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all States to become parties to both the Convention and the Agreement in order to achieve the goal of universal participation in the two instruments. The Secretary‐General encourages all those members of the Authority that are not yet parties to the 1994 Agreement to become parties at the earliest possible opportunity. 

  

III. PERMANENT MISSIONS TO THE AUTHORITY 

  

6. As at 28 February 2010, the following 20 States and the European Union maintained permanent missions to the Authority: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Cuba, France, Gabon, Germany, Haiti, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, South Africa, Spain and Trinidad and Tobago. 

  

IV. PREVIOUS SESSION OF THE AUTHORITY 

  

7. The fifteenth session of the Authority was held in Kingston from 25 May to 5 June 2009. Mario José Pino (Argentina) was elected President of the Assembly for the fifteenth session, and Mahmoud Samy (Egypt) was elected President of the Council. The work of the Assembly during the fifteenth session included a general debate on the annual report of the Secretary‐General and the consideration of applications for observer status by the World Wildlife Fund and the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Council continued its consideration of the outstanding issues with respect to the draft regulations on prospecting and exploration for polymetallic sulphides in the Area (see para. 66 below). 

  

V. PROTOCOL ON PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF THE AUTHORITY 

  

8.   The Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Seabed Authority entered into force on 31 May 2003. The Protocol, among other things, provides essential protection to representatives of members of the Authority who attend meetings of the Authority or who travel to and from those meetings. It also accords to experts on missions for the Authority such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the independent exercise of their functions during the period of their missions and the time spent on journeys in connection with their missions.  

9. As at 28 February 2010, the number of parties to the Protocol was 31, as follows: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Uruguay.  

10. It is a matter of some concern that there have been no new ratifications of or accessions to the Protocol since February 2009. The Secretary‐General would like to draw the attention of members of the Authority to operative paragraph 37 of General Assembly resolution 64/71, in which the Assembly called upon States that had not done so to consider ratifying or acceding to the Protocol. 

  

VI. RELATIONS WITH THE HOST COUNTRY 

  

11. The refurbishment of the Jamaica Conference Centre, including the replacement of obsolete audio equipment and upgrading of sound and interpretation systems, was largely completed in time for the fifteenth session in 2009. The Secretary‐General wishes to express his appreciation to the Government of Jamaica for its continued commitment to the future of the Jamaica Conference Centre.  

12. With respect to the premises occupied by the secretariat as the permanent headquarters of the Authority, it is understood that the Government of Jamaica continues to promote the concept of an “International Seabed Authority House”, which would provide accommodation for all United Nations programmes and agencies based in Jamaica. At present, the only such agency located in the headquarters building is the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which has occupied the third floor of the building for a considerable period. A perception of security problems has been one of the primary obstacles preventing the United Nations agencies in Jamaica from

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