THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
UNITED STATES RATIFIES AGREEMENT TO PROTECT ANTARCTICA
The United States today became a party to the leading international agreement to protect the Antarctic environment. State Department officials in Washington, D.C. deposited the United States' instrument of ratification to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty of 1991.
"This is the product of many years of hard work," said Vice President Al Gore. "Antarctica is a jewel and a unique resource for all people of the world. I am proud that the United States continues to be a leader in global efforts to protect the Antarctic environment."
"Antarctica is especially important to our understanding of global climate change," said the Vice President. "Some of the clearest warning signals about global warming have come from scientific research in Antarctica."
The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty sets forth a comprehensive, legally-binding system of environmental protection that applies to all activities in Antarctica. It reaffirms the status of Antarctica as an area reserved for peaceful purposes, including scientific research.