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.

Mr. Odunton, currently Deputy to the Secretary-General, succeeds Satya N. Nandan of Fiji, the Authority’s first Secretary-General, who is retiring on 31 December 2008 after serving three consecutive four-year terms.

Speaking after his election, Mr. Odunton commended Mr. Nandan for the innovative steps he had taken to increase the Authority’s knowledge base. He assured the Assembly that he would continue in that vein. He noted that with the ever improving economic conditions for nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese, the Authority would have to work towards adopting a code for exploitation or mining of polymetallic nodule deposits in a timely fashion.

Representative of the various regional groups congratulated Mr. Odunton on his election, paying tribute to his experience and expressing confidence that there would be continuity and innovation.

In other actions, the Assembly adopted a $12,516,500 budget for the Authority’s operations for the 2009-2010 biennium and the report of the Credentials Committee.