On 14 November 2023, the national focal points in charge of liaising with the Secretariat of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) on matters relating to capacity development (NAFOP-CD) met for the second time this year. As of today, there are 59 NAFOP-CD.
The meeting was held virtually and involved several national focal points identified by ISA Members to assist the Secretariat with implementing ISA’s Capacity development strategy adopted in 2022. Mirroring ISA’s dedication to making certain that all its capacity development programmes and projects meet the priority needs identified by its Members, particularly those of developing States, including the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, the NAFOP-CD meetings serve as a platform to embrace new members and showcase advancements in the execution of initiatives.
Specifically, NAFOP-CD assists in increasing awareness within national ministries and pertinent agencies about the mandate given to ISA by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea concerning capacity-building, capacity development, training and technical assistance. At the national level, NAFOP- CD also guarantees the spread of pertinent information, aids in pinpointing their countries’ requirements for technical assistance and identifies potential collaborators to execute training and capacity development programmes.
“The evolution and expansion of the NAFOP-CD network are pivotal to the successful implementation of ISA’s capacity development endeavours. Its role in effectively channelling and enhancing the reach of our training and resource allocation is indispensable,” said ISA Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge.
“With a growing number of Members appointing focal points, the network’s potential is becoming increasingly evident. ISA remains committed to refining and advancing the tools and mechanisms required to meet the identified capacity needs of our members,” he added.
Training and capacity-building have been integral to ISA’s activities since its establishment in 1994. This responsibility is also recognized in the Strategic Plan and the High-Level Action Plan for 2019-2025 under Strategic directions 5 (Build capacity for developing States) and 6 (Ensure integrated participation by developing States).
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 and from the potential resources the deep seabed holds for a global green transition. The 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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