All States Must Benefit from Exploitation of Deep Seabed – Senator Charles Jr.

Photo: Michael Sloley State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr (left), delivers Jamaica’s statement to the 24th Session of the General Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston on July 24.

Story Highlights

  • State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr, says the necessary regulatory framework must be in place to ensure that all states benefit from exploitation of the mineral resources of the deep seabed in areas beyond national jurisdictions.
  • He noted that the common heritage of mankind principle in international law requires that exploitation “must be for the benefit of all humankind and in the interest of all nations, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development. This requires, among other things, an effective benefit-sharing scheme”.
  • Senator Charles Jr. was delivering Jamaica’s statement at the 24th Session of the General Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on July 24.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr, says the necessary regulatory framework must be in place to ensure that all states benefit from exploitation of the mineral resources of the deep seabed in areas beyond national jurisdictions.

He noted that the common heritage of mankind principle in international law requires that exploitation “must be for the benefit of all humankind and in the interest of all nations, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development. This requires, among other things, an effective benefit-sharing scheme”.

Senator Charles Jr. was delivering Jamaica’s statement at the 24th Session of the General Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on July 24.

The ISA is developing regulations on exploitation of the mineral resources in the area. The draft regulations are being reviewed and refined.

Senator Charles Jr. urged member states to ensure that decisions taken to promote the use of the area beyond a country’s national jurisdiction must be done for “peaceful purposes”.

Also “that the rights conferred on any private party respect the collective property in the Area, and that we provide equal access to all and promote the active participation of developing countries,” he said.

He noted that Jamaica is appreciative of the increasing emphasis being placed on environmental concerns and the importance of Regional Environmental Management Plans.

“You can be assured of Jamaica’s support for the authority’s efforts to reach an agreement on measures to avoid any possible negative environmental consequences that might arise from the exploration for and exploitation of marine minerals in the deep seabed,” he said.

Senator Charles Jr. further assured the Secretary General of the ISA, Michael Lodge, and the 168 member states, of Jamaica’s support and commitment to strengthening relations.

He acknowledged the steps that have been taken this year to improve the Secretariat building, adding that “we will continue in earnest to implement measures that will result in even greater comfort, efficiencies and utility for the Secretariat”.

The State Minister said Jamaica welcomes the SIA’s strategic plan for the period 2019 to 2023, which, he noted, adequately covers its mandate.

The five-year plan embodies the ISA’s vision for implementing Part XI and other provisions related to the deep seabed beyond a national jurisdiction under the United Nations Convention on the

Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and its 1994 Implementation Agreement.

This relates to activities that shall be organised, carried out and controlled by the Authority on behalf of mankind as a whole.

An autonomous international organisation, the ISA was established under the 1982 UNCLOS and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS.

The Authority is the organisation through which states that are parties to the Convention organise and control activities in the seabed, ocean floor and subsoil beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

At the annual sessions of the ISA, representatives from member states of the authority meet to discuss and formulate the work of the authority and its Secretariat.

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