Antarctic Treaty Secretariat
The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat (ATS) is an organization created in 2003 by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) for the management of several ATCM tasks such as the support of the annual meeting of signatory countries of the Antarctic Treaty, and the publication of the ATCM annual report. The Secretariat was created through Measure 1 (2003), adopted by the XXVI Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting held in Madrid (Spain). Apart from establishing the Secretariat, Measure 1 (2003) also sets up the Secretariat's functions and budget.
Other activities carried out by the Secretariat include the support between sessions for the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP), improving the communication between signatories of the treaty, as well as recompilation, storage and distribution of information, such as the ATCM and CEP records.
The organization's first Executive Secretary was Mr. Jan Huber, from the Netherlands. Mr. Huber occupied this position for 5 years until 31 August 2009. He was succeeded on 1 September 2009 by Mr. Manfred Reinke (Germany) who was elected in April 2009 by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Baltimore (US).
The Antarctic Treaty operated without any permanent institution until 1 September 2004, when the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat started operations in Buenos Aires. Under direction of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, the Secretariat works to:
- Prepare and support the ATCM and other meetings
- Collect, maintain and publish the records of the ATCM
- Facilitate the exchange of information between the Parties required under the Treaty and the Protocol
- Provide information about the Antarctic Treaty system to the public