JAMAICA, Kingston (23 March 2018) – – The Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) co-hosted a side event yesterday, 22 March 2018, on the margins of the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

The side event, entitled “Enhancing the role of women in deep sea scientific research to achieve the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development by vulnerable countries” brings to the fore ISA’s resolve to enhancing the role of women in deep-sea scientific research.

Today women account for only 38% of the world’s researchers in ocean science. The rate is even lower for women from developing countries.  

In his opening address, Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN and Chair of the Group of LDCs, highlighted several structural challenges faced by women who wish to engage further in the field of marine scientific research. Stressing the impact of capacity-building to support structural transformation of LDCs, H.E Bin Momen also commended the International Seabed Authority for leading by example. 

Michael Lodge, Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, emphasized the critical importance of the role of women for meeting the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and how gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls strengthens capacity in technical areas of knowledge, such as deep-sea scientific research. It is in this context that the Authority officially announced its Voluntary Commitment to increase their active participation through targeted capacity-building initiatives at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference. Under this initiative, 214 individuals including 86 women have benefited. But, as highlighted by the Secretary-General of the Authority, this is only the beginning and the Authority is determined to ensure this result continues to improve. 

After providing the audience with a presentation on the general challenges commonly faced by female scientists, Dr Diva Amon, a Deep-Sea Biologist from Trinidad-and-Tobago, underscored the crucial role capacity-building initiatives could play in meeting these challenges. Ms. Annekah Mason highlighted the Authority’s commitments to gender equality & gender representation through the Authority’s training programmes in her presentation. 

Other notable speakers at the side event included Ms. Gladys Bindura Mutangaduro, Senior Programme Officer, High Representative for the Least Developed Countries (LLDC), Landlocked Developing Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). 

Speakers at the Side Event

Secretary-General Michael Lodge speaking from Kingston

Dr Diva Amon