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Today, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and China officially launched the Joint Training and Research Centre (JTRC) established under the memorandum of understanding that was approved by the ISA Assembly during its 25th session, to offer training to aspiring professionals from developing countries in deep-sea related science.
The JTRC will provide a new platform for ISA to foster capacity-building and advance the transfer of marine technology and scientific knowledge to developing countries, and enhance their participation in the scientific activities and programmes conducted in the international seabed area (the Area) in line with the ISA Strategic Plan and High-Level Action Plan for 2019-2023.
“The ISA-China JTRC will certainly be essential in the operationalization of the role and the responsibilities given to ISA by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for the years to come and I am confident that by joining hands we will significantly contribute to enhance the technical and scientific capacity of developing States, members of ISA, in deep-sea research” said the ISA Secretary-General, Michael W. Lodge in his opening remarks.
Mrs Gu Wu, Director of the JTRC, underlined that the Centre was equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment and technology that will be made available to the future trainees in order to enable them to acquire strong practical skills.
Mr Wang Hong, Deputy Minister and Administrator of the State Oceanic Administration of China, commended the initiative and emphasized the responsibility of China to promote alongside with the ISA knowledge of the deep ocean and its environment, with a view to enable developing countries to benefit from the mineral resources of the Area.
Ambassador Tian Qi, Permanent Representative of China to ISA, underscored the fact through the JTRC, both ISA and China will contribute to nurture the talents of developing States while creating the enabling conditions for enhanced international cooperation.
The operationalization of this cooperation will be ensured by the Steering Committee of the JTRC whose function is to provide advice and guidance on the planning and implementation of the training and research programmes including the annual work plan of the centre.
As of today, the Steering Committee is comprised of seven members nominated jointly by ISA and China. The Steering Committee’s members are: Mr Liu Feng, Secretary-General of COMRA; Ms Jihyun Lee, Director of the Office of Environmental Management and Mineral Resources of ISA; Mrs Chen Danhong, Deputy Director General of International Cooperation – Ministry of Natural Resources of China; Ms Gu Wu, Director of JTRC; Mr Xian Youquan, Deputy Secretary-General of China Oceanic Development Foundation; Dr Gordon Paterson, Member of the ISA Legal and Technical Commission; and Dr Georgy Cherkashov, Member of the ISA Legal and Technical Commission.
The Joint Training and Research Centre is affiliated and hosted to the National Deep-Sea Centre of China in Qingdao.
Ms. Dana Schiopu, Communications Specialist, International Seabed Authority firstname.lastname@example.org