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About the ATCM

The Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) is the primary forum for the representatives of Parties to the Antarctic Treaty to exchange information and formulate measures, decisions and resolutions to further the principles and objectives of the Treaty. The outcomes of Treaty meetings are adopted by consensus of the Consultative Parties.

The ATCM meets annually. It is hosted by the Consultative Parties according to the alphabetical order of their English names. The 2013 meeting will be the third time that Belgium has hosted the ATCM.

The invitation to participate in the ATCM includes individuals and delegations representing:

  • the 28 Consultative Parties: Argentina; Australia; Belgium; Brazil; Bulgaria; Chile; China; Ecuador; Finland; France; Germany; India; Italy; Japan; Korea (ROK); Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Peru; Poland; Russian Federation; South Africa; Spain; Sweden; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States and Uruguay;
  • the 22 non-Consultative Parties: Austria; Belarus; Canada; Colombia; Cuba; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Greece; Guatemala; Hungary; Korea (DPRK); Malaysia; Monaco; Pakistan; Papua New Guinea; Portugal; Romania; Slovak Republic; Switzerland; Turkey and Venezuela;
  • three Observers: the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR); the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP); and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR);
  • invited Experts: the Secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP); the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC); the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO); the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO); the International Maritime Organization (IMO); the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN); United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); the World Meteorological Organization (WMO); and the World Tourism Organization (WTO).

The ATCM is chaired by a representative of the host country. Between the opening and closing plenary sessions, most of the work of the meeting takes place within the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) and various Working Groups. In recent years the following working groups have been established:

  • Working Group on Legal and Institutional Affairs,
  • Working Group on Tourism and Non-Governmental Activities,
  • Working Group on Operational Matters.

The conduct of the meeting is supported by the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat which is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Secretariat and the host country collaborate closely in organising the meeting to achieve successful outcomes.



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