Meeting of the Assembly

The 16th Session of the International Seabed Authority

A framework for the future development of mineral resources of the deep seabed was realised at the 16th Session of the ISA with the approval of Regulations to govern prospecting and exploration for polymetallic sulphides in the Area.

It took six years of debate and compromise in the Council and culminated in its unanimous adoption by the members of the Authority marking a milestone in the progressive development of a comprehensive set of rules, regulations and procedures to govern prospecting, exploration and exploitation of marine minerals.

The Assembly of the International Seabed Authority, meeting in Kingston this morning adopted a $13,014,700 budget for the Authority's operations for the 2011-2012 biennium.

The Assembly also adopted a draft decision (ISBA/16/A/L.3) authorizing the Secretary-General to establish a scale of assessments of contributions for 2011-2012 based on that used for the regular budget of the United Nations for 2010.

The Council of the International Seabed Authority in a meeting yesterday afternoon decided by consensus to adopt a draft decision related to the Regulations which it had continued to deliberate upon at the 16th Session.

The Council has decided to remove regulation 23: Overlapping claims, from the draft Regulations on prospecting and exploration for polymetallic sulphides in the Area and reformulate its contents into a resolution.

The Council of the International Seabed Authority yesterday heard divergent views on a proposal by Nauru for an advisory opinion from the Seabed Disputes Chambers of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

The Government of Nauru had sponsored an entity; Nauru Ocean Resources  Inc., for a plan of work in prospecting and exploration for polymetallic nodules in the Area. 

In its meetings on Friday, the ISA Assembly continued  deliberations on a range of issues including the need for the adoption of the draft regulations on polymetallic sulphides, the promotino of training of scientists from developing countries through the Authority's Endowment Fund and the need for more technical workshops and regional sensitization seminars.

In the Council meetings, discussions continued on possible changes in the procedure for electing members of its expert body - the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC).

The Assembly of the International Seabed Authority yesterday elected Bangladesh (Asian Group), Uganda (African Group), Czech Republic (Eastern European Group) and Trinidad and Tobago (Group of Latin American and Caribbean States) as its Vice-Presidents for 2010.

Also elected to the Credentials Committee were the representatives of Australia, China, Haiti, Namibia, Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, Suriname and Viet Nam.

The Assembly continues with its debate this morning on the report of the Secretary-General and the work of the Authority.

Syamal Kanti Das of India was yesterday elected President of Council of the International Seabed Authority for 2010. 

Mr Das (Biographical Note) is currently Advisor of his country's Ministry of Earth Sciences and Secretary to the Earth Science Commission of the Government of India.

At its session, Council also elected four vice-presidents : Cote d'Ivoire (African Group) Trinidad and Tobago (Group of Latin American and Caribbean States), Poland (Eastern European Group) and Italy (Western European and Others Group).