FIVE non-governmental organisations have this year applied for observer status with the International Seabed Authority (ISA), an indication, according to Assembly President Helmut Türk , that there is growing interest in the association's work.
The five groups that have applied are World Ocean Council, Fish Reef Project, Sargasso Sea Commission, Pacific Community and International Dialogue on Underwater Munitions.
Pacific Community, formerly the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission, is applying, given the incorporation of the former and the subsequent name change.
"[There are] quite a high number of applications for observer status compared to previous sessions. It's a clear indication of the increasing interest in the work of the ISA," said Turk in his first address to the Assembly as president, Tuesday.
As at Tuesday's count, the ISA had 32 states, 31 UN and inter-govermental organisations, and 11 NGOs with observer status.
According to rule 82 of the rules of procedure of the Assembly, non-and- inter-governmental organisations may participate in ISA sessions as observers if they are invited by the Assembly. This is usually preceded by an expression of interest, on the part of the potential observers, in matters under consideration by the Assembly.