Prince Albert II of Monaco to Present Keynote Address for 2009 Antarctica Summit: An International Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty
Prince Albert II, the sovereign head of state of the Principality of Monaco, who has made environmental and climate change diplomacy a key factor of his global leadership, executed a month-long visit to Antarctica in January of this year to critically examine the impact of global warming on the South Pole, and founded the Prince Albert II Foundation in 2006 to promote “ sustainable and equitable management of natural resources”=2 0and to encourage “the implementation of innovative and ethical solutions via research and studies, technological innovation and socially responsible investment tools with respect to climate change, biodiversity and water issues,” has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for the “Antarctic Treaty Summit:Science-Policy Interactions in International Governance” (“Antarctica Summit 2009”).
The international Antarctica Summit 2009 will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty by the twelve original signatories in 1959, inWashington, D.C. Antarctica Summit 2009 willbe convened at the Smithsonian Institution, and held at the National Museum of Natural History, from 30 November to 3 December, 2009 to, in accordance with the Smithsonian Institution’s website, “ highlight lessons learned about international governance "with the interests of science and the progress of all mankind." Prince Albert received the UN Environment Program’s (UNEP) prestigious Champion of the Earth Award in 2008, and on October 23, 2009, will receive the second Roger Revelle Prize from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, located at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), for his efforts to support and communicate the crucial need to protect the environment on a global scale.” Prince Albert II’s keynote address will be delivered the first day of the summit, Monday, November 30th, after opening ceremonies chaired by Professor Paul Berkman, Chair of the International Board for the Antarctic Treaty Summit, and in collaboration with the day’s events will explore the “origin, evolution and resilience of the Antarctic Treaty System that emerged from the success of the International Geophysical Year” under the theme of “Science as a Tool of Diplomacy in the Antarctic Treaty System.”
Since its signing on December 1, 1959 by the twelve original signatories and its entry into force on June 23, 1961, the Antarctic Treaty has provided an international political tool for the diplomatic management of ten percent of the Earth “for peaceful purposes” and to assist in the arbitration and adjudication of issues related to national claims of sovereignty. The Treaty is one of a number of international agreements which are often referred to as the “Antarctic Treaty System.” The other agreements comprising the “System” are, 1) The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid, 1991), 2) the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (CCAS, London, 1972); and 3) the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR, Canberra, 1980). The latter two agreements, though independent, contain provisions committing their Parties to essential parts of the Antarctic Treaty.
According to the Treaty’s Preamble, “The main purpose of the Antarctic Treaty, … is to ensure "in the interest of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord." According to the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat’s website, the number of signatory nations to the Treaty has grown from the twelve original signatory nations of Argentina, Australia, Belg ium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Russia, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and the United States to forty-seven. As of December 2007 the other thirty-four treaty signatories included, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Italy, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela. Monaco is the newest addition to the list of signatory nations. It became a signatory last year on 31 May 2008. The UK was the first sovereign state to ratify the Antarctic Treaty.
According to the Antarctic Treaty Summit website: “the Antarctic Treaty Summit: Science-Policy Interactions in International Governance will provide an unique international, interdisciplinary and inclusive forum for scientists, legislators, administrators, lawyers, historians, educators, executives, students and other members of civil society to openly:
Assess lessons learned from the Antarctic Treaty System during the past five decades that have legacy value for international governance in general;
Reveal precedents for cooperative planetary-scale governance from one our civilization’s international spaces (i.e., outer space, deep sea and Antarctica); andEstablish broad public awareness around the world about the visionary goals, strategies and achievements that have emerged20from the Antarctic Treaty “in the interest of all mankind.”
As observed by the eminent polar explorer and scientist, Prof. Laurence Gould, during the Antarctic Treaty ratifications hearings in the United States Senate on 14 June 1960:
“The Antarctic Treaty is indispensable to the world of science which knows no national or other political boundaries, but it is much more than that… it is a document unique in history which may take its place alongside the Magna Carta and other great symbols of man's quest for enlightenment and order.”
The host sponsors of the Antarctic Treaty Summit include the Smithsonian Institution, the the University of California Santa Barbara (Bren School of Environmental Science & Management) and the University of Cambridge (Scott Polar Research Institute) in the United Kingdom. The Summit agenda includes participation by the world’s top U.S. and international experts on Antarctica, including: Ambassador R. Tucker Scully, Former Director, Office of Ocean Affairs, Department of State, and Chair of the 32nd Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, United States; Dr. Susan Solomon, Senior Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States and winner of the 2009 Volvo Environment Prize, one of the scientific world’s most respected environmental for mapping the mechanisms underlying the hole in the ozone layer, Professor Mahlon Kennicutt II, President, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), United States, Dr. Karl Erb, Director, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, United States, Mr. Jan Huber, Current Executive Secretary, Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, Argentina, Ambassador Jorge Berguño, Council for Antarctic Policy, M inistry of Foreign Affairs, Chile; and Dr. Maj DePoorter, Chair, Antarctic Advisory Committee, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), New Zealand
The Summit will also include a banquet dinner and the presentation of the 2009 Martha Muse Prize for Antarctic Policy and Research by Ms. Renate Rennie, Chairman and President, Tinker Foundation. For more information about the Antarctic Treaty Summit 2009 see the Summit’s website at http://www.atsummit50.aq/ which also includes a section dedicated to the background, history and text of the Antarctic Treaty.
Other websites of interest on the Antarctica Treaty and Antarctica include:
Antarctica Treaty Secretariat
British Antarctic Survey
The Antarctican Society (http://www.antarctican.org/), U.S.A.