H.E. Ms. Ellen De Geest presented her credentials to the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, as the Permanent Representative of Belgium to ISA, during a ceremony held in Kingston, Jamaica, on 12 September 2023.
Ambassador De Geest is a multilingual career diplomat who joined the foreign service in 2005 and held various high-level positions with the Belgian government since then. Before this appointment, Ambassador De Geest served as Deputy Head of Mission at the Belgian Embassy in London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2019-2023) after few years serving as a cabinet member of the Minister for Development of Cooperation of the Government of Belgium (2016-2019), Belgian Permanent Representative to the European Union in Brussels (2014-2016), member of the Belgian Embassy in Buenos Aires in Argentina (2011-2014), in the United Nations – Third Committee headquartered in New York (2009 and 2011) and as a European Union Adviser of the Federal Policy for the International Policy Unit (2005 to 2008).
Ambassador De Geest holds a master’s degree in multidisciplinary analysis of the European construction of the Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis in Brussels together with l’Université Catholique de Louvain as well as a master’s degree in international politics from the University of Antwerp.
During the ceremony, Ambassador De Geest reaffirmed the commitment of Belgium to the work of ISA. “I look forward to keeping up the active role Belgium has played in the past to contribute to the work of the organization,” she said.
Secretary-General Lodge welcomed Ambassador De Geest as the new Permanent Representative of Belgium to ISA. “I look forward to continuing working closely with Belgium, an important partner for ISA, especially in relation to our mission in advancing and encouraging marine scientific research and technological development,” he said. “I particularly welcome the increased engagement of Belgium as a member of the Council and look forward to its continued contribution to the ongoing development of the regulatory regime for deep-seabed mining informed by the best available science and anchored in the precautionary approach,” he added.
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