Chilean event publicizes upcoming Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
The Chilean government organised a ceremony to present this year’s Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.
“Chile is committed to the success of the Thirty-ninth Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and will continue to promote within it the improvement and strengthening of the international system,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Heraldo Muñoz, during the ceremony.
The event was also attended by the Executive Secretary of the Antarctic Treaty, Dr Manfred Reinke, and by the Ambassador of Norway in Chile, Hege Araldsen.
The 39th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) will be held in Santiago from May 23 to June 1. Representatives from 53 countries are expected to attend. Approximately 400 delegates will discuss the protection of the Antarctic environment, tourism and scientific issues.
This year the ATCM coincides with the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”. The Protocol establishes basic principles applicable to human activities in Antarctica and prohibits all activities related to mineral resources except those with scientific purposes.
The negotiations to adopt the Protocol began in Chile in 1990. In reference to this fact, the Minister of Foreign Affairs noted: “It is a happy coincidence that we celebrate this anniversary in the country where the first efforts related to this instrument, unique in its kind, were made.” The Protocol was signed in Madrid on October 4 1991 and entered into force in 1998. It is known as the “Madrid Protocol”.
On the occasion of its first 25 years, the signatory countries of the Protocol will dedicate two days of the meeting in Santiago to assess the achievements regarding the protection of the Antarctic environment during this period and to analyze the current challenges. “Chile hopes that this exercise will produce clarity on the priorities that the Antarctic community wants to set for the coming years on environmental issues,” said Minister Heraldo Muñoz.
It will be the second time that an ATCM is held Chile since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty. The previous occasion was in November 1966, at the fourth ATCM.
Source: Antarctic Treaty Secretariat