Kingston, Jamaica – On Thursday, 21 March 2024, H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), hosted a visit of Dr. Grace Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, marking a significant milestone in the collaboration between South Africa and the ISA. This visit underscores the significant role of South Africa in the sustainable management and conservation of seabed resources within the international seabed area, as well as its leadership in fostering global partnerships for ocean stewardship.

Welcoming Dr. Pandor, Secretary-General Lodge noted that it was the first time that a minister from South Africa had visited the ISA headquarters. “Dr. Pandor’s visit represents a pivotal moment in our collaborative efforts to safeguard the ocean’s resources while ensuring their sustainable use. South Africa’s leadership and commitment to multilateralism in ocean governance play a critical role in our collective mission,” Secretary-General Lodge said.

A central topic of their discussions was South Africa’s leadership in strengthening multilateralism and its potential contributions to ISA’s efforts in science and technology transfer, particularly towards developing States and advancing women’s empowerment in ocean affairs.

“South Africa’s involvement is instrumental in advancing our initiatives for capacity-building and technological advancements. Their leadership can significantly impact our mission to enable all Member States to benefit from the ocean’s resources equitably and for transformative action in gender parity in all strategic sectors, including deep-sea research,” Secretary-General Lodge added.

Dr. Pandor expressed the support of South Africa for the work of ISA with an emphasis on the need to progress the development and adoption of the draft exploitation regulations in a reasonable time. “ISA is an important body that South Africa is proud to support, particularly as the exploitation regulations represent a key element in support of multilateralism to unlock opportunities of economic growth and development of developing States,” she said.

“Science, technology and innovation are fundamental to ensuring sound and sustainable management of ocean resources and achieving a synthesis between sustainable development and responsible exploitation of natural resources. In that regard, the many centres of excellence for scientific research that South Africa is hosting represent a great opportunity to advance the work of ISA. I look forward to strengthening our cooperation in that field, among many other initiatives,” she added.

About ISA

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an autonomous international organization mandated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to protect the seabed for the shared benefit of humankind. ISA is committed to the principle that all nations of the world should benefit from responsible, sustainable and regulated economic activities in the deep seabed, including deep seabed mining and the potential resources the deep seabed holds for a global green 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 in discussions around the sustainable development of the deep seabed.


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