Satya N. Nandan

H.E Satya Nandan

Satya N. Nandan (Fiji) was the first Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority. He occupied that position between 1996 and 2008.

Mr. Nandan was born and raised in Fiji. He received his law degree from the University of London and became a barrister at Lincoln’s Inn. He returned to Fiji to practice law. He served as a Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Fiji and as an Ambassador of Fiji to the European Economic Communities, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. He also helped his newly independent country establish a mission to the United Nations.

Mr. Nandan served as a Rapporteur of the Second Committee of the Conference on the Law of the Sea I. He played a significant role in all the subsequent Conferences. He was widely recognized as the principal architect who ironed out various contentious issues securing 200 NM on behalf of the Pacific and Asian-African States through the establishment of Exclusive Economic Zones and negotiating the rights of the archipelagic States and the passage through straits for international navigation. He also helped draft the Forum Leaders Declaration on the Law of the Sea. This led to the establishment of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency.

Mr. Nandan joined the United Nations and became the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Law of the Sea. As the Head of the United Nations Office for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, he was put in charge of the Secretariat to service the Preparatory Commission for the International Seabed Authority and the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, until he became the first Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority in 1996.

Mr. Nandan was accorded the rank of Commander of the Order of the British Empire and was awarded Fiji’s highest honor, Companion of the Order of Fiji.

Mr. Nandan passed away on 25 February 2020.