Every year, States Parties to the Antarctic Treaty meet to exchange information, discuss issues of common interest concerning Antarctica, study, formulate and recommend to their governments measures to ensure compliance with the Treaty’s principles and to achieve its objectives.
This annual meeting is called the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM). Every year, States with the status of Consultative Party take turns organizing, hosting and chairing the ATCM. Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the ATCM was unable to meet in 2020.
In 2021, it’s France’s turn to organize the work of the 43rd ATCM and the 23rd meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection, which will be held during the first week of the ATCM. It is the third time that France is hosting the ATCM, following the 1968 and 1989 meetings.
At the end of 2020, it is still difficult to determine whether, because of the COVID-19 epidemic, delegations will be able to physically meet in Paris or not or whether the ATCM will have to be held by videoconference, like many international conferences and meetings. France is discussing this issue with the Parties to the Treaty and a decision will be taken in due course.
The meeting is tentatively scheduled for 14 to 24 June at the Maison de la Mutualité, in the heart of the Latin Quarter, where France truly hopes that it will be able to host the delegations.