Sweden Initiates Antarctic Inspection
On a Swedish initiative, a number of research stations in Antarctica are to be inspected shortly. For the first time in 13 years, Sweden, together with France, Italy and New Zealand, will participate in an inspection group.
Two Swedes will be taking part, Ambassador Greger Widgren from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Head of the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat, Anders Karlqvist.
According to Widgren ”The point of departure for these inspections is the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. Under the Treaty, the continent is reserved for peaceful purposes, primarily research.
He added that ”This also guarantees the continent’s demilitarised and neutral status.”
The Treaty’s environmental provisions are stringent. Each signatory state of the Treaty is entitled to inspect another state’s research station to ensure compliance with the relevant provisions.
In 2005, Sweden chaired and hosted an international conference on Antarctica in Stockholm and took the initiative for an inspection of stations that are seldom or never inspected.