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JAMAICA, Kingston (24 July 2018) – -Canada and the International Seabed Authority today co-hosted a side event on Enhancing the Role of Women in Deep-Sea Marine Scientific Research through Focused Capacity-Building Initiatives to Achieve the Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Although numerous initiatives have been adopted and implemented at global, regional and national levels to ensure opportunities for women in non-traditional science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors, the participation of women remain low.

Speaking at the side event, Secretary-General Michael Lodge reiterated the Authority’s commitment to increasing the participation of women in marine scientific research through capacity-building opportunities. He said he looked forward to working with Canada who have confirmed through its contribution to the World Maritime University-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, one of its key priorities as supporting the recruitment and involvement of women scientists.

Speakers at the side event were Canada’s representative Mr Kenneth Wong of the Continental Shelf Division, Global Affairs, Trade and Development, Dr Diva Amon, winner of the inaugural Secretary-General’s Award for Excellence in Deep Sea Research and Ms Annekah Mason, Training Coordinator of the ISA.

In her presentation on Democratizing Deep-sea Science: Perspectives of a Female Scientist from Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Diva Amon pointed out that the inclusion of all societal groups, especially women is required to realize the full potential of the blue economy .

In her presentation on The Contribution of the International Seabed Authority to Increase Participation of Women in MSR through Capacity-Building, Ms Mason said that the Authority was committed to gender equality and women empowerment and offered three capacity building programmes – Contractor Training Program, Endowment Fund for Marine Scientific research and ISA Internship Programme – for which women from developing States were particularly encouraged to apply.

Enhancing the role of women in marine scientific research through capacity building (VC#15467) is one of seven voluntary commitments registered by the Authority during the 2017 UN Ocean Conference.   The Authority is resolved to raise awareness of the importance of the role of women in marine scientific research and give preference, where possible, to qualified female applicants from developing countries through its training programmes.

The International Seabed Authority is the only international organization mandated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to administer, on behalf of the States Parties to the Convention, the mineral resources in the seabed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction and to supervise current exploration activities as well as future mining activities in the Area.