SEVENTEENTH MEETING OF STATES PARTIES TO THE UNITED
NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA
STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. EDDY PRATOMO
DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR TREATIES AFFAIRS
ON THE REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY
NEW YORK, 18 JUNE 2007
My delegation at the outset would like to express its appreciation to the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority for his report. We commend the works undertaken by the Authority in developing a separate legal regime for exploration of polymetallic sulphides and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts.
This is certainly a daunting task for the ISBA noting the limited knowledge on the matter at this stage. And, the series of technical workshops initiated by the Authority would assist states in making observation on the proposed regulation during the next session of the Council.
We appreciate the efforts of the Authority to publish summaries of related workshops into its website so as to give access for interested states and other institutions to get better understanding on the matter. Such consistent approach would eventually assist states to revive the interest on the deep seabed mining which is now overshadowed by the lack of the tangible economic benefit from this activity.
On our part, the Indonesia government - in cooperation with the Authority – convened the workshop on issue relating to the potential benefit of the seabed activities in Manado, last March. This is part of a series of national efforts to promote awareness on new developments of ocean affairs which may affect the existing regulation.
We notice that the pressing problem is environmental in broader sense with climate change on the top of our agenda. And deep seabed mining activities also affect the surrounding environment as reflected in various studies conducted in recent years. With the increase in our knowledge of deep sea marine mineral resources, there is growing recognition that such deposits are associated with specific faunas.
We are supportive of the innovative and proactive approach of the Authority to carry out its mandate in the Area, including for environmental protection of the Area; thus to prevent damage to the flora and fauna of the marine environment in the Area for which deep seabed deposits provide habitats.
In this regard, the management for the straddling and highly migratory fish stocks provides useful analogy for the Authority to discharge mandate to meet this objective.
We are well aware that RFMOs have been granted this exclusive jurisdiction to ensure the implementation of the responsible fisheries management. They even equipped with enforcement measures to ensure the effective implementation of regulations. In case of new unregulated species, we further encourage the existing RMFOs to include them in their directives, or to establishment of new RFMO in case of any. Thus make sure that no single gap existing that could be exploited by any destructive fishing practices.
What we learn from this approach is that the promotion of “restricted freedom of fishing in the high seas”. Indeed, this is conducted for the legitimate reason of sustainability of the resources, and their environmental; thereby ensuring their availability of the living resources for future generation. We might not want to use this phrase as it would send erroneous signal which contravenes the freedom of high seas. Instead, we prefer to describe it the promotion of the responsible practices for fisheries. And the promotion of responsible practices, we believe, can also be extended for deep seabed mining activities consistent with the very objective of ensuring the benefit of the resources for future generation and the whole mankind.
In the even of seabed activities, we are quite fortune that we do not need to invent new institution. This is because the Authority may be in better position to serve the same objective. Therefore, we believe that the Authority should have a future role in the protection and management of marine biological diversity in the Area. Environmental consideration and the purpose of ensuring their benefit for the mankind make the Authority warrants consideration to be entrusted to discharge this objective.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org