This article draws on the work of John Lewis Gaddis, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian particularly well known for his scholarship on the Cold War. In his 1986 paper, “The Long Peace: Elements of Stability in the Postwar International System” Gaddis posited a range of plausible reasons for why neither the United States nor the Soviet Union took the ultimate step of initiating a nuclear war against the other. This restraint was founded on principles of mutual understanding of the consequences of such an action and contributed to what he termed the ‘long peace’ in post-Cold War international relations. This article examines why there has also been a ‘long peace’ in Antarctic relations, using Gaddis’s theories and applying them to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties’ dealings with each other in the context of the Antarctic Treaty System – the legal regime that governs Antarctica. It finds that despite a radically different set of international relations circumstances today, Gaddis’s theories hold true. How long this long peace will last is not the point here; merely that it exists is cause for optimism.
Antarctic commentary is usually full of superlatives when describing 50 years of the Antarctic Treaty and the subsequent system that was developed by its Parties. Primarily this is because the Antarctic Treaty itself has lasted so long, and appears to be robust and enduring. This short paper looks at what is on the horizon for the Parties to the various instruments of the Antarctic Treaty System – the Antarctic Treaty and its Protocol on Environmental Protection, and the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. It identifies a number of key areas of concern that will challenge the Parties’ ability to maintain the successful status quo of today and meet the future with confidence. The future, characterised by the changing climate, will test the Parties in a number of crucial ways, including bringing into question their long-held principles of diplomacy and consensus decision-making.
Cheryle Hislop and Julia Jabour
Julia Jabour and Danielle Smith
Zia E. Madani and Julia Jabour
The Antarctic offers unique opportunities to scientists in many disciplines for improving understanding of regional and global conditions. The governing Antarctic Treaty has 53 State Parties, many of which do not have geographical proximity to the continent. However, the importance of various disciplines of science and many other factors, urge them to participate in the Antarctic scientific activities. Therefore, it is not surprising that Iran is considering participation in Antarctic scientific research, and it has now set processes in motion to join these states in their endeavour to undertake research in Antarctica and contribute to its governance. Iran will develop a strategic plan prior to the commencement of its Antarctic activities, outlining its vision and objectives of an Antarctic program, as well as the financial and logistical implications, and is currently undertaking preparatory work that will culminate in the drafting of an Antarctic strategic plan. In doing so, the authors examined a number of factors including ones that could be identified in Antarctic law and policy as influencing the status and development of the existing Antarctic regime, the recent Antarctic Treaty States’ accession processes and strategies, the express or implied motivations for States to join the Antarctic Treaty, and generally the Antarctic Treaty System, all of which can be reached based on the aforementioned examination that can be incorporated in an Iranian Antarctic science roadmap.
Johnny Grøneng Aase and Julia Jabour
In 2000, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a new requirement for all international and cargo ships exceeding a certain size, and all passenger ships, to carry Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders capable of providing information about the ship to other ships and to coastal authorities automatically. The requirement became effective for all ships on 31 December 2004. AIS provides other vessels with information about, for example, a ship’s identity, position, course, speed and destination.
The IMO is finalizing implementation of the Polar Code for the safety of vessels, which will apply in both polar waters and will require additional information about the profile of the fleets of ships operating there. However it must be noted that the AIS data is generally only available from legitimate operators (for example, licensed fishers, tourist operators and vessels on government service) and if the AIS transponder is turned off, the vessel becomes virtually invisible. This methodology, therefore, is not a stand-alone system.
Norway has currently two satellites in polar orbit capable of receiving AIS signals. AIS is an excellent tool to track tourist vessels and as such create situational awareness and assist in search and rescue operations in the Arctic. The paper presents findings from three regions in the High Arctic: east of the coast of Greenland, north of Svalbard and surrounding the Russian archipelago of Franz Joseph Land, for the years 2010 to 2014 about maritime activities in these regions with a focus on passenger and fishing vessels. It also suggests other satellite-based means for verifying the AIS data.
Sune Tamm, Julia Jabour and Rachael Lorna Johnstone
On 13th October 2015, Iceland quietly submitted its instrument of accession to the Antarctic Treaty to the US Department of State (the depositary for the Antarctic Treaty). Iceland’s accession was not accompanied by any official declaration or public discussion in Iceland or elsewhere. This paper investigates some of the factors that are likely to have spurred the decision to join the Antarctic treaty system, examines current Icelandic interests in the Antarctic and proposes constructive policies to enhance Icelandic involvement in Antarctic governance and cooperation following the accession. The authors conclude that logistical operations and adventure tourism involving Icelandic companies in the Antarctic are the most likely triggers for the accession and they propose that Iceland consider ratification of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid Protocol).