Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson says it is essential that small island developing states have access to technologies that utilise rare earth metals.
The State Minister explained that a beneficial effect of the use of rare earth elements in technologies related to renewable energies and carbon dioxide emission reductions, is the mitigation of the impact of climate change.
Dr. Robinson was addressing the 16th session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in downtown Kingston, today (May 5).
“This is important for small island developing states, such as Jamaica, which do not significantly contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions, but which suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change,” he stated.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Dr. Ronald Robinson (second left, front row), making his presentation at the 16th session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in downtown Kingston, today (May 5). Also participating in the session are: Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Hirishi Yamaguchi (left); and the Italian representative to the assembly, Professor Domenico Da Empoli (third left).
Senator Robinson noted that while the session reflected on the economic benefits to be gained from deep seabed mining, it must be reminded that one of the main characteristics of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is its emphasis on the protection of the marine environment.
He added that while countries seek to conserve marine biology, there also needs to be better co-operation and co-ordination among international organisations that are charged with managing marine environment activities, and those charged with wider protection of the environment.
Meanwhile, Senator Robinson said that it is critical to increase public awareness and understanding of the International Seabed Authority.
“To this end, Jamaica fully supports the initiatives put forward by the Secretary General to increase such awareness, including the maximisation of opportunities provided by electronic information technology, continued publications, as well as student outreach programmes,” he told the gathering of country representatives from around the world.
The State Minister welcomed the establishment of the proposed marine mineral museum in the Authority’s headquarters, which will benefit students, delegates and the wider public. “Jamaica also looks forward to the regional sensitisation seminar to be held for the Caribbean region in September of this year, and stands ready to work along with the Secretariat to provide the necessary logistical support,” he added.
The ISA’s16th Session began on April 28 and will continue until Friday (May 7). Its Assembly has, among other things, adopted a 17-point agenda, elected Zaw Ming Aung of Myanmar and Pradip Kumar Choudhary of India to fill vacancies on the Finance Committee, and approved two requests for observer status by the International Cable Protection Committee Limited, and the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPA) Commission.
The Assembly has also elected Bangladesh (Asian Group), Uganda (African Group), Czech Republic (Eastern European Group) and Trinidad and Tobago (Group of Latin American and Caribbean States) as its Vice-Presidents for 2010.
Meanwhile, the representatives of Australia, China, Haiti, Namibia, Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, Suriname and Vietnam were elected to the Credentials Committee.
The group also considered the report of the Secretary General of the ISA on the work of the Authority over the past year, as well as the proposed work programme for 2011-13. Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica, and Permanent Representative of Spain to the Authority, Jes