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82 

(a) At least six months before the opening of the session of the International Seabed Authority at which the election is to be held, the Secretary‐General shall address a written invitation to all members of the Authority to submit their nominations of candidates for election to the Commission; 

(b) Nominations for election to the Commission shall be accompanied by a statement of qualification or curriculum vitae setting out the candidate’s qualifications and expertise in fields relevant to the work of the Commission and shall be received not less than three months prior to the opening of the relevant session of the Authority; nominations received less than three months prior to the opening of the relevant session of the Authority will not be accepted;  

(c) The Secretary‐General shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of the persons nominated for election to the Commission in accordance with paragraph (a) above, indicating the nominating member of the Authority, and containing an annex with the statements of qualification or curricula vitae submitted in accordance with paragraph (b) above; the list shall be circulated to all members of the Authority not less than two months prior to the opening of the session at which the election is to be held.  

3. In the same decision, the Council also requested the Secretary‐General, taking into account the views of the chairs of the Legal and Technical Commission, to prepare a report for consideration by the Council in 2010 on the functioning of the Commission, with a view to the Council determining in 2010 the number of members of the Commission to be elected in 2011. The present note responds to that request. In particular, the note considers the issues of the size and composition of the Commission and how these factors have affected the work of the Commission. 

  

I. SIZE OF THE COMMISSION 

  

4. Under article 163 (2) of the Convention, the Commission is to be composed of 15 members. However, if necessary, the Council may decide to increase the size of the Commission, giving due regard to economy and efficiency. The Council has made use of that provision by increasing the size of the Commission in all three elections to the Commission to date.  

5. The first election of members to the Commission was held in August 1996, following the election of the first President of the Council. Following protracted and difficult negotiations on the election of the members of the Council and the Finance Committee, the President of the Council proposed that the Council take advantage of the flexibility inherent in article 163 (2) of the Convention and increase the number of seats on the Commission from 15 to 22, without prejudice to future elections. The Council decided accordingly to have all 22 nominees elected by acclamation.  

6. The same procedure was repeated in 2001 and 2006 for the two subsequent elections to the Commission. The Council decided to approve all the candidacies that were submitted for membership, increasing the number of seats on the Commission from 15 to 24 in 2001 and to 25 in 2006. On each occasion, the decision was said to be taken without prejudice to future elections to the Council and claims of the regional groups and interest groups. Although the Council did not record its reasons for deciding to increase the size of the Commission on each occasion, it is apparent that the decision was motivated less by the actual or perceived workload of the Commission than by the desire to avoid a vote and to accommodate late nominations.  

7. With 25 members, the size of the Commission exceeds the size of both the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (each of which have 21 members). It should also be noted that article 165 (1) of the Convention provides that members of the Legal and Technical Commission will have appropriate qualifications, such as those relevant to exploration for and exploitation and processing of mineral resources, oceanology, protection of the marine environment, or economic or legal matters relating to ocean mining and related fields of expertise, and that the Council will endeavour to ensure that the membership of the Commission reflects all appropriate qualifications. The intent of the provision in article 163 (2), whereby the Council may decide to increase the size of the Commission, was designed to ensure that any

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