The United Nations has just held the first of several sessions of an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) tasked with developing an International Legally Binding Instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). The intention is that this Instrument would ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), commonly called the high seas. The International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) continues to advocate the cause of submarine cables in the ABNJ within the process, and this included delivering interventions on behalf of the submarine cable industry at this 1st Session of the BBNJ IGC. An ICPC delegation also presented at a side event at the IGC to help further underline the importance of submarine cables to the global economy and as critical infrastructure, whilst also reminding the audience of the inherently benign nature of submarine telecommunications cables in the deep seas.
Deep Blue Cable (DBC) personnel assist and represent Digicel’s submarine cable assets (namely the Southern Caribbean Fiber (SCF) cable system in the Caribbean, and the Tonga cable system in the Pacific) on ICPC, given its common shareholder relationship with Digicel. Mr Nigel Irvine, DBC’s Director of Permitting (and previously the ICPC Vice Chairman) was asked to support the ICPC panel at this 1st Session of the BBNJ IGC, to deliver on the marine environmental aspects of submarine telecommunications cables. Seen here from L-R are Mr Bob Wargo (AT&T); Mr Nigel Irvine; Ms Alice de Juvigny (Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP and ICPC UN Observer Representative), Mr Graham Evans (EGS and ICPC Chairman); Mr Kent Bressie (Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP and ICPC International Law Adviser) and Mr Ron Rapp (TE SubCom).
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