The ISA hosted a side event at the UN Headquarters in New York on the 12 June 2013 to introduce issues placed for consideration before the Authority at its 19th Session, to be held in Kingston from 15-26 July 2013.
In his opening statement, Secretary-General Nii A Odunton said that at each annual session, important decisions were made which commit all its members. He said that at last year’s session, the Assembly approved the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Ferromanganese Cobalt-Rich Ferromanganese Crusts which define standard terms for exploration contracts.
Secretary-General Odunton said last year’s session also saw Council approving two applications for exploration for polymetallic sulphides and three applications for exploration for polymetallic nodules as recommended by the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) and established the first environmental management plan for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone in the Pacific Ocean where 11 contractors are carrying out exploration for polymetallic nodules.
He said that in the forthcoming session in July 2013 it is expected that the Assembly will approve revisions to the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules as adopted in 2000 in order to bring them in line with the 2012 Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Sulphides.
He further stated that there were six pending applications for consideration in the order of receipt by the LTC which is required to make recommendations to the Council for decision on their approval. They are applicants from the public and the private sectors; four are from, or are sponsored by, developing States while two are sponsored by a developed State.
During the time of contract with the Authority, Sponsoring States are required to have in place legislation and administrative measures relating to activities of their sponsored entities. Upon request from the Council, the Secretariat has developed a database of such legislation and administrative measures.
The approved plans of work result in training opportunities which are provided by contractors as one of their obligations. For the period 2013-2014, there are 8 short-term opportunities. Trainees will be selected by the LTC at its meetings in July.
Secretary-General Odunton noted that the earliest contracts concluded with the Authority will expire in 2016 and there was an urgent need to develop a comprehensive set of Regulations on exploitation of polymetallic nodules in the Area that will foster commercial exploitation and guarantee the sharing of benefits to humankind as a whole.
Side Event Agenda
Presentation by Michael Lodge, Deputy to the Secretary‐General and Legal Counsel