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The 26th Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) opened in Kingston, Jamaica, yesterday with a focus on the Secretary-General’s report on implementation of decisions adopted by the Council at its 25th Session regarding the work of the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC), the development of draft regulations for exploitation of mineral resources, the composition of the LTC, and the status of exploration contracts.

In his opening statement, ISA Secretary-General, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, acknowledged the contribution of Members of the Council, ISA Members and all other stakeholders who provided comments on the draft regulations proposed by the LTC, including specific drafting suggestions.

“The main item on our agenda is the Mining Code, which I am pleased to say has now reached a state of maturity in the form of the consolidated draft,” said Mr. Lodge. “In the spirit of transparency and openness that has always characterized the work of the Authority, every single step of the process has been open to all stakeholders.”

“So far, six rounds of global stakeholder consultation have taken place,” added Mr. Lodge. “The responses were most encouraging, not to mention timely and diligent, and I see many areas of convergence in the comments provided.”

Mr. Taaniela Kula, Head of the Delegation of the Kingdom of Tonga to ISA was elected as President of the 26th Council Session. The Vice Presidents of the 26th Council Session elected from each of the regional groups are Canada (Western European and others Group), Jamaica (Group of Latin American and Caribbean States), Nigeria (African Group), and the Russian Federation (Eastern European Group).

Comprising two segments, the annual session includes the ISA Council from 17 to 21 February, and the LTC from 24 February to 6 March. The second part of the 26th Session, including the meetings of the LTC as well as of the Finance Committee, the ISA Council and the ISA Assembly will be held in July 2020.

For more information visit the 26th Session Portal:  http://bit.ly/ISBAHQ_26

Media Enquiries:

Katie Elles, Communications Specialist, International Seabed Authority, M: +1 876 835 3801 / E: kelles@isa.org.j