KINGSTON, JAMAICA, 16 AUGUST 2005
STATEMENT BY JUSTICE SEBASTIÃO PÓVOAS, REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL, TO THE 11th COUNCIL OF THE INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY
In my first intervention, I want to congratulate you on your election and thank you and the Secretariat of ISBA for the preparation of this meeting.
Portugal wants to signal its firm view on the importance of the Council meetings.
We believe that, in spite of some shortcomings, these meetings have proved essential in strengthening the debate on the role of ISBA in the management of the “area”.
As you know,
was re-elected in the 10th Assembly to a new four year term in Group C of this Council. Portugal
I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the State parties that have expressed confidence in the role
can play in this field. Portugal
The Council is the executive organ of the Authority. Its mandate is to establish specific policies on matters within the competence of the Authority in conformity with the UNCLOS and with general policies adopted by the Assembly.
The Council has also powers to adopt and apply provisionally -pending approval by the Assembly- the regulations, rules and procedures of the ISBA, taking into account the recommendations of the Legal and Technical Commission.
In budgetary areas, the role of the Council is to recommend the budget of the Authority, on the basis of the recommendation of the Finance Committee, as well as the member’s contributions.
With these enlarged competences, it is a privilege to my delegation to seat among the other 35 distinguished members of this organ.
Portugal has a long historical tradition as a maritime country.
Our geography - facing the
Atlantic– has led us to look for our political and strategic alliances in the seaside countries. It has also strongly determined our economy, by the development of our shipping industry, maritime trade and fisheries.
The fisheries in particular have played an important economic role, generating employment, recreation and trade.
Portugal has always respected the international legal instruments related to the sea by, inter alia, translating its relevant principles into its internal legal system.
Therefore, we cannot avoid emphasizing our appreciation and support for the work of the International Seabed Authority. We encourage this important body to continue its work with the same high level of expertise and competence.
The scientific research in the oceans, including the deep ocean floor, in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, and the administration of mineral resources in that area, is an important task to the protection “the common heritage of mankind”.
During the 11th session we initiated the discussion of draft regulations on prospecting and exploring polymetallic sulphides and cobalt rich ferromanganese crusts in the Area.
This text represents an important advance towards a mining code and my delegation wants to express its support and offer its full cooperation to ISBA.
We also support the efforts of the Legal and Technical Commission and commend its essential contribution.
Together with the regulations on prospecting the polymetallic nodules –which were adopted by the Assembly in
July 13 2000– the Mining Code shall be soon in force.
The Council should now take care of all the procedures to be followed by a prospective contractor, to regulate the approval of the plan of the work and the form and content of contracts.
hopes that the valuable co-operation and co-ordination undertaken by all relevant specialised agencies, international organisations and Portugal parties will continue in order to enact additional legislation. UNCLOS State
I thank you, Mr. President.