|Third Ghanaian Wins Top UN Position|
|Monday, 06 August 2012 13:14|
Ghana’s candidate for the position of Secretary General of the International Seabed Authority, (ISA) Nii Allotey Odunton has won unanimous endorsement from the state parties of the United Nations’ body.
The ISA, the main body that oversees the world’s oceans and seas was established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 agreement relating to the implementation of part 11 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The election of Nii Odunton, a pioneer staff of the 18 year old authority often referred to as the “Constitution for the Oceans” took place during the 18th session of the ISA at Kingston, Jamaica.
He is credited with progressively increasing responsibility in marine resources policy formulation, particularly marine mineral resources.
The ISA is charged with the supervision of contracts for exploration and the progressive development of regulatory measures for future activities in the area, especially those relating to protection of the marine environment.
The recent election of Ghanaians to important positions in the United Nations is seen as an endorsement of Ghana and the acknowledgement of the hard work of Ghana’s Permanent Mission to the august body.
Nii Odunton is the third Ghanaian to be elected to a UN body this year. It comes after the election of Mr Isaac Owusu Oduro, as a member of the UN Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf and Ms. Hilary Gbedemah to the Commission on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.
The Authority, under Articles 145 and 209 of the Convention is empowered to ‘’establish international rules, regulations and procedure to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from activities in the area, and to protect and conserve the natural resources of the Area and prevent damage to the flora and fauna (biodiversity) of the marine environment”.
Commenting on his re-election, NiiOdunton was full of praise for the Ghana government and particularly Ghana’s Permanent Mission to the UN for their maximum support and efforts that culminated in his being elected unopposed.
He urged Ghana to do more research on her ocean in order to derive maximum benefits from the national jurisdiction and the deep sea, adding that ‘We need to take very serious interest in all the researches so that we can get more result-oriented output. We need more oceanographers for that”.
Furthermore, an elated NiiOdunton said that “I feel very good, because this (marine and its resources) subject matter is dear to me. I love it I have been working on mining on the sea for a very long time".
His current term of office will end on December 31 this year, after which his next four-year mandate will begin from January 1, 2013.