Acquisition of consultative status under the Antarctic Treaty

Pannatier, Serge

In: Polar Record, 1994, vol. 30, no. 173, p. 123-129

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    Under the regime established by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, decision-making remains exclusively with the limited number of states that are entitled to appoint representatives to participate in Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. Whereas the 12 original signatory states have a permanent right to attend these meetings, acceding states may gain consultative status only during the time they carry out substantial scientific research in the Antarctic. This paper addresses three issues: the first relates to the problems arising out of the ‘admission procedure' adopted by the original signatory states when faced with the first application of an acceding state to become an Antarctic Treaty Consultative Party, a procedure that has been applied ever since to similar cases. The second looks at the forms of scientific research activities an acceding party ought to conduct in Antarctica in order to meet the requirements laid down in the Antarctic Treaty. The third deals more generally with the issue of limited participation in the Antarctic Treaty decision-making process, which has come under severe criticism from non-Consultative Parties and states that have not acceded to the Treaty