International Seabed Authority

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 26th March 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reviewing the (a) governance, (b) accountability and (c) competency for (i) contract reviews, (ii) inspections, (iii) audits, (iv) environmental monitoring, (v) enforcement and (vi) other regulatory activities of the International Seabed Authority.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The functions and structure of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) are laid out in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The work of the ISA is overseen by the Council and Assembly of the ISA. The UK is a member of both organs. UNCLOS provides for a periodic review of the ISA, the most recent of which was completed in 2017. In the Council and Assembly the UK supports the importance of the ISA having adequate resources and expertise to carry out these functions, in particular in anticipation of a future move from exploration to exploitation.

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