Statement by H.E. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the ISA virtual Ambassadorial Briefing, 10 July 2020, New York

Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I thank the International Seabed Authority for organizing this briefing. Today’s briefing is extremely important in terms of re-organizing our work and future priorities given the current uncertainties involving the Covid-19 pandemic.

As regards the upcoming annual session, as you are aware, Bangladesh has been elected as the President of the Council for the 26thSession that was scheduled to be held this month in Kingston, Jamaica. Now, obviously the session has to be rescheduled.

From our side, if there is no legal bar, we would prefer having the session convened at the end of 2020, to enable maximum number of delegates joining the meeting. As regards the format of the session, we believe a hybrid format, allowing both in-person and remote participation would maximize the scope of participation, by helping member states attend the meeting from New York and the Capitals as well. We are open to have further discussion on the specific dates.

Mr. Secretary General,

Let me now share some of my thoughts on the ISA’s Action Plan for implementation of the Strategic Plan for 2019-2023, which is aimed at supporting the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. I would like to offer some observations:

First, we are pleased to see the importance given to the needs of the developing countries for capacity building and technical assistance in advancing the marine scientific research in the deep sea. Bangladesh would be happy to partner with ISA and other relevant stakeholders in arranging workshops, trainings, survey/research by vessels as part of the strategic plan.

Second, we would like to see ISA’s deeper engagements with the ”special interest” countries, such as, those with large populations, States which are land-locked or geographically disadvantaged, island States, States which are major importers of the categories of minerals to be derived from the Area, States which are potential producers for such minerals and least developed States, as highlighted in (in line with the spirit of paragraph 15, of section 3, of the annex to the Agreement 1994).

Third, given the ongoing covid-19 situation, we believe, there is a need of re-prioritization of some of our strategic objectives. The member states may be invited to share their thoughts either in writing or during the upcoming session, as and when it is held.

To conclude, I would like to assure the Authority of full cooperation from my delegation in fulfillment of its mandate.

I thank you all.