Relationship between the Environmental Protocol and UNEP Instruments
One of the characteristics of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) is that it has generally sought to remain beyond the reach of a number of important international institutions. The ATS of course operates within the framework of international civil society created by the United Nations system. With the exception of Switzerland, all parties to the Antarctic Treaty1 are members of the UN. The ATS has also been subject to debate within the UN. During the second half of the 1980s and some years of the 1990s, the ATS was required to `defend’ itself against criticism from within the UN General Assembly.2 However, notwithstanding that incidence, the ATS has never actively sought to engage the UN system. This is to be contrasted with the more active engagement between the ATS and other international institutions.3 This engagement has partly been facilitated through the mechanisms of the Antarctic Treaty itself, especially through Articles II and III, which have provided an avenue for active exchange between the ATS and a number of ‘international organisations having a scientific or technical interest in Antarctica’4. The most prominent of these organisations is the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). In addition, institutions such as the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) have all been engaged in the ATS process, principally through invitations to attend Consultative Meetings.5
KeywordsUnited Nations Environment Programme Legal Regime Montreal Protocol Vienna Convention Basel Convention
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