KINGSTON, JAMAICA, 18 AUGUST 2005
STATEMENT BY JUSTICE SEBASTIÃO PÓVOAS, REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL, TO THE 11th ASSEMBLY OF THE INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY
My delegation wants to commend you on your election. Your high reputation, integrity and expertise assure us of an excellent guidance to this Assembly.
We also thank de Secretariat of ISBA and DOALOS for the preparation of this meeting, acknowledging them for their dedicated work and support through the year.
ratified the UNCLOS, the Agreement relating to the implementation of Part XI of the Convention and the Agreement for the implementation of the provisions of the Convention relating to the conservation and management of straddling fish stocks and highly migratory fish stocks. Portugal
We signed both the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Seabed Authority. The ratification of these two juridical instruments is currently under way.
Since then, we have attempted to play an active role in facilitating the implementation of those legal instruments.
Portugalis firmly committed to the Convention and its subsidiary instruments and organs, which represent a significant achievement by the international community and an important testimony to United Nation efforts to develop the international law of the sea.
A stable maritime regime ruled by the fundamental principles of the law of the sea provides the right framework for co-operation and dialogue among nations.
We take this opportunity to call on other States that have not yet done so to ratify those texts in order to achieve the broadest possible participation.
Portugal notes with satisfaction the contribution of the International Seabed Authority to the overall scheme for ocean governance and all the efforts to promote and encourage maritime scientific research in the Area.
Under the experienced guidance of Secretary General, Ambassador Satya Nandan, the ISBA has made very important progress in developing the framework for the management of seabed resources.
It is important, in this context, to emphasize the importance of holding annual workshops on scientific aspects of deep sea mining.
One of the essential points of this year’s session will be the discussions on the regulations for prospecting and exploring pollymetalic sulphides and cobalt-rich crusts in the international seabed.
We realize that the drafting of a mining code is a very difficult task. This work will have to take into consideration further harmonization with domestic laws on geological resources.
Portugal, as a country with both pollymetalic sulphides, in
Azores, and cobalt-rich crusts, in the Madeira Sea, will follow this issue with redoubled interest and attention. We will look for co-operation with ISBA (considering its technical and legal expertise) as we foresee future mining.
We consider also, in this respect, that the hydrothermal vents that accompany the existence of pollymetalic sulphides must be preserved as critical area of protection of marine environment as well as an incalculable field for scientific research and a very important source of scientific advancement, mainly in biological and medical fields.
This Assembly will have to consider a very comprehensive overview provided in the SG report and to take important deliberations in the coming days.
My delegation is convinced that there will be a valuable outcome.
In conclusion, I which to reiterate that
will continue to contribute to the stability of the legal framework of ocean affairs and thereby to the promotion of the equitable use of the seabed by international community, in accordance with the Convention. Portugal
I thank you, Mr. President.