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101 

clause through more general national legislation that may already be in place, such as its mining law and environmental law?  

17. As has been stressed throughout the present proposal, the sponsorship agreement (like all other measures) will not absolutely guarantee that the contractor will comply with Part XI of the Convention. It therefore needs to be determined whether the sponsorship agreement would be sufficient to demonstrate that the State has taken all appropriate and necessary measures to secure the contractor’s effective compliance. As demonstrated in the present proposal, this raises its own set of questions, none more pressing than whether the standard of measures required for a developing State differs from that required for a developed State.  

18. Regarding this issue, while the sponsorship agreement is effective in so far as it provides the State with numerous rights and powers to monitor, audit and regulate the activities of the contractor, in reality different States will have vastly different abilities to carry out such powers and regulation. That is, while efforts will be made under the sponsorship agreement to assist the developing State in performing its responsibilities (for example, financial and technical assistance will be provided to the State, and, should the State lack the capacity to effectively monitor the activities, the contractor will engage suitably qualified and independent safety and environmental officers to monitor on the State’s behalf), it is unfortunately not possible for developing States to perform their responsibilities to the same standard or on the same scale as developed States. This is particularly the case when dealing with the regulation of deep‐sea mining. For example, the deep‐sea environment is a highly specialized field, and it is unlikely that developing States (particularly landlocked States) will have the skills, training and capacity to, for example, verify whether the mining activities are likely to cause serious pollution incidents or harm to the environment.  

19. Additionally, regarding preventive measures, the sponsorship agreement stipulates that the State must be satisfied that certain conditions have been met prior to approving the commencement of the activities. While providing the State with a powerful tool to assist in promoting compliance, this effectively places an onus on the State to determine whether certain conditions have been met, which raises the following question: is the developing State able to make its own judgement based on its capacities to determine whether the conditions have been met, or is there a minimum standard of diligence required by all States?  

Annex [omitted] 

Draft sponsorship agreement as a means of satisfying State obligations under Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 

 

___________ 

 

ISBA/16/C/7 Summary Report of the Chairman of the Legal and Technical 

Commission on the work of the Commission during the sixteenth session 

  

Date: 28 April 2010 

  

1. The Legal and Technical Commission commenced its work on 19 April, one week in advance of the meetings of the Council and Assembly. Unfortunately, owing to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, the Commission was unable to achieve a quorum until 21 April 2010. The Commission therefore held unofficial meetings on 19 and 20 April 2010, chaired by Mr Sandor Mulsow Flores, during which the members present in Kingston were able to undertake a detailed preliminary review of the annual reports of contractors with the Authority.  

2. The following 20 members of the Commission participated in the meetings during the sixteenth session: Frida M. Armas‐Pfirter, David Billett, Eusebio Lopera Caballero, Miguel dos Santos Alberto Chissano, Laleta Davis‐ Mattis, Baïdy Diène, Elva Escobar, Kennedy Hamutenya, Asif Inam, Emmanuel Kalngui, Woong‐Seo Kim, Denis

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