The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey(MP) has urged delegates of the Africa Group Deep Seabed Mining Policy Workshop to come out with policies that would help regulate the exploitation of marine resources as well as preserve the marine environment for future generations.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey, in her address at the opening ceremony for a two day workshop which was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in Accra, from 30th to 31st January 2019, commended the Africa Group Member States for the workshop.
The workshop was aimed at building the capacity of African experts for effective deliberations at the first part of the 25th Session of the International Seabed Authority (ISA). The 25th Session would focus on the draft exploitation regulations and would be held from the 25th February 2019 to 1st March 2019, in Kingston, Jamaica.
The Minister indicated that meaningful inputs for the negotiations at the International Seabed Authority would help to develop legal instruments for the governance and other aspects of deep seabed mining. She urged the delegates to show commitment to the issues and make contributions that would serve as reference points for the effective and efficient exploitation and management of marine resources and environment.
She indicated that part of Ghana’s foreign policy objectives was to seek the establishment of a just and equitable international and social order for all manner of persons, and for which reason the country had been interested in the activities of the Seabed Authority since its inception.
Hon Botchwey added that Ghana was interested in the current negotiations to protect the maritime space beyond national jurisdiction because “issues pertaining to the protection of our oceans are now taking centre stage globally as a result of the threats posed to the oceans, a major source of economic survival”.
She further implored Africa to position itself to benefit from international protocols and regimes that the various African governments subscribe to through treaties, conventions and agreements.
She commended the African Minerals Development Centre, the Pew Charitable Trusts, RESOLVE and the Commonwealth Secretariat for their invaluable support and sponsorship towards the organization of the workshop which was attended by 50 delegates from 26 countries.
The Minister also expressed gratitude for the support given to Nii Allotey Odunton, during his tenure as the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority and a proposal to name a Museum after him.
Ghana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Her Excellency Mrs. Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, in her address, acknowledged the importance of the workshop in helping to identify issues essential for the deliberations at the forthcoming 25th Session of the International Seabed Authority.