Concern over oceans

THE Fiji Delegation to the 21st Session of the International Seabed Authority has emphasised the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.

In its national statement at the authority’s assembly held in Kingston, Jamaica, the delegation led by Fiji’s ambassador to the UN, Peter Thomson, called for the authority to play its part faithfully, doing all it could to ensure that humanity’s call for “the future we want” was realised.

A statement from the Department of Information said that the delegation’s statement drew the assembly’s attention to the United Nations Summit to be held in New York in September at which it is expected to adopt the universal provisions of the Sustainable Development Goal 14.

“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 statement said.

“The Fiji statement added that 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 delegation 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,” the media release said.

Mr Thomson has also been elected as President of the Council of the 21st Session.

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 co-operation and also thanked the Secretariat of the Pacific Community for the technical assistance received from SPC’s Deep Sea Minerals project funded by the EU.

Other members of the delegation are director of Mineral Resources Malakai Finau, Fiji Navy Commander John Fox, director of UN Treaties Bureau Setaita Tupua-Kalou, and Dr Russell Howorth of the authority’s legal and technical commission.

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