On 10 May 2023, during a visit to La Valette, Malta, the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, and the Director of the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Prof. Norman A. Martínez Gutiérrez, formally launched a new partnership between the two institutions by signing a letter of cooperation.

The ISA Secretariat and IMLI have agreed to work together to develop and implement specific initiatives aimed at addressing the capacity development needs of ISA Member States, particularly developing States, in relation to Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the 1994 Agreement and other deep-sea-related disciplines. These initiatives will include a range of activities, such as organizing lectures and summer courses, conducting joint studies and publications, projects, workshops, and other events that facilitate collaborative research, dialogue among relevant stakeholders, and information dissemination. The collaboration will place a special emphasis on enhancing the participation and role of women in the law of the sea.

These activities will contribute to implementing the strategic priorities set out in the ISA Strategic Plan, High-Level Action Plan for 2019-2023 and the Action Plan in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. They will also become a stepping stone toward the effective implementation of ISA’s Capacity Development Strategy.

Secretary-General Lodge expressed his satisfaction at embarking on this new partnership between ISA and IMLI. “ISA members have repeatedly emphasized the urgent need for tailored capacity development to address their priority needs. I believe this collaboration will enable us to upscale our efforts by building on the synergies between IMLI and ISA,” he said.

“IMLI has an outstanding track record in delivering training on maritime and international law, to which ISA can add our unique technical, policy and legal expertise in matters relating to the regime for the deep seabed under UNCLOS,” Mr. Lodge added.

Prof. Martínez said: “As Director of the IMO International Maritime Law Institute, I would like to express my delight at the newly established cooperation with ISA.”

“Both our institutions share the same vision of ensuring the sustainable use of oceans. This landmark cooperation will be instrumental in enhancing capacity in the law of the sea issues to benefit the international maritime community.”


Note to editors

About IMLI

IMLI is an international postgraduate education and research center of excellence for specialists in maritime law and the development and dissemination of knowledge and expertise in international maritime law and the general law of the sea. Special emphasis is placed on international rules, regulations and procedures for the safety, security and efficiency of international shipping, protection of the marine environment and rights of seafarers, particularly those developed under the auspices of IMO. IMO established the Institute in Malta. Its mission is to enhance capacity-building in all States, particularly developing States, to contribute to fulfilling the IMO objectives.

About ISA

ISA is an autonomous international organization mandated by UNCLOS to protect the seabed for the shared benefit of humankind. ISA is committed to the principle that all nations of the world should be able to benefit from responsible, sustainable and regulated economic activities in the deep seabed and the potential resources it holds for a global green energy 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 during discussions on the sustainable development of the deep seabed.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Stefanie Neno, Communications Specialist, ISA, sneno@isa.org.jm