Polar Perspectives No. 9 | The Antarctic Treaty System in 2021: Important Anniversaries but Challenges for Consensus Decision-Making
2021 marked several major Antarctic anniversaries: the Antarctic Treaty System celebrated the 60th anniversary of the entry into force of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the 1991 Madrid Protocol, and the 40th meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. However, 2021 saw challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and growing internal tensions among ATS members. The actions of some participants were considered inconsistent with the spirit and practice of consensus—a fundamental tenet of the Antarctic Treaty. In Polar Perspectives No. 9, a team of Australian scholars assesses current aspects of the way the ATS is operating and the extent to which it is successfully managing both enduring and emerging geopolitical tensions.
Lynda (Lyn) Goldsworthy
Since its inception in 2017, the Polar Institute has become a premier forum for discussion and policy analysis of Arctic and Antarctic issues, and is known in Washington, DC and elsewhere as the Arctic Public Square. The Institute holistically studies the central policy issues facing these regions—with an emphasis on Arctic governance, climate change, economic development, scientific research, security, and Indigenous communities—and communicates trusted analysis to policymakers and other stakeholders. Read more