Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Seabed Authority work to be reviewed at 23rd session

Published:Saturday | August 12, 2017 | 8:00 AMSyranno Baines

For the first time in its history, provision has been made for a review of the work of the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

The provision which falls under Article 154 of the Law of the Sea Convention will see the general assembly considering a report produced by a contracted entity primarily through a process of consultation with member states.

"They (contracted entity) did so by way of interviews, questionnaires, and interaction with the secretariat from last year," said permanent representative of Jamaica to the International Seabed Authority, Sheila Sealy Monteith, at the first official meeting of the general assembly of the 23rd session of the ISA.

Monteith was nominated by the Latin American & Caribbean Group as one of four vice-presidents of the 23rd session.

"We've been making slow progress on the matter of mining the seabed for the minerals that exist there. For the most part, these years have been taken up with elaborating a code for the exploration of the seabed minerals, and we have gone to the point now where consideration is being given to lay a solid foundation," added Monteith.

LONG-TERM IMPACT

Monteith stated that the ISA was keen on long-term sustainable impact.

"So, while it will not affect fishing, tourism or any of those activities that take place above the seabed in a very direct way, we want to ensure that activities which are undertaken in whichever part of the marine environment are sustainable."

Mehdi Remaoun from Mozambique was elected assembly president by the African States Group.

Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith will deliver Jamaica's statement to the general assembly in response to the report of the secretary general next Wednesday.