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South African visit to ISA
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South African visit to ISA

Fostering partnerships for ocean stewardship

JAMAICA: Dr Grace Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa visited the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), Michael Lodge at their headquarters in Jamaica last week ahead of the 29th Council Session which concludes on 29 March.

Welcoming Dr Pandor, Secretary-General Lodge noted that it was the first time that a minister from South Africa had visited the ISA headquarters. “Dr Pandor’s visit represents a pivotal moment in our collaborative efforts to safeguard the ocean’s resources while ensuring their sustainable use. South Africa’s leadership and commitment to multilateralism in ocean governance play a critical role in our collective mission,” he said.

A central topic of their discussions was South Africa’s leadership in strengthening multilateralism and its potential contributions to ISA’s efforts in science and technology transfer, particularly towards developing States and advancing women’s empowerment in ocean affairs.

“South Africa’s involvement is instrumental in advancing our initiatives for capacity-building and technological advancements. Their leadership can significantly impact our mission to enable all Member States to benefit from the ocean’s resources equitably and for transformative action in gender parity in all strategic sectors, including deep-sea research,” Secretary-General Lodge added.

Dr Pandor expressed the support of South Africa for the work of ISA with an emphasis on the need to progress the development and adoption of the draft exploitation regulations in a reasonable time. “ISA is an important body that South Africa is proud to support, particularly as the exploitation regulations represent a key element in support of multilateralism to unlock opportunities of economic growth and development of developing States,” she said.

“Science, technology and innovation are fundamental to ensuring sound and sustainable management of ocean resources and achieving a synthesis between sustainable development and responsible exploitation of natural resources. In that regard, the many centres of excellence for scientific research that South Africa is hosting represent a great opportunity to advance the work of ISA. I look forward to strengthening our cooperation in that field, among many other initiatives,” she added.

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