Ministerial On Ice Draws Influential Group

  • Simon Upton
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand's Associate Foreign Minister, Hon Simon Upton, announced today that Ministers and officials from 24 countries have accepted his
invitation to the Ministerial on Ice.

Mr Upton welcomed the excellent response from the Antarctic Treaty signatories. "There has never previously been a Ministerial meeting of
Parties to the Antarctic Treaty. For 40 years the Antarctic Treaty System has been run by officials. The Ministerial on Ice has drawn 18 Ministers
or deputy Ministers to Antarctica itself".

"The meeting is designed to be a fact-finding and informal one. It will achieve its primary goal if it focuses significant political attention on the
Continent and its dependent eco-systems". "Antarctica's main defence has been its isolation. It has been "out of sight, out of mind". But,
technological changes are rapidly diminishing that isolation. The recent expansion of illegal toothfishing has shown just how vulnerable this
pristine environment is". "The Environmental Protocol that has recently come into force should provide a measure of protection. But, there still
remains important unfinished business. For example, clear rules deciding the liability for environmental damage have to be negotiated if the
Environmental Protocol is to work properly.

"The Ministerial on Ice will provide an opportunity for Antarctic Ministers to learn about the issues and pressures facing this continent. The
Antarctic Treaty System will need their political direction and encouragement if it is to cope with the twenty-first century's demands".

The Ministers will be based at Scott Base and McMurdo Station. The visit will put the spotlight on the Ross Sea region, its historical significance,
the important scientific work being undertaken there and on New Zealand's role as a leading gateway to the continent.

List of Ministers attending and draft programme attached.

Contact: Paul Goldsmith 04 471 9794 025 477 982
Stuart Prior 04 473 2163


(as at 13/1/99)

Argentina Secretary of Foreign and Latin American Affairs, Ambassador Andrés Cisneros
accompanying official: HE Dr Enrique de la Torre,
Embassy of the Argentine Republic, Wellington
Australia Minister for the Environment, Senator the Hon Robert Hill
accompanying official: Dr Tony Press, Director,
Australian Antarctic Division
Austria Minister of the Environment, Dr Martin Bartenstein
accompanying official: tbc
Bulgaria Vice Minister of Environment, Prof Emil Marinov
accompanying official: Dr Katia Todorova,
International Law Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Canada Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Hon David Anderson
accompanying official: tbc
Chile Vice Minister of Fisheries, Mr Juan Manuel Cruz Sanchez
accompanying official: HE Fernando Reyes Matta,
Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Chile, Wellington
China Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Wang Guangya
accompanying official: Mr Liu Zhenmin, Deputy
Department of Treaty and Law, MFA, Beijing
Ecuador tbc
Finland Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Tarja Halonen
accompanying official: Ambassador Heikki Puurunen,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Helsinki
France President, National Assembly France-New Zealand Friendship Group, M. Gabriel Montcharmont
accompanying official: M. Raffin, diplomatic advisor on Antarctic issues to the Minister for the Environment
Germany Director, International Cooperation Division, Federal
Ministry of Education and Research, Herr Christoph Eitner
India Secretary, Department of Ocean Development, Dr Muthunayagam Italy Deputy Minister, Ministry of University and cientific and
Technological Research, Hon Antonino Cuffaro
accompanying official: Mr Pipan, diplomatic adviser
Japan Ambassador for Global Economic and Environmental Affairs, Mr Kimura, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tokyo
Korea Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mr Kim Sun-kil accompanying official: Mr Lee Gap-Sook, Director-General, Marine Policy
Bureau, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, Seoul
The Netherlands State Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Water Management,
Ms Monique de Vries
accompanying official: Mr Jan Huber, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague
New Zealand Associate Minster of Foreign Affairs, Hon Simon Upton accompanying official: Mr Richard Nottage, Secretary of Foreign Affairs
and Trade
Norway Minister of Justice, Ms Aud Inger Aure accompanying official: Director-General, Department of Polar Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Mr
Torodd Veiding
Peru Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Fernando de Trazegnies accompanying official: Ambassador Carlos Alzamora
Poland President, Academy of Sciences, Professor Leszek Kuznicki Russia Director, International Law Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Moscow, Mr Leonid Skotnikov,
Sweden Minister for the Environment, Mr Kjell Larsson accompanying official: tbc
UK Rt Hon Michael Meacher, Minister for the Environment accompanying official: Mr John White, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London
United States Assistant Secretary of State, Oceans and International
Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Hon Melinda Kimble accompanying official: Ms Mary Beth West, State Department,

Sunday 24 January

0930 Group members arrive at International Antarctic Centre and are kitted out and briefed for Antarctic visit.

1930 welcome dinner, Nga Hau E Wha National Marae, hosted by Christchurch City Council

Monday 25 January

0930 Pre-flight briefing, Passenger Reception Centre

1000 Depart Passenger reception Centre to board RNZAF C130 Hercules

1030 Depart Christchurch for Antarctica

1830 Arrive Pegasus Runway, McMurdo Sound

1930 Dinner, Scott Base

2030 Allocation of accommodation

Move to McMurdo for those allocated there (30 of Ministerial party)

Safety briefing for Scott Base residents

Tuesday 26 January

0730 Breakfast

0830 Group One (20 people) assemble at Scott Base helo pad for Dry Valley/ Cape Evans flight Group Two move to Williams field for Otter
flight to Terra Nova Base (proposed Terra Nova party: Italy, New Zealand, US, France, Australia, plus NZ/Italian escorts) Group Three,
icebreaker visit/cruise

1200 Lunch at McMurdo Station (tbc)

1300 Groups One and Three swap activities

1800 Group Two returns from Terra Nova Base

1900 Dinner at McMurdo Station/Scott Base (where accommodated)

["No fly" contingency: substitute Wednesday programme. If "no fly" both Tuesday and Wednesday, substitute a land-based trip to "room with a
view" and science event.]

Wednesday 27 January

0730 Breakfast

0900 Plenary meeting at Crary Lab, McMurdo Station

(programme subject to adjustments)

0900 - 0915 Welcome/introduction -- Hon Simon Upton

0915 - 0930 The Twenty-Third Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting - HE Dr Fernando de Trazegnies, Foreign Minister of Peru

0930 - 1000 Science in Antarctica -- overview and atmospheric science -- Dr Dean Peterson

1000 - 1030 Paleoclimatic, paleotectonics, geological evolution, global warming, climate change -- Prof Peter Barrett 1030 - 1100 Morning tea

1100 - 1130 Terrestrial biology, human impacts on biota, climate change indicators ? Dr Clive Howard-Williams

1130 - 1200 The Southern Ocean -- marine resources, ocean circulation and climate models -- US scientist (tba)

1200 -1230 The human heritage in Antarctica -- Mr David Crerar, Chair, Antarctic Heritage Trust

1230 - 1250 Management issues into the millennium -- Ms Gillian Wratt

1250 - 1300 Summing up -- Hon Simon Upton

1300 Lunch at McMurdo galley

1400 Local activity options, eg. Crary Lab tour, Chapel of the Snows, Discovery Hut, Castle Rock, Observation Hill 1700 Return to Scott Base

1800 Dinner at Scott Base

Agreement on Antarctic Ministerial declaration

Thursday 28 January

0730 Breakfast and pack for return to Christchurch

0830 Final departure briefing, visit wrap-up

1000 Depart Scott Base for Pegasus Runway, board RNZAF C130 Hercules

1100 Depart McMurdo Sound for Christchurch

1900 Arrive Christchurch

Antarctic Policy Unit

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

January 1999