participants underscored that capacity building lies at the core of developing countries’ ability to fulfill their obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and highlighted the importance of adequate funds for the Authority to be able to fulfill its mandate.
A side event, organized by China Ocean Mineral Resources R&D Association (COMRA), focused on benefit-sharing and cooperation with regard to the common heritage regime, and development in cooperation activities between China, the Republic of Korea, and the Authority.
An inaugural biennial lecture, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica, honored the Authority’s 25th anniversary. Stephen Vasciannie, President, University of Technology, Jamaica, focused on the role of the Montego Bay Convention (UNCLOS) and the ISA in contributing to the rule of law.
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.
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