Treaty Secretariat open for business

The Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty has been established following agreement on outstanding organisational issues at the 27th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) last May.

A key step in establishing the Secretariat was the selection of Mr Johannes (Jan) Huber as the inaugural Executive Secretary. His appointment commenced on 1 September 2004, when the Secretariat opened for business in Buenos Aires.

Jan was Chairman of the Netherlands Polar Affairs Committee and has been the Netherlands Representative at the last five Antarctic Treaty meetings. He was largely responsible for the organisation and conduct of the 12th Antarctic Treaty Special Consultative Meeting held in The Hague in 2002, and has played a significant role in negotiating the legal and operational instruments for the Secretariat in his role as Chair of ATCM’s Legal and Institutional Working Group.

The operation of the Treaty Secretariat successfully concludes a sustained effort by Australia and other Parties to modernise the Antarctic Treaty system, by establishing a permanent headquarters to provide essential administrative support.

Warren Papworth
Antarctic and International Policy,
Australian Antarctic Division