sensitization seminar on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the work of the Authority and on marine mineral resources of the South and Equatorial Atlantic Ocean, will be convened by the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the International Seabed Authority from 26 to 28 November 2008, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Assembly of the International Seabed Authority, meeting at Kingston, this morning elected by acclamation Nii Allotey Odunton of Ghana as Secretary-General of the Authority for a four-year term from 1 January 2009.

The decision, in accordance with article 160, paragraph 2 (b), of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982, is contained in document ISBA/14/A/L.3.

The Council of the International Seabed Authority International adopted a decision proposing Nii Allotey Odunton of Ghana as the sole candidate for election as Secretary-General of the Authority.

The Council’s recommendation now goes to the Authority’s Assembly which is expected to vote sometime next week.

Mr. Odunton, currently Deputy to the Secretary-General, will succeed Mr. Satya N. Nandan, who is stepping down at the end of the year after three successive four-year terms as Secretary-General.

The International Seabed Authority will elect a new Secretary-General and half of its Executive Council and also continue work on a regulatory regime for sulphides and cobalt-rich crusts at its fourteenth session in Kingston, Jamaica, from 26 May to 6 June 2008.

The Authority will also adopt the budget for the biennium 2009-2010 as well as a scale of assessment for contributions to it and consider a report of the outgoing Secretary-General, among other substantive matters. 

Environmental, commercial mining and scientific interests in deep-sea areas may seem to be at odds, but the International Seabed Authority’s Endowment Fund shows the alliance as a successful model for sustainable use of ocean resources.

The ISA will host a presentation on its Endowment Fund on Wednesday 30 April in Conference Room 5 of the UN headquarters in New York from 1:15 - 2:30pm.

The Endowment Fund encourages and hopes to expand scientific research along the international seabed area and within the deep-sea environment.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) today announced the appointment of the first seven members of the Advisory Panel for its Endowment Fund for Collaborative Marine Scientific Research.

The International Seabed Authority launched its Endowment Fund project to encourage the conduct of collaborative marine scientific research in the international seabed area in India on February 18, 2008.

To facilitate these activities, the Secretariat will create and maintain a list of ongoing opportunties for collaboration including research cruises and deep-sea sample analysis through training and internship programmes and by building a network of co-operating groups interested in or undertaking these types of activities and programmes.