United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

29 November 1996



General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Agenda item 62

                            QUESTION OF ANTARCTICA

                         Report of the First Committee

             Rapporteur:  Mr. Parfait-Serge ONANGA-ANYANGA (Gabon)

                               I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   The item entitled "Question of Antarctica" was included in the
provisional agenda of the fifty-first session of the General Assembly
in accordance with Assembly resolution 49/80 of 15 December 1994.

2.   At its 3rd plenary meeting, on 20 September 1996, the General
Assembly, on the recommendation of the General Committee, decided to
include the item in its agenda and to allocate it to the First

3.   The First Committee considered the item at its 26th meeting, on
25 November 1996 (see A/C.1/51/PV.26).

4.   For its consideration of the item, the Committee had before it the
report of the Secretary-General (A/51/390).


5.   At the 26th meeting, on 25 November, the representative of
Malaysia introduced a draft resolution entitled "Question of
Antarctica" (A/C.1/51/L.55), submitted by the Chairman of the

6.   At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution
A/C.1/51/L.55 without a vote (see para. 7).


7.   The First Committee recommends to the General Assembly the
adoption of the following draft resolution:

                            Question of Antarctica

     The General Assembly,

     Recalling its resolution 49/80 of 15 December 1994, in which it
requested the Secretary-General to submit information provided by the
Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties on their consultative meetings
and on their activities, and on developments in relation to

     Taking into account the debates on the question of Antarctica held
since its thirty-eighth session,

     Conscious of the particular significance of Antarctica to the
international community, including for international peace and
security, the global and regional environment, its effects on global
and regional climate conditions, and scientific research,

     Reaffirming that the management and use of Antarctica should be
conducted in accordance with the purposes and principles of the
Charter of the United Nations and in the interest of maintaining
international peace and security and of promoting international
cooperation for the benefit of mankind as a whole,

     Recognizing that the Antarctic Treaty, 1/ which provides,
inter alia, for the demilitarization of the continent, the prohibition
of nuclear explosions and the disposal of nuclear wastes, the freedom
of scientific research and the free exchange of scientific
information, is in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the

     Recognizing also the designation, in the Protocol on Environmental
Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, of Antarctica as a natural reserve
devoted to peace and science and the provisions contained in the
Protocol regarding the protection of the Antarctic environment and
dependent and associated ecosystems, including for environmental
assessment, in the planning and conduct of all activities in

     Welcoming the continuing cooperation among countries undertaking
scientific research activities in Antarctica, which may help to
minimize human impacts on the Antarctic environment,

     Welcoming also the increasing awareness of an interest in
Antarctica shown by the international community, and convinced of the
advantages to the whole of mankind of a better knowledge of

     Reaffirming its conviction that, in the interest of all mankind,
Antarctica should continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful
purposes and that it should not become the scene or object of
international discord,

     1.  Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on the
question of Antarctica 2/ and the role accorded by the Secretary-
General to the United Nations Environment Programme in preparing his
report and also of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Antarctic Treaty
Consultative Meetings, which took place at Seoul on 8 and 9 May 1995
and at Utrecht, the Netherlands, from 29 April to 10 May 1996,

     2.  Recalls the statement under chapter 17 of Agenda 21, 3/
adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, that States carrying out research activities in
Antarctica should, as provided for in article III of the Antarctic
Treaty, continue:

     (a) To ensure that data and information resulting from such
research are freely available to the international community;

     (b) To enhance the access of the international scientific
community and specialized agencies of the United Nations system to
such data and information, including the encouragement of periodic
seminars and symposia;

     3.  Welcomes the invitations to the Executive Director of the
United Nations Environment Programme to attend Antarctic Treaty
Consultative Meetings in order to assist such meetings in their
substantive work, and urges the parties to continue to extend such
invitations for future consultative meetings;

     4.  Welcomes also the practice whereby the Antarctic Treaty
Consultative Parties regularly provide the Secretary-General with
information on their consultative meetings and on their activities in
Antarctica and encourages the Parties to continue to provide the
Secretary-General and other interested States with information on
developments in relation to Antarctica, and requests the Secretary-
General to submit a report which shall consist of that information to
the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session;

     5.  Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-
fourth session the item entitled "Question of Antarctica".



1/   United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 402, No. 5778.

2/   A/51/390.

3/   See Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992 (A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1
(Vol. I and Vol. I/Corr.1, Vol. II, Vol. III and Vol. III/Corr.1))
(United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda),
vol. I:  Resolutions Adopted by the Conference, resolution I, annex
II, chap. 17, para. 17.105.


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Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
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