The Council of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) opened the meetings of Part II of its 27th session on Monday, 18 July 2022. The Council will be meeting for ten days until 29 July 2022 and 33 of the 36 members are in attendance, either in person in Kingston, Jamaica or through video link. The main item on the agenda of the Council is the draft regulations on exploitation of mineral resources in the Area (ISBA/25/C/WP.1) prepared by the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) and submitted to the Council in March 2019.
In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General of ISA, H.E. Mr. Michael W. Lodge, welcomed the delegates and thanked the government of Jamaica for its efforts towards providing an alternative venue to accommodate the meetings of the 27th session while the usual venue at the Jamaica Conference Centre is undergoing renovation works.
Mr. Lodge thanked the members of the Legal and Technical Commission, who met between 4 and 15 July, and the members of the Finance Committee, who met between 13 and 15 July. He also thanked the facilitators of the working groups created by the Council to advance the development of the draft exploitation regulations for the work done intersessionally since part I of the 27th session in March.
After adopting the agenda of the Council under the presidency of Mr. Tomasz Abramowski (Poland) for the 27th session, members took note of the status of contracts for exploration and related matters and of the report of the Secretary-General on the status of national legislation relating to deep-seabed mining and related matters. Members considered the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the decision of the Council in 2021 relating to the reports of the Chair of the Legal and Technical Commission.
The open-ended working group on the financial terms of contracts, established by the Council in July 2018 to discuss a financial model and payment mechanism for deep-sea mining and chaired by Mr. Olav Myklebust (Norway), held its fifth in-person meetings and resumed its discussions on the Chair’s text. The group will continue its discussions on Tuesday, 19 July.
During its meetings of the Council over the course of two weeks, the three informal working groups established during Part II of the 26th Council session in February 2021 will continue their discussions on regulations related to i) the protection and preservation of the marine environment, facilitated by Dr. Raijeli Taga (Fiji), ii) inspection, compliance and enforcement, facilitated by H.E. Dr. Maureen P. Tamuno (Nigeria) and iii) institutional matters, co-facilitated by H.E. Ms. Georgina Guillén Grillo (Costa Rica) and H.E. Ms. Constanza Figueroa Sepúlveda (Chile).
Further, the Council will elect new members of the Legal and Technical Commission and consider reports on matters relating to the Enterprise and on the operationalization of the Economic Planning Commission. It will also consider the reports of the Chair of the LTC on the work of the LTC at the second part of the twenty-seventh session and the report of the Finance Committee, including the budget for the period 2023-2024 and the scale of assessment for contributions to the budget by Members.
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Ms. Stefanie Neno, Communications Specialist, ISA, firstname.lastname@example.org