Kingston, Jamaica – The Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) commenced the first part of its 29th session on Monday, 18 March 2024, setting the stage for two weeks of comprehensive discussions aimed at progressing the discussions on the draft exploitation regulations for mineral resources in the international seabed area (the Area), concluding on 29 March 2024.

In his welcoming address, the Secretary-General of ISA, H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, expressed his gratitude and optimism for the proceedings. “It is heartening to see many delegations present and poised to work in a positive spirit as we embark on the business of the 29th session,” Mr. Lodge said.

The Secretary-General also lauded the progress made by the Council during its November 2023 meetings and praised the continued momentum through intersessional work, acknowledging the efforts of facilitators and coordinators for driving swift and focused progress towards a common goal.

“That common aim is the adoption of the Regulations – a legal obligation pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and an urgent matter on the Council’s agenda, representing a shared commitment of all negotiating parties,” he added.

Members of the Council adopted the agenda where priority is given to the negotiations of the draft exploitation regulations but also discussions on different items such as the election of Ms. Gómez Ballesteros (Spain) in the Legal and Technical Commission, reports on incidents in the NORI-D contract area, cooperation with the OSPAR Commission and a memorandum of understanding between ISA and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

The following country representatives were elected Vice Presidents on the opening day: Uganda (African Group) and India (Asia and the Pacific Group). Canada (Western European and Others Group) will hold the seat until a new member is elected. H.E. Juan José González Mijares, Permanent Representative of Mexico to ISA, will continue to chair the discussions of the Council until a new President is elected.

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About ISA

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an autonomous international organization mandated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to protect the seabed for the shared benefit of humankind. ISA is committed to the principle that all nations of the world should benefit from responsible, sustainable and regulated economic activities in the deep seabed, including deep seabed mining and the potential resources the deep seabed holds for a global green transition. ISA works to ensure that the voices of all states and stakeholders, including developing states, civil society organizations and all ISA Member States, are effectively heard in discussions around the sustainable development of the deep seabed.


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