The Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, met with H.E. the Honourable Mr. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, on 24 May 2024 in Antigua and Barbuda. The meeting was the opportunity to discuss the ongoing and productive engagement of Antigua and Barbuda in the work of ISA and in support of ocean governance in general.

“In recent years, Antigua and Barbuda has demonstrated that small island developing States (SIDS) play an important role in global ocean governance. The recent advisory opinion of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea brought by the Commission of Small Island States (COSIS) of which Antigua and Barbuda is a founding member, will form the bedrock for negotiations on the international stage going forward. The work of ISA is a critical part of the global ocean governance framework and we will continue our active engagement with ISA for the benefit of humankind.”

Secretary-General Lodge also met with H.E. Senator the Honourable Ms. Samantha Marshall, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Wellness, the Environment and Social Transformation, in charge of the Blue Economy for Antigua and Barbuda to discuss progress in the work of ISA and future joint activities to advance deep-sea research, technology development and innovation.

“Antigua and Barbuda welcomes the partnership initiatives with ISA in developing the human capacity of SIDS. It is imperative that SIDS, especially women, receive training in the new and emerging field of deep-sea research in order to address the gender gap in science. We seek to position Antigua and Barbuda as a leader in this field and our partnership with ISA is one facet of our overall Blue Economy Plan.”

Later in the day, Secretary-General Lodge signed on behalf of the ISA Secretariat a Letter of Cooperation with the University of the West Indies, Five Islands Campus, to expand opportunities for active participation of Caribbean nationals in marine scientific research programmes through the existing Centre for Excellence in Oceanography and the Blue Economy based in Antigua and Barbuda.

Established in 2021, the mission of the Centre for Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy is to boost marine science and blue economy research across the Caribbean and strengthen institutional capacity in marine science to secure benefits from societal, economic and environmental opportunities offered by the blue economy and emerging sectors for the Caribbean.


This new partnership will focus on three main areas, namely: (i) strengthening national, institutional and organizational deep-sea research capacities within the Caribbean, (ii) designing and implementing meaningful activities to advance technology development and innovation in relation to deep-sea research and (iii) creating synergies in support of women’s empowerment and leadership in deep-sea research disciplines and related matters.


Welcoming the launch of this new partnership, Secretary-General Lodge underscored the importance attached by ISA to address the specific capacity development needs identified by developing countries themselves. “This new cooperation opens new horizons and new opportunities in support of Caribbean countries in the field of deep-sea research for sustainable development and the advancement of the blue economy. Their engagement today, through this partnership, is a testament to the importance they attach to the work of ISA”, he said.


About ISA
The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an autonomous intergovernmental organization mandated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to manage the mineral resources of the seabed beyond national jurisdiction for the shared benefit of humankind. ISA is committed to the principle that all economic activities in the deep seabed, including deep-seabed mining, must be regulated and responsibly managed using the best available scientific evidence for the benefit of all nations of the world. ISA works to ensure that the voices of all States, including developing States and other stakeholders, are effectively heard in discussions around the sustainable development of the deep seabed.

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