1994 agreement removed all of the disputed components of the original deep seabed mingling provisions to the benefit of the developed world
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Eventually a compromise was formed that, understandably, recognized certain political and economic realities by giving more power to the wealthier nations and securing the rights of private and intellectual property over redistribution. The United States and Russia were given permanent seats on the Council without being specifically named.
An amendment to Article 161 of the Convention under Section Three of the Agreement’s Annex facilitates this permanent seat without actually naming the United States as its occupant: “The Council shall consist of . . . the State, on the date of entry into force of the Convention, having the largest economy in terms of gross domestic product.” Russia, another industrialized State, is virtually guaranteed a seat on the Council as well, by the requirement that chamber (a) include the “State from the Eastern European region having the largest economy in that region in terms of gross domestic product.”104
A Finance Committee was created, consisting of the five largest contributors to the ISA budget, which would effectively give these nations veto power over any of the Councils decisions.105 The Committee would remain in effect until the ISA became “cost- effective.”106 And a consensus of the Committee was required to approve “any decision by the Council or Assembly with budgetary implications.”107
But most importantly, the teeth of the Enterprise were effectively removed. The changes to the treaty in Annex III of UNCLOS regarding the rules of prospecting, exploration, and exploitation completely remove any obligation to freely share information or technology with the Enterprise.
“[Annex III] removes the requirement that parties contracting with the Authority agree to make methods and technology available to the Authority. The Agreement instead provides that the Authority may request cooperation from contracting parties.”108 It only requires it share those willingly, perhaps at a fair market price. “The Agreement also makes clear that contractors entering into joint venture agreements with the Enterprise are under no obligation to finance any part of the Enterprise’s mining operation.”109
With these changes. UNCLOS better reflects the political and economic realities of today’s world. Although these compromises might have put most of the ISA’s power in the hands of the developed world, they have also created an agreement the whole world can live with.