Seabed Authority To Finalise Regulatory Regimes For Prospecting And Exploration At 15th Session

The International Seabed Authority will attempt to resolve all outstanding issues in the draft regulatory regimes for prospecting and exploration for polymetallic sulphides and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts in the deep seabed with the aim of adopting the texts at its fifteenth session in Kingston, Jamaica from 25 May to 5 June 2009.

Work on the two sets of regulations covering operations in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction is being carried out in two organs of the Authority: the Council, which is drafting the regulations for polymetallic sulphides and its expert body, the Legal and Technical Commission, working on the draft for ferromanganese crusts.

For the first time in nearly fifteen years, the Authority will be meeting with a new Secretary-General in charge of its secretariat. At its fourteenth session in 2008, the Assembly elected, by acclamation, Nii Allotey Odunton of Ghana, deputy to the Secretary-General since 1996, for a four-year term beginning from 1 January 2009. Mr. Odunton succeeded H.E. Ambassador Satya N. Nandan of Fiji, who retired at the end of 2008 after three successive four-year terms in office starting in 1996.

The Authority’s members, who are parties to the Convention, will examine the report of the Secretary-General which reviews the Authority’s activities since the fourteenth session, its future programmes, as well as the prospects for deep seabed mining and exploration. The debate on the report will take place in the Assembly with a member of the Latin American and Caribbean States presiding.