Closer Antarctic Cooperation Between New Zealand and Norway

  • Simon Upton
Antarctic Affairs

New Zealand and Norway concluded a Statement of Antarctic Cooperation today. The Statement was signed by the Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Minister responsible for Antarctic Affairs, Hon Simon Upton, and the Norwegian Ambassador from Canberra,
Mr Kjell-Martin Frederiksen.

"This Statement reflects our shared commitment to the environmental protection and wise stewardship of Antarctica within the framework of the Antarctic Treaty System and our interest in future Antarctic scientific collaboration," Mr Upton said. "It reflects the fact that we share a history of involvement in Antarctica and have many interests in common as leading Antarctic players."

"We are particularly pleased to be signing this statement at the time when our Antarctic relations with Norway are expanding. As the immediate past host of an Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, we are happy to assist Norway in any way in its preparations for the next ATCM in Tromso n 1998. We are also encouraged by the constructive and useful collaboration we are building in Southern Ocean fisheries matters, where we
are working together to try to curb the plundering of toothfish."

Background Information

New Zealand has concluded bilateral Antarctic Statements and Agreements with several countries in recent years, including Argentina, Chile, France, South Africa and Switzerland.

Recent Antarctic links with Norway include the Prime Minister's invitation to the Norwegian adventurer Borge Ousland to return with him from Antarctica in January after Ousland's solo crossing of the continent. Norway gifted a model of Amundsen's vessel, the "Fram", to Canterbury Museum during the Christchurch ATCM.

The Christchurch-based International Centre for Antarctic Information and research (ICAIR) has established a link with the Norwegian arctic research centre at Arendal, Norway, for the exchange of environmental and scientific information about the Arctic and Antarctic. ICAIR and
Arendal are part of the United Nations Environment Programme's Global Resource Information Database (GRID) system.