The Agreement on deep seabed mining regime relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the Third UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of1982 [hereinafter: the Convention] had come as a blessing in disguise for India in her status and role as a registered pioneer investor. The inevitable changes and re-evaluation of Part XI, especially the right of first refusal, production policy, financial terms, council seat in the investors category, reserved area funding and the technology transfer provisions are very encouraging and is of particular significance to India for reasons of eliminating the serious and difficult pre-Agreement obligations and for the· widespread support it has brought to the Convention by way of general acceptance among the industrialised States. These important changes are now incidentally in much better realisation of the State sponsored deep seabed mining programme objectives, expectations and resource policy issues.


India is among the registered pioneer investors for a manganese nodule mine site in the central Indian Ocean. Though India did not join the protest or make it a major issue, the difficult and serious obligations of Part XI in the Conventional were a major burden for the State sponsored deep seabed mining programme. India" s identification with - and participation in Gtoup-77 of developing countries was probably an important reason for not publicly taking a stand on Part XI thus acting in the larger interests of the developing countries" expectations of the common heritage of mankind concept. This has come about by virtue of the fulfillment of this provision beginning in December 1982 and completing on 16 November 1993 after the sixtieth ratification. India" s non-ratification of the Convention until 29 June 1995 was not a deliberate attempt and did not therefore reflect its position vis-a-vis on any of the Convention provisions.

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