JAMAICA, Kingston (23 July 2015) – -The Assembly of the International Seabed Authority, meeting in Kingston yesterday, concluded a two-day debate on the report of the Secretary-General on the Authority’s work over the past year, hearing a record 35 interventions from member states and 11 by observers. (SB-21-13)
The Secretary-General thanked the speakers for their comments, which he had duly noted and would take into account. He expressed his appreciation for the various offers to facilitate the work of the Authority and looked forward to a consensus decision of the procedures and criteria for the extension of exploration contracts and spoke of his intention to invite all contractors for polymetallic nodules whose programmes were sufficiently advanced to conduct mining tests, to provide data on the impact of mining equipment on the environment.
The Assembly also continued discussions on the proposed periodic review of the international regime of the Area. It reconvenes on Friday, July 24 when it will finalize its actions on the review, receive the report of the Credentials Committee and set the dates for the next session of the Authority.
At its afternoon meetings, Council discussed the procedures for the election in 2016 of members of the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) and matters concerning the extension of an approved plan of work for exploration of marine minerals.(SB-21-14)
The 36-member Council took note of the procedures and guidelines for the conduct of the next full election of the members of the Legal and Technical Commission which will be held in 2016 during the twenty-second session of the Authority.
The Council was, however, unable to act on the draft procedures and criteria for extension of the exploration contracts contained in document ISBA/21/C/WP.1 which was approved by the Legal and Technical Commission at its February 2015 meeting by a vote of 9 to 3, with 2 abstentions.
Application for Contract Extension
The Council also continued deliberations on its agenda concerning procedures and criteria under which a contractor may submit an application for the extension of an approved plan of work for exploration. With the strong differing views, the meeting was suspended to allow for the formulation of a working group.
The Council reconvenes today.
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