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JAMAICA, Kingston (21 July 2015) - - ISA Secretary-General Nii A Odunton today presented his annual report (ISBA/21/A/2) on the work of the Authority for the period 2014-2015 at the Assembly's 151st meeting in Kingston.
Secretary-General Odunton thanked the host country Jamaica, for the on-going support it continued to extend to the Authority to carry out its work.
He acknowledged contributions made by the Government of Japan towards the Voluntary Trust Fund; the Governments of Mexico and Tonga for their contributions to the Endowment Fund and noted with appreciation the pledge by the Government of the Peoples Republic of China to further contribute to the Endowment Fund.
On relations with the UN and other organizations, Secretary-General Odunton highlighted the culmination of a memorandum of cooperation with IMO pending approval by the IMO Assembly in December and the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Pacific Community.
He urged coastal States to deposit with the ISA, charts and information on geographical coordinates regarding the outer limits of their continental shelves or lists of coordinates as soon as possible after the establishment of the outer limit lines of their continental shelf. He said that the establishment of the limits of national jurisdiction, including the delineation of the continental shelf extending beyond 200 nautical miles will dictate the boundaries of what is meant by the “Area” To date, only Australia, Ireland, Mexico, Niue and Philippines have deposited such charts.
He also urged Council members to find an amicable and simple way forward in regards to the draft procedure and criteria for application for the extension of contracts in order to ensure that when the time comes, there is a clear guideline to assist our Contractors in requesting whatever they may wish to request in relation to the duration of their contract and the Commission is properly guided in its assessment of such requests.
In closing, Secretary-General Odunton reported that the response to a report by the LTC titled Developing a Regulatory Framework for Mineral Exploitation in the Area and a discussion paper aimed at the development and implementation of a payment mechanism for exploitation activities in the Area received a healthy number of responses from stakeholders and had been placed before LTC and Council for consideration.
He also drew attention to to the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Seabed Authority and encouraged representation and participation by member States in the annual sessions.
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