ISA Member States Encouraged To Recommit To Safeguarding Marine Resources

Jamaica News: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign, Senator the Hon Kamina Johnson Smith, is encouraging International Seabed Authority (ISA) Member States to use the occasion of the orgnisation’s 25th anniversary, this year, to recommit to preserving and equitably utilising marine resources, and action in response to issues related to ocean-based climate.

This, she says, against the background of the ongoing rapid deterioration of the global marine environment.

“As the Authority looks ahead to the next 25 years, we must carefully and urgently prepare to mine [marine] resources. Exploitation promises socio-economic benefits for all peoples and it is important that our contributions place us on the right side of history for the care and diligence we take, now, in this process,” the Minister said.

She was addressing the ISA’s International Conference on the Legal, Scientific and Economic aspects of Deep Seabed Mining, at the AC Hotel Marriott in Kingston on Friday (November 15).

Senator Johnson-Smith said the ISA’s immediate priority must remain the development of regulations to govern the exploitation of marine resources, noting that it is imperative that global focus be placed on exploring measures to safeguard these.

“It is for this reason that Jamaica places such great importance on the adoption of a legally binding Treaty, to conserve and protect marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction,” the Minister stated.

She said Jamaica’s position is that “there is merit in examining the existing institutional framework, particularly within the context of the International Seabed Authority, to support the implementation of the Treaty”.

Senator Johnson Smith further pointed out that issues being considered under the Treaty would complement the benefits to be gained from deep sea-bed mining.

Meanwhile, Minister Johnson Smith noted the ISA’s 25th anniversary coincided with a similar milestone for the entry into force of the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea – the Montego Bay Convention.

This, she noted, is one of the most important international instruments negotiated in the 21st century.

In this regard, Senator Johnson Smith urged the conference’s participants to foster and reinforce interest in and understanding of the Authority’s work, and enphasise the Convention’s continued relevance in providing the basis for protecting and conducting activities pertaining to “the common heritage of mankind”.

“This Conference will undoubtedly serve to highlight the Authority’s work and its contribution to the maintenance of international law, peace and security over the last quarter century,” she added.

The ISA co-hosted the two-day conference with the United States-based Centre for Ocean Law and Policy, University of Virginia School of Law.

The event brought together high level government officials, international scholars and experts from the legal and scientific community along with representatives of the diplomatic corps.


Source: JIS News

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