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Antarctic Treaty

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 241979, tabled on 8 April 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the UK’s obligations are under the Antarctic Treaty.

Answered on

11 April 2019

The UK is fully committed to the Antarctic Treaty and its objective to preserve the continent for peace and science. The Treaty sets out the obligations of Parties, including the participation in, and facilitation of, Antarctic Treaty inspections and the participation in annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings. Formal decisions taken by Antarctic Treaty Parties come into force internationally when they have been approved by all Parties. The UK is one of only a few Parties to be up-to-date with this process. The UK is also a Member of the Commission of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, which sets out rights and obligations for managing fisheries in the Southern Ocean; and a Party to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which ensures that all activities undertaken by British nationals are pre-planned and potential environmental impacts are mitigated. The Antarctic Acts 1994 and 2013 establish the UK’s obligations under the Treaty, the Convention and the Protocol in domestic legislation.

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