Meeting of the Assembly

The 15th Session of the International Seabed Authority

The International Seabed Authority wound up its fifteenth annual session in Kingston 5 June after nearly two weeks of intensive negotiations without finalizing a text on a set of regulations that would govern the exploration of polymetallic sulphides in deep oceans beyond national jurisdiction.

The Secretariat presented a review of outstanding issues concerning the draft regulations on prospecting and exploration for polymetallic sulphides in the Area (ISBA/15/C/WP.2). This 25-paragraph working paper, with three annexes, covers additional background on the outstanding issues with respect to the draft, which the Council had agreed to consider at this session. A revised text of the entire draft regulations (ISBA/15/C/WP.1), harmonized in all official languages, and incorporating the revisions, was also presented to Council.

The International Seabed Authority began its fifteenth session in Kingston this afternoon with the election of the presidents of its two top bodies – the Assembly and Council – and the adoption of their agendas for the annual gathering scheduled to conclude on 5 June.

The new President of the 157-member Assembly, nominated by Chile on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, is Mr Mario José Pino of Argentina. Mr Pino is his country’s ambassador to Jamaica and Permanent Representative to the Authority.

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.