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Goff welcomes formation of Antarctic Secretariat

Goff welcomes formation of Antarctic Secretariat

Foreign Minister Phil Goff has welcomed news that the Antarctic Treaty meeting in Madrid has decided to establish a Secretariat.

“New Zealand has been fully committed to establishing a secretariat as it will strengthen the Antarctic Treaty System by assisting parties with the exchange of information and by providing support for the annual meetings,” Mr Goff said.

The Secretariat will be based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and will also service the annual meetings of the Treaty's Committee for Environmental Protection. Antarctica was designated as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science under an environmental protocol concluded in 1991.

New Zealand was one of 12 original signatories to the Antarctic Treaty in 1959. There are currently 45 signatories, of whom 27, including New Zealand, are consultative parties and conduct scientific research in Antarctica.

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