About the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting

The Parties to the Antarctic Treaty meet every year at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative meeting to exchange information, to consult together on matters of common interest pertaining to Antarctica, and to formulate, consider, and recommend measures to their Governments.

The Parties to the Antarctic Treaty, in compliance with its Article IX, meet every year “for the purpose of exchanging information, consulting together on matters of common interest pertaining to Antarctica, and formulating, and considering, and recommending to their Governments measures in furtherance of the principles and objectives of the Treaty”.

These meetings are known as Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCM). Consultative Parties host the ATCM-CEP and the sequencing of the hosts is usually determined by alphabetical order in the English language. It is now the first time that Finland hosts the ACTM having accepted as a consultative party in 1989. The previous one, the ATCM XLIV was held in Berlin, Germany.

Protocol on Environmental Protection entered into force in 1998 and the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) was established. Since then, the CEP has usually met at the same time as the ATCM, to discuss issues related to environmental protection and to provide advice to the ATCM. Similar to previous years, the CEP meeting takes place during the first week of the ATCM.

Both the ATCM and CEP adopt, by way of consensus, those measures, decisions, resolutions and recommendations that guarantee the operation of the Treaty System. Every meeting is attended by the representatives of both Consultative and Non-consultative Parties, the observers from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), and the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) and many other experts who are specially invited to the meeting, representing both intergovernmental organizations and civil society. All participants contribute to the deliberations; however, only Consultative Parties take part in the decision-making process. The number of participants is more than 300.

To date, forty-four ATCMs and twenty-four CEP Meetings have taken place. The previous one was XLIV ATCM-XXII CEP hosted by Germany in Berlin 23 May till 2 June 2022.

The ATCM XLV and CEP XXV will take place in Helsinki, Finland, 29 May till 8 June 2023.