Observer States

UN and Intergovernmental

Non-Governmental Organizations

As of 5 August 2022, ISA has 99 observers, including 30 observer States, 32 intergovernmental organizations and 37 non-governmental organizations (NGOs). 

The ISA Assembly may grant observer status to entities in line with rule 82 of its Rules of Procedure, and, where appropriate, the Guidelines for observer status of non-governmental organizations with ISA (Annex, ISBA/25/A/16). 

Observers are allowed to participate in the work of the Assembly and the Council, with the limitations outlined below, and in the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly as well as the Rules of Procedures of the Council.

How do Observers participate in the work of ISA?

  • Observer States may participate in the deliberations of the Assembly, but are not entitled to participate in the taking of decisions. 
  • Observers from the United Nations and its specialized agencies, and other intergovernmental organizations may participate in the deliberations of the Assembly if invited by the President on questions within the scope of their competence.
  • NGO Observers may sit at public meetings of the Assembly  and, upon invitation from the President and subject to approval by the Assembly, may make oral statements on questions within the scope of their activities. Written statements submitted by NGO observers within the scope of their activities which are relevant to the work of the Assembly  should be made available by the Secretariat in the quantities in the languages in which the statements are submitted. 
  • All observers of ISA may designate representatives to participate, without the right to vote, in the deliberations of the Council, upon the invitation of the Council, on questions affecting them or within the scope of their activities. 






Central African Republic


Democratic People's Republic of Korea

El Salvador



Holy See

Iran (Islamic Republic of)








San Marino

South Sudan

Syrian Arab Republic




United Arab Emirates

United States of America




Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Inter-American Development Bank

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

International Atomic Energy Agency

International Civil Aviation Organization

International Fund for Agricultural Development

International Hydrographic Organization International

International Labour Organization

International Maritime Organization

International Monetary Fund

International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund

International Telecommunication Union

International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Interoceanmetal Joint Organization

OSPAR Commission

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries

Permanent Commission for the South Pacific

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

The Pacific Community

United Nations

United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

United Nations Environment Programme

United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Universal Postal Union

World Bank

World Health Organization

World Intellectual Property Organization

World Meteorological Organization

World Trade Organization

Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea

African Minerals Development Centre

Center for Oceans Law and Policy, University of Virginia School of Law

Center for Polar and Deep Ocean Development, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Cluster maritime français

Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards

Conservation International

Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative

Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

Durham University’s Centre for Borders Research


Fish Reef Project

Greenpeace International

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies


Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense

International Association of Drilling Contractors

International Cable Protection Committee

International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions

International Marine Minerals Society

International Ocean Institute

International Policy Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

Law of the Sea Institute

Mining Standards International


Oceans North

Ocean Society of India


Sargasso Sea Commission

Sasakawa Peace Foundation

The Ocean Foundation

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

World Ocean Council

World Organization of Dredging Associations

World Wildlife Fund International