International Seabed Authority Concludes Nineteenth Session

The nineteenth session of the International Seabed Authority ended a day early in Kingston on Thursday 25 July after its Assembly completed debate on the Secretary-General’s annual report and acted on four decisions.

The Assembly adopted a draft decision concerning overhead charges for administration and supervision of exploration contracts. It approved amendments to the Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in the Area, and appointed KPMG as independent auditor for 2013 and 2014. Regarding other financial and budgetary matters, the Assembly urged its members to pay their assessed contributions to the budget on time and in full, pay all outstanding contributions, and to make voluntary contributions to the Endowment Fund and Voluntary Trust Fund of the Authority.

The 165-member Assembly also approved the report of the Credentials Committee for the nineteenth session, and placed on record its appreciation for the dedicated service to the Authority and its member States of the late Mr. Vijay Kodagali. A geologist and long-serving member of the secretariat, Mr. Kodagali passed away in India on 14 February 2013.

At the start of the meeting the president of the Assembly, Mr. Vladimir Mikhailovich Polenov (Russian Federation), invited delegations to observe a minute of silence to honour the victims of the rail disaster in Spain on 24 July.

The ISA Assembly also set 14-25 July 2014 as the date for the Authority’s twentieth anniversary session next year.