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JAMAICA, Kingston (21 July 2016) – – Mr. Michael W. Lodge of the United Kingdom was today elected, by consensus, Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority at its 22nd Session in Kingston. He has since 2011 been deputy to the Secretary-General of the Authority and its Legal Counsel since 2007. 

He succeeds Mr. Nii Allotey Odunton of Ghana, who has been Secretary-General since 2009. The President of the Assembly, Rear Admiral Md Khurshed Alam (Rtd) (Bangladesh), presided over the elections in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Authority.

Statements were made after the Assembly’s decision by the sponsors of the two candidates, Chairmen of the regional groups, and individual delegations.

Also this morning, the Assembly heard a statement by the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley. It approved the report of the Credentials Committee.

Election of Secretary-General
To facilitate the achievement of the consensus an informal indicative vote was carried out with the agreement of the two candidates – Nii Allotey Odunton, sponsored by Ghana, and Michael W. Lodge, sponsored by the United Kingdom.  The process was employed in 1996 to elect the first Secretary-General of the Authority, Ambassador Satya Nandan of Fiji, 

Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Prime Minister Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago addressing the Assembly earlier, said the mandate of the International Seabed Authority must be expanded to make it responsible for helping States implement their obligations under the future legal instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Dr. Rowley, who is on an official visit to Jamaica, said his country, like other developing countries, believed that all marine resources in the deep seabed Area beyond national jurisdiction were the common heritage of mankind. That should be a cardinal principle founded in the future Convention, he added.

(The Authority, under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, administers the mineral resources of the deep seabed beyond areas of national jurisdiction,
A preparatory committee of the United Nations General Assembly is working on the elements of the legally binding instrument under the future Convention).

Dr. Rowley expressed the commitment of his government to work with the Authority and all of its member States to achieve their common objective. It was doing so due to Trinidad and Tobago’s “distinguished and historical contribution” to many facets of the law of the sea which predated its negotiation, adoption and entry into force.       

In his statement, Dr. Rowley also said the Authority should as a matter of priority work on the resolution of important practical issues germane to the uniform implementation of Article 82 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. (The article states that it was a duty of States to make contributions in kind with regard to production from non-living resources of the outer continental shelf – that is areas beyond the 200 nautical mile limit.)

He noted that a number of States had received favourable recommendations from the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to establish the outer limits of their continental shelf. States could ill afford “to sit and wait” until there was exploitation of the mineral resources in those areas, he stated.

Full Press Release: SB-22-14


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