Chilean Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Environmental Protocol
Today, May 30th , within the framework of the XXIX Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
currently being held in Santiago, the Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Edgardo Riveros,
presided over the commemoration of the 25 th anniversary of the Protocol on Environmental
The Under Secretary stressed its importance, noting that the celebration of this historic
moment allows us to renew “our commitment to the path that we started exactly a quarter
century ago. As Edgardo Riveros said, “time has shown that the signing of this document was
the right decision at the right time.
The relevance of the Protocol stems from the commitment of the signatory countries to
enshrine the Antarctic territory as one dedicated to scientific research and collaboration
between nations, allowing for progress of critical importance for humanity, especially with
regards to the understanding of climate change and its consequent impact on the Earth system.
In his speech, the Undersecretary stressed the need to reinsure the commitment with the
prohibition of the mineral resource activities, the need of having a controlled and responsible Antarctic tourism as well as continuing on the further process to ratify the VI annex of the Protocol, further progress in the process of ratification of Annex VI of the Protocol, which establishes the liability arising from environmental emergencies in Antarctica. Thus, the Under Secretary made a call to deepen the discussion on current and future challenges that we face in the light of changes in the Antarctic environment.
The ceremony concluded with the adoption of the Santiago Declaration on the occasion of the
25th Anniversary of the signing of the Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty on Environmental
Protection. This document reaffirms the collective commitment of the signatory countries to
the indefinite preservation of the Antarctic territory. All of Monday’s meetings were dedicated to reflect upon the Protocol’s performance and the challenges surrounding the protection of the Antarctic environment.
The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed in Madrid, Spain,
on 4th October 1991, and entered into force in 1998, once ratified by all Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty.