International Seabed Authority Opens Twenty-Second Annual Session in Kingston

JAMAICA Kingston (12 July 2016) - - The International Seabed Authority began its twenty-second annual session in Kingston, Jamaica, today with a crowded agenda, including elections to its executive Council, two subsidiary organs and of a Secretary-General to steer its activities for the next four years.

The Authority’s supreme organ, the Assembly, and the Council adopted their agendas and elected their officers for the session.

The 167-member Assembly, elected Md. Khurshed Alam (Bangladesh) as its President for 2016 (See Biographical Note SB/22/3). He was nominated by Tonga on behalf of the Asia and Pacific Group.

A Credentials Committee of nine members, namely, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Cameroon, Germany, Jamaica, Japan, Myanmar and the Russian Federation, was also appointed.

The following organizations were granted observer status to participate in the work of the Assembly: Vienna-based non-profit Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (ISBA/22/A/INF.1); African Minerals Development Centre based in Addis Ababa (ISBA/22/A/INF.2); Durham University’s Centre for Borders Research, England (ISBA/22/A/INF.3); RESOLVE, based in Washington, D.C., United States; (ISBA/22/A/INF.4); Pew Charitable Trusts, based in Philadelphia, United States (ISBA/22/A/INF.5); and Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (ISBA/22/A/INF.6). 

COUNCIL

Council also adopted its agenda and elected Mariusz Orion Jędrysek (Poland) as President for the current session. (See Biographical Note SB/22/4). 

Among the 22 items listed on the Council’s provisional agenda are reports of the Finance Committee and the Chairman of the Legal and Technical Commission on their deliberations in 2016.  (The Commission met from 22 February to 4 March 2016 and is scheduled to conclude on 13 July, a second session which began on 4 July. The Finance Committee met from 6 to 11 July 2016).

Two meetings have been scheduled for discussion of the report of the Chairman of the Commission which is expected to cover a range of issues, including progress on the elaboration of the minerals exploitation regulations, extension of exploration contracts as well as the Commission’s responses to matters previously referred to it by the Council.       

A number of side events by various entities have been scheduled throughout this year’s session:  Deepsea Coalition, International Hydrographic Organization, Nautilus Minerals, International Cable Protection Committee, Global Sea Mineral Resources, Pew Charitable Trusts, RESOLVE, UK Seabed Resources, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art21 and Managing Impacts of Deep Sea Resources Institute .

Council reconvenes on Wednesday 13 July and Assembly on Tuesday 19 July.

Full Release: SB-22-2 | SB-22-3 | SB-22-4

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