Ministers on ice

 
Published: Sunday 28 February 1999

the world's only uninhabited continent Antarctica, is coming under increasing environmental stress. Ministers and senior officials from 24 nations gathered on the vast frozen Antarctic, issuing a plea to safeguard the world's last truly pristine wilderness. They added that by making this first-ever official-level trip to the continent, environmental issues in the Antarctic would receive a boost. The group, comprising of 24 representatives from 43 signatories to the 1959 Antarctica Treaty, was flown by two New Zealand Air Force transport planes to Scott Base. Wrapped in his extreme-cold weather-clothing, Peruvian foreign minister Fernando de Trazegnies stepped onto the ice and said it was beyond anything he could imagine. "Perhaps the pilot was wrong, he has not brought us to Antarctica but to the moon," he said.

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