The Assembly of the International Seabed Authority concluded its 18th Session after approving the Regulations on cobalt-rich crusts, electing Mr. Nii Odunton as Secretary-General for a second four-year term and adopting the budget and a scale of assessment for the 2013-14 financial period.

The Regulations, the result of three years of work, are entitled Regulations on prospecting and exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in the Area, and represent the third set of regulations produced by the Authority, established by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to protect and develop deep ocean riches as the “common heritage of mankind”.

In other actions before adjourning, the Assembly also renewed half of the membership of the 36-member Council for a four-year term from 2013 through to 2016. The 20 newly elected members of Council are:

Group A: China, Japan
Group B: India
Group C: Canada, South Africa
Group D: Bangladesh, Brazil, Uganda
Group E: Argentina, Czech Republic, Guyana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands Poland, Senegal, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom

Spain is elected for a four-year term with the understanding that it will relinquish its seat after one year to Norway for the year 2014; the United Kingdom will relinquish its seat after two years to Norway for the year 2015; and after serving for three years, The Netherlands will relinquish its seat to Norway for the last remaining year of its term.

The Assembly has also decided to hold its nineteenth session in Kingston 15 – 26 July 2013, with the Legal and Technical Commission meeting the week before.