Meeting of the Assembly

The 20th Session of the International Seabed Authority

Makes exploitation regulations and extension of exploration contracts top priority for 2015 session, adopts budget for 2015-2016, elects 17 Council members

The urgent need to begin elaboration of regulations for the exploitation of minerals from the deep seabed Area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction was a central theme at the International Seabed Authority’s twentieth anniversary session in Kingston (14-25 July 2014).

The historic twentieth session of the International Seabed Authority ended in Kingston this afternoon after its Assembly completed debate on the Secretary-General’s annual report and acted on five decisions including the Authority’s budget for the 2015-2016 biennium. The Assembly set 13-24 July 2015 as the date for the Authority’s next session.

The Assembly of the International Seabed Authority yesterday (24 July) concluded its consideration of the Secretary-General’s annual report in Kingston this morning hearing comments from twelve delegations and three observers on many aspects of its topics.

Secretary-General Nii Allotey Odunton (Ghana), presented the report which covers the work of the Authority since the last session, to the Assembly yesterday.  It was the highlight of the 166-member body’s agenda during its twentieth anniversary session.

The Assembly of the International Seabed Authority resumed discussion on the report of the Secretary-General Nii Allotey Odunton (Ghana) in the afternoon (23 Julyu) which covered the work of the Authority during the period from July 2013 to June 2014.

The challenge of managing the increasing work load of the Authority as it moves towards elaborating exploitation regulations and the need for standardized data on the living resources of the seabed Area were highlighted by Secretary General, Nii Allotey Odunton (Ghana).

The Council of the International Seabed Authority, meeting in Kingston this morning, adopted a twelve-paragraph decision on the summary report of the Chair of the Legal and Technical Commission which was presented at its 17 July meeting.

Revised from a 32-paragraph document submitted by Brazil on the basis of comments and contributions by members of the Council, the draft decision (ISBA/20/C/L.10) is a streamlined consensus text formulated during informal group consultations on Monday, 21 July.

The Assembly of the International Seabed Authority yesterday (22 July) held a day-long special session to commemorate the organisation’s twentieth anniversary with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, noting in a message, that the ongoing development by the Authority of a comprehensive set of rules governing seabed mining would go a long way towards helping States derive tangible benefits from the deep seabed Area.

Seven new applications for approval of plans of work for exploration in the international Seabed Area were approved this morning by the Council of the International Seabed Authority as it nears conclusion of its work of the twentieth session in Kingston.

The Council of the International Seabed Authority, at two meetings in Kingston on Friday 18 July, examined procedures for possible extension of exploration contracts and mechanisms for the formulation of regulations for exploitation in the Area, as it continued deliberations on the summary report of the Chair of the Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) on its February and July sessions.

Also on Friday, the Council adopted amendments to two separate Regulations - Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Sulphides and Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Nodules.

The Council of the International Seabed Authority meeting in Kingston on Thursday (17 July 2014) afternoon decided, on the recommendations of the Finance Committee, that the Assembly approve a budget for the Authority in the amount of US$ 15,743,143 for the biennium 2015-2016.

The Council of the International Seabed Authority, meeting in Kingston this afternoon, took note of two reports of the Secretary-General at its second meeting of this historic 20th Session in Kingston this afternoon. One report addresses the status of prospecting and contract for exploration for three types of mineral resources in the seabed Area, and the other outlines laws, regulations, and administrative measures adopted by sponsoring States and other members of the Authority with respect to activity in the Area.

The International Seabed Authority, celebrating twenty years in existence, began its annual session this morning at Kingston, with its two major organs - the Assembly and the Council - electing their presidents and approving their indicative work programme for the next ten days.

Agenda Items Includes Election of Nearly Half its Executive Council, Drafting of Marine Minerals Mining Code and Consideration of Applications for Seabed Exploration Contracts

The Jamaica-based International Seabed Authority will commemorate its twentieth anniversary, elect nearly half its executive Council and begin elaboration of a mining code for deep seabed polymetallic nodules in the Area beyond national jurisdiction when it convenes for its annual session in Kingston from 14 to 25 July 2014.