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For Oral Answer on : 27/01/2022
Question Number(s): 21 Question Reference(s): 3634/22
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs further to Parliamentary Question No. 52 of 30 September 2021, if his Department has undertaken an assessment of Ireland’s possible accession to the Antarctic Treaty System; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


I updated the House on the question of Ireland’s accession to the Antarctic Treaty System on 30 September 2021. I was also pleased to participate in the Seanad debate on the Antarctic Treaty System on 8 December 2021, and to provide a further update at that time.  

As I noted, the Department of Foreign Affairs has tasked a number of Embassies accredited to countries of comparable size with seeking insights from those countries about their accession to the Antarctic Treaty, including in terms of the legislative, policy and administrative requirements, and the ongoing requirements of membership. The Department has also requested its Embassies in a number of countries with a common law system to gather detailed information on the measures taken to implement the ATS there.

Separately, the Department has prepared detailed Terms of Reference for an analysis to be carried out of the range of legislative, policy and administrative measures required at domestic level in order to accede to the Antarctic Treaty System. A request for tenders for this analysis exercise issued on 24 January. Individuals with relevant credentials and expertise in the field have been sourced and identified, to be invited to submit a proposal to complete this analysis by early March.

This detailed analysis will form the basis for subsequent work with relevant Government Departments. Any specific legislative proposals arising from the assessment would be submitted for approval in the ordinary way, prior to accession.