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Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting

29 April 2014 News

The thirty-seventh Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the seventeenth Committee on Environmental Protection Meeting was opened on 28 April in Brasilia. The Bulgarian delegation was led by Ambassador Rayko Raychev, Director General of the Global Affairs Directorate General at the MFA.

The Antarctic Treaty was signed on 1 December 1959 in Washington, DC.  Fifty countries are parties to the treaty and only twenty-nine of them, including Bulgaria, are full members.  Annually within two weeks the contracting parties gather to discuss at government and the highest expert level all issues of mutual interest, related to the human activity in Antarctica.

The agenda of the consultative meeting includes issues, related to the use of Antarctica for scientific purposes, biological prospecting, responsibility for environmental protection, tourism, logistics and other issues.

Ambassador Jose Antonio Marcondes de Carvalho from the Federative Republic of Brazil was unanimously elected for Chairman of the Conference. On behalf of the next country to host the conference, for Vice-Chairman unanimously was elected the head of the Bulgarian delegation, Ambassador Rayko Raychev.

Among the participants at the official opening of the forum were the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Luiz Alberto Machado, the Minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, and the Minister of  Environment,  Izabella Teixeira. The presentations made at the conference included the Brazilian activities in Antarctica, and the priority of environmental protection in Antarctica and the use of the icy continent solely for peaceful purposes were also outlined.

The work of the Consultative Meeting continues with issues within the Working Group on Legal and Institutional matters,  the Working Group on Operations and the Working Group on Tourism.

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