Bangladesh delegation warmly congratulates the elected President and the Vice Presidents of the 27th Session of the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority. The Bureau can count on our delegation’s full support and cooperation.
We commend the Secretary-General H.E. Michael W. Lodge for his comprehensive presentation on his various reports highlighting the work of ISA during the last reporting period with a particular focus on the implementation status of the strategic plan of the Authority. We are delighted to see that the Authority completed 79 per cent of the high-level actions and the associated outputs assigned to the Authority during the last reporting period, while 20 per cent is expected to be achieved by the end of the year 2022.
We also commend the Secretary-General for his efforts in ensuring business continuity of the Authority during the pandemic including approval of its budget and extension of the term of the Legal and Technical Commision. We commend the determination of the Secretary-General in accomplishing his assigned duties efficiently and effectively within the stipulated time frame. As President of the 26th Council session, Bangladesh delegation would like to put on record its deep appreciation to the Secretary General and his able team for excellent performance.
Recently, Bangladesh has been recommended by the United Nations to be graduated from LDC status. Henceforth, we are poised to enter into our next development phase. At this critical juncture of our development journey, we need enhanced collaboration from the International Seabed Authority. Participation in the marine scientific research, capacity building and access to marine technology are critical for Bangladesh to reap the full benefits of our blue economy. Earlier, Bangladesh has been benefited from the capacity development projects of the Authority and we wish to ensure more participation of our women and youth in the days to come.
Bangladesh is a country with a huge population where land-based resources is scarce. Even the resources of the seas are yet to be fully exploited. In such a case, we need support from the ISA for ensuring our equitable share of seabed resources, especially in the ISA controlled areas beyond national jurisdiction.
We appreciate the progress made by the Authority in many areas of its mandate. It has an active voice in the debates for the advancement of global agenda. Its support in promoting gender equality through the advancement of women participation in marine scientific research and capacity building projects is praiseworthy. The establishment of IGC’s impact group on Research and Ocean for Women in collaboration with the ISA is another right step to advance the participation of women in ocean affairs. The regional environmental managemental plan adopted by the Authority will contribute in protecting the marine environment from the possible negative impacts associated with deep-sea mining in the Area. The AREA2030 and Sustainable Seabed Knowledge Initiative will advance the global knowledge about the activities of the Authority in the Area. To ensure equal participation of LDCs, LLDC and SIDS in ISA activities, it has adopted and implementing various tailored capacity development programmes. The joint project with UN Technology Bank for LDCs is expected to facilitate the identification of critical technology needs of LDCs to fulfil their blue economic growth.
We are glad to note that the Authority makes a meaningful contribution to 12 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals through its mandate and activities in the Area. Yet the Authority needs to do more. Adoption of the Regional Environmental Management Plans for more regions are important in protecting the marine environment and its biodiversity loss in a broader context. The operationalization of the Enterprise and Economic Planning Commission is due and we expect that they will be in operation soon. Efforts to finalize mining codes, draft regulations and standards are progressing well, but they need more pace to move forward. It is imperative to advance the development of proposals for equitable sharing of financial and other economic benefits from activities in the Area. Above all, ever than before, it is critical to enhance its cooperation with all relevant stakeholders in advancing the mandate of the Authority.
To conclude I wish to reaffirm that Bangladesh will remain committed to working with the member States to contribute in the formulation of ISA’s policies, strategies, codes and technical guidelines and fulfill the objective of the International Seabed Authority.
I thank you Mr. President.