Magazine article UN Chronicle

Question of Antarctica Reviewed for Fourth Time; Assembly Adopts Three Texts

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Question of Antarctica Reviewed for Fourth Time; Assembly Adopts Three Texts

Article excerpt

The General Assembly on 4 December requested that Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty keep the Secretary-General fully informed on all aspects of the question of Antarctica so that the United Nations could function as the central repository of such information; called for a moratorium on negotiations among the Treaty Parties to establish a minerals regime in the Antarctic; and called on Treaty Consultative Parties to exclude South Africa from their meetings.

The Assembly adopted three resolutions on Antarctica on the recommendation of its First Committee (Political and Security), all by recorded vote. Almost all the 18 Consultative and 14 Non-Consultative Treaty Parties, as well as a number of other States, announced they would not participate in the voting. (South Africa, a Consultative Party, does not participate in the work of the General Assembly.)

It was the second consecutive year that the Assembly had not reached consensus on the question of Antarctica. In 1983 and 1984, the first two years in which the matter was considered, Member States were able to agree on a single resolution.

Richard A. Woolcott (Australia), speaking for Treaty Parties, told the First Committee on 19 November that the three texts, which had been introduced by Malaysia, all contained material known in advance to be unacceptable to the Treaty Parties. "Once again, the Treaty Parties were negotiating seriously towards consensus with Malaysia and, once again, this has not been reciprocated", he declared. The result was that consensus would be even more difficult to re-establish in the future.

Yusof M. Hitam (Malaysia) regretted that consensus again had not been reached but said that given the importance of the subject, practical ways must be found to develop a regime acceptable to the whole international community.

In resolution 41/88 A, the Assembly, while noting the increased flow of information from the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties, expressed concern at the continuing non-availability to the Secretary-General of information on "certain issues" affecting the question of Antarctica. Consultative Parties were asked to keep the Secretary-General informed on all aspects of the question, so that the United Nations could function as the central repository of such information. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.