Fiji Emphasizes Sustainability at International Seabed Authority
The Fiji Delegation to the 21st Session of the International Seabed Authority, in its national statement at the Authority's Assembly today, emphasized the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. It called for the Authority to play its part faithfully, doing all it can to ensure that humanity's call for "the future we want" is realized.
The Fiji statement drew the Assembly's attention to the United Nations Summit to be held in New York in September at which it is expected the universal provisions of the Sustainable Development Goal 14 will be adopted. The goal's provisions will go to the heart of the responsibilities of the International Seabed Authority, as they have been carefully designed by the international community to "conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development."
The Fiji delegation also drew the Assembly's attention to the forthcoming work by the international community to negotiate a new implementing agreement to govern biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction. The Fiji statement said it was inevitable that the Authority would have an important role to play in this arena and welcomed the fact that the Authority was now starting to collect marine genetic baseline data.
The Fiji statement underlined the importance of enhancing capacity-building opportunities for developing countries in the field of sustainable management of deep sea resources. Further emphasis was given to an increase in scientific knowledge, the development of research capacity, and the transfer of marine technology in order to improve ocean health and enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries.
Fiji thanked the Assembly for the Authority's agreement to enter a memorandum of understanding with the Pacific Community to help increase inter-agency consultation and cooperation. The Fiji statement also thanked the Secretariat of the Pacific Community for the technical assistance received from SPC's Deep Sea Minerals project funded by the European Union.
The Fiji delegation to the Authority's 21st Session is led by Ambassador Peter Thomson, who has been elected as the President of the Council of the 21st Session. Other members of the Fiji delegation are Director of Mineral Resources Malakai Finau, Commander of the Fiji Navy John Fox, Director of UN Treaties Bureau Setaita Tupua-Kalou, and Dr Russell Howorth of the Authority's Legal & Technical Commission.