Key statements from States – 27/7/22

Date: 27 July 2022


  • Remarked on the “organization of this meeting, not being in the conference headquarters, and we think every delegations should be able to speak in the language of the United Nations… we are okay with moving forward with English but at the same time, we’re not saying this is the appropriate way of conducting negotiations with the authority because we are forfeiting our rights. We are not native English speakers, so we are in this disadvantage in this negotiation.” The working group facilitator replied that “We absolutely agree with you. We would have expected for all the audio equipment to have been checked before the meeting starts and thrilled to be working… We don’t like it either”.
  • Spain also commented that “when possible, we need to avoid over regulation given that as such, the legal framework is very complex.” The DSCC urged caution with streamlining “if that means principles are to be removed…. Environmental protection, transparency, including access to information, public participation and review procedures, common heritage of humankind, an ecosystem approach, the precautionary principle, polluter pays, accountability, a prohibition on loss of biodiversity, and best available scientific information are all relevant.”


  • Called for references to relevant applicable international agreements be deleted. On this issue, the DSCC stated that “We very much regret losing a reference to relevant applicable international agreements- the current proposal would only be referencing ISA documents in isolation to the important body of international law including the BBNJ agreement for example.”
  • The delegation also called for streamlining of text.


  •  Stated that they “hope we can finalise some regulations today.”
  • Commented that the longer we wait to go into work on text paragraph by paragraph, the later we will ever come to the finalisation of the negotiations.
  • Called for simplification of text.

United Kingdom

  • The delegation stated that they are keen “not to hold up progress”
  • The UK also questioned referencing other rules of international law.


  • Queried references to other rules of international law.
  • Stated that there is merit in simplifying the text


  • Stated that they had doubts on references to international law, which could “gives rise to legal uncertainties.”
  • The delegation called for references to be made to the precautionary approach rather than principle in regulations.

Ghana (on behalf of the African Group)

  • The delegation urged caution in referring to international treaties and frameworks. They stated that “the BBNJ is still under construction and so if that is what is envisaged, then we really do not know the extent to which it interacts with the rules that we are developing now, and so, we will be cautious around that.”
  • Supported efforts to streamline text.
  • The delegation stated that Article 150 is paramount to take into the interests of developing states, which is fundamental when talking about the common heritage of humankind.


  • Cautioned the broad reference to rules of international law and that regulations should not refer to all rules of international law.
  • Supported simplification of the text.
  • Commented that “The Authority shall develop, implement, and promote procedures to ensure effective and transparent communications and public participation.” The DSCC stated that under Article 145 of UNCLOS there is a need to ensure the effective protection of the marine environment, not just the promotion of its protection.


  • Stated that they do not wish to have such a broad reference to other rules of international law.

Federated States of Micronesia

  • Stated that “regulations are subject to the provisions of the convention and the agreement and other rules of international law not incompatible with the convention. So, members have already accepted that sort of formulation in the exploration regulations. So perhaps this can be considered going forward in this context.”
  • Supported specific reference to coastal states who are most relevant in the context of the relevant activities in the Area, particularly those who have close proximity to the mine sites.


  • Shared concerns regarding other rules of international law and that rules and regulations should not create an internal obligation to comply with other rules we do not know.


  • Called for identification and inclusion of principles and approaches that are not covered in UNCLOS such as transparency and public participation.


  •  Stated confusion on what transparent communication should be and how this obligation would reside with the sponsoring state and not the ISA and that they struggled to see the added value of including sponsoring state in this process.


  • Called for clarity on to what is being envisioned in concrete terms on transparent communication for sponsoring states.


  • Stated that they were not in favour of including the word “relevant” or “adjacent” commenting It is not clear how these would be determined stating that “Article 142 of UNCLOS provides rights for coastal states across whose jurisdiction resource deposits lie. Tonga does not consider that the Authority is required to consult prior to developing measures to implement the regulations. The powers of the ISA to create adopt rules, regulations and procedures are outlined in the convention. It would be inappropriate to restrict powers by way of regulations.”
  • The DSCC commented that scientific research has shown that sediment from the discharge plume can travel over 1,400 km, so using the word adjacent may not cover all affected States and therefore potentially affected states may therefore not be adjacent.
  • Earthworks stated that they did not know why the regulations would not include relevant coastal states broadly due to impacts on the wider pacific, impacts on migratory populations of tunas and turtles could be affected by mining activities in the CCZ.
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