ISA Holds 23rd Annual Session in Kingston

JAMAICA, Kingston (4 August 2017) - - The 23rd Session of the International Seabed Authority will be held in Kingston from 8-18 August 2017. The Session is preceded by meetings of the Legal and Technical Commission which began on Monday 31 July and the Finance Committee on Wednesday 2 August. 

ASSEMBLY

The Assembly formally convenes on 8 August and resumes its meetings on 15 August following the completion of agenda items of the Council on 14 August.  It is the turn of the African Group to nominate a candidate for the presidency.

Items on the Assembly agenda include the consideration of: the report of the Finance Committee; applications for observer status; report of the Secretary-General; and the report of the article 154 Review Committee. Article 154 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea requires the Assembly of the Authority, every five years, to undertake a general and systemic review of the manner in which the international regime of the Areas has operated in practice (on this issue see ISBA/23/A/3 and ISBA/23/A/5/Rev.1)

COUNCIL

The Latin American and Caribbean Group will have their turn to nominate a candidate for the presidency of the Council. Items on the Council Agenda include consideration of: the report of the Secretary-General on the status of national legislation relating to deep seabed mining and related matters; the status of contracts for exploration; the report of the Legal and Technical Commission Chair on the work of the Commission; and progress made with respect to the draft exploitation regulations, including the new agenda item concerning the Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the decision of the Council in 2016 (ISBA/23/C/8) relating to the summary report of the Chair of the Legal and Technical Commission. 

LEGAL & TECHNICAL COMMISSION

The Commission met in February 2017 where it focused, among other things, on an application for extension of an approved plan of work for exploration and the draft regulations for exploitation.  It also elected Mr Christian Reichert of Germany as its Chair and Ms Michelle Walker of Jamaica as its Vice-Chair.  The Commission established four subgroups to review: the EMP for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone; recommendations for the guidance of contractors; the implementation of the Authority’s data management strategy, and select candidates for the Contractors’ training programmes.  

For the second part of its meetings, which began Monday 31 July 2017, the Commission will continue its deliberations on the draft regulations; review the annual reports submitted by the Contractors and consider an application for a plan of work for exploration for polymetallic sulphides.

FINANCE COMMITTEE

The Committee elected Mr Andrzej Przybycin of Poland as its Chair. During its 3-day meeting, the Committee will review the 2016/2017 budget; consider an audit report on the accounts of the Authority; review the status of the Endowment and Voluntary Trust funds, and the Working Capital Fund, as well as the status of implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.   Additionally, the Committee will consider rules governing the management and administration of the Voluntary Trust Fund and reports on the status of overhead charges for the administration and supervision of contracts, among other matters. 

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