ISA/UN-OHRLLS High-level Webinar | Enhancing the role and participation of women in deep-sea scientific research

8 Mar 2021


Women in Science Leaflet | WIDSR project information brief Webinar recording | Q&A | Event summary (PDF)

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) has a vision of a world in which women scientists from developing States particularly those from the least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS), play a central role in deep-sea research – with impacts reaching far beyond the sphere of ocean science.

This is prominently reflected in the ISA Strategic Plan and High-Level Action Plan for 2019-2023 which call for specific actions to “identify and develop measures to strengthen the role of women in deep seabed related activities and, in particular, deep seabed research” (strategic direction 6.3.3). This commitment is also reflected in the UN Roadmap for Accelerated Implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs in the Remaining Five years (action areas 6.4) endorsed in September 2020 and in the Action Plan adopted by the ISA Assembly in December 2020 in support of the UN Decade of Ocean Science.

Cognizant of the numerous challenges and difficulties faced by women scientists during their career in sectors like deep-sea research, ISA is joining hands with the Office of the High Representative of the United Nations for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) to leverage partnerships for transformative and concrete actions that will remove barriers to the participation of women from developing States in deep-sea research and promote their access to leadership roles.

On International Women’s Day, ISA and UN-OHRLLS are organizing a high-level webinar with the aim to:

  1. Raise awareness of the importance of women empowerment and leadership in deep-sea scientific research
  2. Reflect on actions needed on the part of ISA, UN-OHRLLS and other partners to effectively enhance the role and participation of women in that field.



H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge Secretary-General, International Seabed Authority
Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, UN-OHRLLS
H.E. Mr. Luis del Solar Dorrego Permanent Representative of Argentina to ISA


8:50-9:15 PANEL 1: Enabling empowerment and leadership of women in deep-sea research for transformative actions

H.E. Mr. Perks Master Ligoya Permanent Representative of Malawi to the UN and Chair of the Group of LDCs
Mr. Jens Frolich Holte State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway
H.E. Ms. Mariangela Zappia Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN
Mr. Sturla Henriksen            Special Advisor, Ocean, UN Global Compact


9:15-9:40 PANEL 2: Empowering women scientists through tailored capacity-building/development initiatives

H.E. Mr. Magzhan Ilyassov Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN and Chair of the Group of LLDCs
Mr. Song Sang Keun Deputy Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Republic of Korea
H.E. Ms. Margo Deiye Permanent Representative of Nauru to ISA and the UN


9:40-10:05   PANEL 3: Fostering strategic partnerships for transformative actions

H.E. Mr. Walton Alfonso Webson Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN and Chair of AOSIS
Ms. Maria Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
H.E. Ms. Vanessa Frazier Permanent Representative of Malta to ISA and the UN
H.E. Dr. Gatot Hari Gunawan Acting Secretary-General, Indian Ocean Rim Association



H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge Secretary-General, ISA
Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, UN-OHRLLS



This initiative will contribute towards the implementation of the Voluntary Commitment #OceanAction15467 that ISA registered at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference.

A maximum of 200 participants will be allowed to attend the webinar live to ensure streaming quality. However, the webinar will be recorded and made available on ISA’s website shortly after. Interested participants are invited to register here by 5 March 2021.

For enquiries, please contact: Sonakshi Mishra, Programme Management Officer, ISA at