ISA Secretary-General Addresses 28th Meeting of States Parties to the Convention

JAMAICA, Kingston (11 June 2018) - -  Secretary-General Michael Lodge highlighted three major ongoing developments in the work of the Authority while speaking at the 28th Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in New York today.

These critical elements were the Strategic Plan of the Authority, the development of the Mining Code and the process to develop Regional Environmental Management Plans (REMPs) in the Area.

The strategic plan is based on the recommendations contained in the final report of the Review Committee established under article 154 of UNCLOS where the Secretary-General had been requested by the Assembly to prepare a draft strategic plan for the Authority. Following open consultation with stakeholders between 12 March and 27 April 2018, the draft strategic plan has been revised and will be presented to the Assembly in July 2018.

"The draft strategic plan is consistent with the mandate of the Authority and takes into account developments since 1994, in particular the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda and especially those of SDG14. The draft therefore places particular emphasis on regulatory development, environmental protection and the importance of participation by developing countries."

On the development of the mining code, Mr. Lodge said that the Council held its first substantive discussion on the draft mining code in March 2018. He continued that immediately following the Council, the Legal and Technical Commission met to consider the requests made by the Council together with the submissions made by members of the Authority and other stakeholders.

"The result is the revised text of the draft exploitation regulations accompanied by a commentary which will be tabled in the six official languages before the Commission during the July meetings."

On the development of REMPs, Mr. Lodge recalled that at its meeting in March 2018, the Council of the Authority had endorsed a preliminary strategy. He mentioned that a scientific workshop was held recently in China in collaboration with China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association (COMRA) to explore how to develop REMPs in the North-Pacific, while another would be held in Poland, at the end of June 2018, to discuss how to develop REMPs for polymetallic sulphides deposits on mid-ocean ridges.

He noted that REMPs were envisaged as the primary vehicle for delivery at the regional level of the Authority’s environmental objectives.

"These developments are good illustrations as to how the Authority could contribute in the context of the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction”.

Mr. Lodge also drew attention to other matters that will be tabled before the Council and the Assembly during the second part of the 24th annual session which will be held in July 2018.

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Related Information

The second part of the 24th Session 2-13 July for the Legal and Technical Commission; 9-12 July for the Finance Committee; 16-20 July for the Council and 23-27 July for the Assembly.
- Advance Text of the draft regulations for exploitation 
- 24th Session Official Documents Online Portal
- Full Statement to 28th Meeting of States Parties

ISBA/PR/2018/022