The Council of the Antarctic Treaty ANTT
GROUP: SPECIALIZED AGENCIES
- Topic A: The Allocation of Resources
- Topic B: Climate Change
TOPIC A The Allocation of Resources
TOPIC B Climate Change
DELEGATION SIZE Double
- Hugo Barrillon
- Michael Tolchinsky
On December 1st 1959, 12 countries came together to establish the Antarctic Treaty System, which entered into force in 1961 as a way to regulate the use of the entire Antarctic and its resources. Over time, the original 12 signatories swelled to 53, with 29 countries’ representative having voting status. Furthermore, an ever increasing number (over 200) of recommendations have been adopted in this time period, complicating the legal waters of the treaty and leaving it with no clear direction. As a result, in 2019, the 29 consultative signatories of the Antarctic Treaty have come together to discuss and form the framework of what role Antarctica is going to play in the future with regards to its resources and how they can respond to issues facing this continent.
Topic A regards the hotly debated matter of the allocation of the Antarctic’s resources. This is a clash of many positions, ranging from full exploitation to leaving it almost entirely untouched. Due to the extent and scope of resources that have been hitherto more or less unexplored, many countries have desired active involvement in enterprises within tourism, scientific research, mineral and fossil fuel exploration, sport, infrastructure, and more, leaving a great amount of debate to be had between the conflicting ideologies.
Topic B concerns the issue of climate change and global warming, and its subsequent effect on the Antarctic as a whole. Given that it holds over 70% of the world’s fresh water, the predicted rise rise in global temperatures would leave this area as perhaps the most affected globally, not only in terms of human activity on the continent but also as far as its flora, fauna and physical geography. Thus, investigating its potential impact is vital.