The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington DC on 1 December 1959, and entered into force on 23 June 1961.

This year, it is the sixtieth anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty.

Currently, the Antarctic Treaty has 29 Consultative Parties and 25 Non-Consultative Parties.

The Antarctic Treaty regulates the legal regime of Antarctica and related areas south of 60° South Latitude. The treaty stipulates that Antarctica may be used only for peaceful purposes. It prohibits any measures of a military nature, such as the establishment of military bases and fortifications, the carrying out of military maneuvers, as well as the testing of any type of weapon. It allows freedom of scientific research in Antarctica. In order to comply with this objective, the Parties agreed to exchange information regarding any projects of their scientific programmes and their results. Periodical inspections are arranged as a tool for ensuring compliance with the Treaty provisions. The Antarctic Treaty further prohibits any nuclear explosions in Antarctica and the disposal of radioactive waste material in these areas. For the period when the Antarctic Treaty is in force all previously made territorial claims are frozen.

After decades of compliance with its primary objectives of peace and promotion of scientific research in the Antarctic continent, the Antarctic Treaty Parties committed themselves to the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment and its dependent and associated ecosystems. Thus, on 4 October 1991, the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was concluded in Madrid. The Protocol, which entered into force in 1998, designated Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science” and established a general prohibition on any activity related to mineral resources, with the exception of scientific research.

Contrary to what is generally believed, neither the Antarctic Treaty, nor its Protocol on Environmental Protection, establish expiration or termination dates. Both documents stipulated a time period as from their entry into force (the Treaty, 30 years, 1991; the Protocol, 50 years, 2048), after which amendments proposed by the Parties cease to require unanimity for their approval, and only begin to require specific majorities.


The Parties to the 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).

Likewise, after the entry into force of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty in 1998, the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) was established. The CEP usually meets at the same time as the ATCM, to discuss issues related to environmental protection and to provide advice to 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 and are the means by which the CEP has been able to adapt to the ever-changing circumstances it has faced thus far.

Countries in charge of hosting the ATCM-CEP are the Consultative Parties, whose sequencing is usually determined by alphabetical order in the English language. Every meeting is attended, besides the representatives of both Consultative and Non-consultative Parties, by 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); as well as 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.

To date, forty-one ATCMs and twenty-one CEP Meetings have taken place. The previous one was XLI ATCM-XXI CEP in Buenos Aires between 13 and 18 May 2018.

This year, the ATCM XLII and CEP XXII will take place in Prague, the Czech Republic, from 1 until 11 July 2019.


2 January 2019
Submission of proposed supplementary agenda items and proposals for inviting additional experts
4 March 2019
Opening of online registration
17 May 2019
Submission of ATCM and CEP Working Papers and other papers for which translation is required
1 June 2019
Submission of ATCM and CEP Information Papers and Background Papers that participants wish to be listed in the Final Report
21 June 2019
Closing of registration
30 June 2019
Opening of Registration Desk at conference venue
1 July 2019
Meeting of the Heads of Delegations
From 1 July to 5 July 2019
CEP Meeting
2 July 2019
Commencement of the ATCM
11 July 2019
Conclusion of the ATCM


ATCM XLII and CEP XXII will be held in the TOP HOTEL PRAGUE,
located at Blažimská 1781/4, Praha 4 – Chodov.

The TOP HOTEL Praha**** offers its guests accommodation, up to 5,000 congress seats, restaurants and bars with Czech and international cuisine, catering, wellness, a Japanese garden and a high-capacity car park.

For further information, please visit:  http://www.tophotel.cz/en/about-hotel/



From Prague Airport:

Prague Airport is about 30km from the Top Hotel, where the meeting will be held.

A taxi from Prague Airport to the Top Hotel should cost around 900 CZK (USD 40, EUR 35 approximately).

Public transport:

From the airport, take bus number 119 to stop “Nádraží Veleslavín” (9 stops), then change to Metro line “A” to the station ”Museum“ and here change to Metro line “C” towards “Háje“, and get off at the station “Chodov“.

After leaving the escalators, turn right and then follow direction Bohdalec, Vršovice.

Then take the first exit on the left (direction Městský archiv).

Then take bus number 115 to the Top Hotel, and get off at the stop “Městský archiv”.

The bus stop is directly in front of the Top Hotel.

SUBWAY DISRUPTION from 29 June until 6 July 2019: Metro line “C” ends at the station “Pražského povstání” from  where it is necessary to take bus “X-C” to the “Chodov” station and then to take bus 115 to the station “Městský archiv”.

At the airport:


International Law Department

ATCM XLII Host Country Secretariat

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Loretánské nám. 5

118 00 Praha 1

Czech Republic

Tel: +420 224 182 489 (Host Country Secretariat) / +420 773 798 804 (for logistic information)

e-mail: atcm42@mzv.cz