International Seabed Authority: Bangladesh elected president of 26th session

Secretary (maritime affairs unit) at the foreign affairs ministry rear admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam has been elected president of the 26th Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) Council.

This comes as a true recognition of the trust and confidence of the international community on outstanding career and eminent qualifications of admiral Alam to preside over the council, said the foreign affairs ministry on Sunday, reports UNB.

This election is a remarkable achievement and a matter of pride for Bangladesh, it said.

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The MoFA said it is indeed a diplomatic success for the foreign office.

The ISA was established in 1994, pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea-1982, and is aimed at administering the mineral resources of the deep seabed beyond areas of national jurisdiction.

The ISA, having its headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica; is the organization through which States Parties to UNCLOS organize and control all mineral-resources-related activities in the Area for the benefit of mankind as a whole.

In so doing, ISA has the mandate to ensure the effective protection of the marine environment from harmful effects that may arise from deep-seabed related activities.

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It has contributed to drafting of international rules and regulations on the exploitation of polymetallic nodules, Ferro manganese crust and polymetallic sulphides.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the ISA have endorsed a proposal to take decisions of a procedural nature during the 26th Session of the Assembly, including its opening, through a silence procedure similar to the process adopted by the 30th Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

As endorsed by the Asia-pacific Group (APG), the secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) has been elected following a silent procedure and took over the charge for a period until the next elections held for 27th session.

Rear admiral (retd) Md Khurshed Alam had also been elected before, President of the168-member 22nd assembly in 2016 which was the first time for Bangladesh to be elected in such a position in the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

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Notably, Bangladesh has active participation in ISA activities as member state as well as a member of Council.

Bangladesh has been council member for consecutive three 4-year terms; 2009-12, 2013-16 and 2017-2020.

As endorsed by the APG, Bangladesh has also floated her candidature for the membership of the ISA Council for 2021-24 periods.

The elections for this will be held in the upcoming Assembly of the ISA.