On 6 March 2023, the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, and the Acting Managing Director of the United Nations Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries (UNTBLDC), Dr. Taffere Tesfachew, formally launched a new partnership between the two organizations on the margins of the second part of the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developing Countries (LDC5) currently taking place in Doha, Qatar.

The partnership was formalized with the signing of a letter of cooperation. ISA and UNTBLDC aim to contribute to building and developing capacities of LDCs in deep-sea related science, technology and innovation to support the sustainable development of emerging blue economies. It will particularly support two priority areas of the Doha Programme of Action for the LDCs for the Decade 2022-2031, adopted during the first part of the LDC5 conference in March 2022. These priorities are (i) investing in people in LDCs by eradicating poverty and building capacity to leave no one behind and (ii) leveraging the power of science, technology and innovation to fight against multidimensional vulnerabilities and to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

Recalling that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) requires ISA to take measures to promote and encourage the transfer of technology and scientific knowledge relating to activities in the international seabed Area (the Area) to developing States, Secretary-General Lodge also highlighted the importance of ensuring that global governance regime reflects the maritime interests of all States, including LDCs.

“ISA contributes to several key action areas of the Doha Programme of Action. As the Doha Programme of Action recognizes the UNTBLDCs as the focal point for the LDCs in the field of science, technology and innovation, including as it relates to capacity-building, UNTBLDC is a natural partner for ISA as we strive to ensure that the most vulnerable countries can take advantage of opportunities presented by UNCLOS and participate effectively in all aspects of the work of ISA and activities carried out in the Area,” Mr. Lodge said.

“I particularly look forward to implementing concrete initiatives and actions that will contribute to advancing our joint commitment towards women’s empowerment and leadership in deep-sea research, particularly for women scientists from LDCs, landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing countries (SIDS),” he added.

Dr. Tesfachew said: “The UNTBLDC is excited about this new partnership. We look forward to working with ISA to assist LDCs to effectively engage in the global ocean governance processes while supporting the transfer of technology and knowledge to LDCs in deep-sea research and technology.”

In the first phase of the collaboration, dedicated activities will be jointly designed and implemented for two selected LDCs to equip their institutions and experts with the necessary knowledge about the provisions of UNCLOS and the 1994 Agreement that support integrated participation of LDCs in the work of ISA.

These activities will contribute to the implementation of the strategic priorities of ISA as set out in its Strategic Plan, the High-Level Action Plan for 2019-2023 and Action Plan in support of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. It will also be a stepping stone toward the effective implementation of ISA’s Capacity Development Strategy.


Note to editors


UNTBLDC is a subsidiary organ of the United Nations General Assembly with headquarters in Gebze, Türkiye. It was established to enhance the contribution of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development in the world’s LDCs.

About ISA

ISA is an autonomous international organization mandated by the UNCLOS to protect the seabed for the shared benefit of humankind. ISA is committed to the principle that all nations of the world should be able to benefit from responsible, sustainable and regulated economic activities in the deep seabed and the potential resources it holds for a global green energy transition. 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 during discussions on the sustainable development of the deep seabed.

LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and the Law of the Sea: An Ocean of Opportunities

ISA produced a series of booklets that gives an overview of the development of a global regime for the ocean and its resources, including an overview of UNCLOS, selected provisions of UNCLOS specifically relevant to LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, the rights and benefits of LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS under UNCLOS, and equitable sharing of financial and other economic benefits from activities in the Area,

Access the publications here.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Stefanie Neno, Communications Specialist, ISA, sneno@isa.org.jm