BEIJING: Over 400 delegates from 42 countries will participate in an annual meeting in China focusing on climate change and Antarctic's special protection and management, an official said today.
For the first time, China will hold the 40th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and 20th Committee for Environmental Protection meetings from May 22 to June 1, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli will attend the ceremony and deliver the opening speech, she said. The ATCM is an annual decision-making mechanism established under the the Antarctic Treaty. China acceded to the Antarctic Treaty in 1983 and became a consultative member two years later. "This is the first time for China to hold the consultative meeting," said Hua.
Over 400 delegates from 42 countries and 10 international organisations have already signed up for the meetings. Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi will hold a welcome banquet and give a speech, Hua said.
The main focuses of the meetings will include the operation of the Antarctic Treaty system, climate change, tourism and Antarctic's special protection and management regions. "We will issue a press communique as the host country to present main achievements of the meetings," Hua said. "We will also hold a special meeting, issue 'China's Antarctic Undertaking' and sign memorandum of understanding with the United States, Russia and Germany," Hua said.