United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

International Seabed Authority (ISA)

Plenary Thursday 8 June, 15:00-18:00
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Friday 9 June 2017, 10:00- 13:00, GA Hall
Statement by H. E. Michael W. Lodge, Secretary-General, International Seabed
In convening this Conference and in adopting its Call for Action, the international
community recognizes that a healthy and productive ocean is critical to our
shared future and that collective action is indispensable to the implementation of
In jurisdictional terms, the largest part of the global ocean is the deep seabed
beyond national jurisdiction. It covers more than 50 per cent of the ocean floor. In
1970, the General Assembly had the foresight to set aside the seabed and ocean
floor beyond national jurisdiction as the common heritage of mankind.
Since 1994, when UNCLOS entered into force, this Area has been managed
through the International Seabed Authority on the basis of equality between
States under a comprehensive legal regime that is designed to achieve the
sustainable use of marine mineral resources for the benefit of mankind as a
The regime for the Area, including the principle of the Common Heritage of
Mankind, thus underpins the legal framework for the implementation of SDG14.
The regime is intended to ensure equity in access to and allocation of resources,
long-term sustainability in terms of protection of the marine environment and
Plenary Thursday 8 June, 15:00-18:00
equitable sharing of benefits with respect to sharing of scientific knowledge of the
deep seabed as well as financial and economic benefits.
The Authority is committed to playing its part in implementing this regime and in
contributing to the delivery of the targets under SDG14. The Authority will also
support our member States in fulfilling the various commitments under the Call
for Action.
The seven voluntary commitments that have been registered by the Authority for
this Conference indicate the breadth of our mandate and our ambitions.
• In the area of marine science we have pledged to work with partner
organizations and institutions to increase knowledge of deep sea
biodiversity and ecological processes and functions.
• We have pledged to work with UN-DESA to increase socio-economic
benefits for SIDS through sustainable development of deep sea mineral
resources as part of their Blue Economy.
• We have partnered with the African Mineral Development Centre to help
improve governance of Africa's deep seabed and promote the development
of marine mineral resources.
• And last, but not least, we have committed to concrete actions to enhance
the role of women in marine scientific research, particularly in SIDS and
During the course of the week, we have established many more connections and
invited others to join our efforts. We have also used the opportunity to indicate
our support for many of the other proposals and commitments that have been