A plaque will be unveiled at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay on Saturday, July 21 in commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Opening for Signature of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The event coincides with the 18th Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) which began on Monday, July 16 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
Secretary-General of the ISA, Nii Oduntun and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator A.J. Nicholson will unveil the plaque, while the Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the ISA, Ambassador Raymond Wolfe, and Deputy Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the ISA, Coy Roache, will bring brief remarks. Mayor of Montego Bay, Glendon Harris, is also expected to bring greetings.
The opening for signature of the Convention was held on December 10, 1982 at the hotel, formerly the Wyndham, and signed by 119 countries. Today the membership of the ISA stands at 162.
Mr. Roache told JIS News that it was important to have a plaque at the venue to show “the birthplace of the Convention, which is the point of reference on all matters related to the world’s oceans”. Jamaica was among the countries which participated in the negotiations and finalisation of the Convention, he said.
Mr. Roache said that delegates attending the ISA meeting in Kingston will be transported to Montego Bay to witness the unveiling ceremony.
Additionally, he said, a special session of the ISA meeting is being planned for Tuesday, July 24 to commemorate the signing. There will be messages from Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller; Secretary-General United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon; and Special Representative of UNCLOS and former Secretary-General of the ISA, His Excellency Ambassador Satya Nandan.
In the evening, delegates from across the globe will attend a cultural night/reception at the Grand Jamaican Suite, Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.
The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.
Jamaica is also home to the headquarters of the ISA, which was created under the Convention in 1994, to regulate deep seabed mining and administer mineral resources in the area of the ocean beyond national jurisdiction.
Commemorative activities to mark the opening for signature are being organized by a committee established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in collaboration with the ISA.
By E. Hartman Reckord, JIS Reporter