XINHUA: Opening of the Antarctic Forum

The First Grand Humanistic Meeting in Antarctica in History


The Antarctic Forum, participated in and initiated by elites from Hong Kong, New York, Geneva and Paris was held in Antarctica between November 23 and December 2, 2013. Over 170 leaders in a wide variety of industries from all over the world began their expedition to Antarctica on November 19 to attend the first humanistic meeting ever held in Antarctica in history.


The mission of the Forum is to reflect on human civilization, focus on the earth environment, boost balanced development and share common values. The theme of the first Antarctic Forum is ‘Common Interests and Common Responsibilities — the Future Decade for China and the World’. Participants of the forum include leaders in various fields such as diplomacy, academics, economy, finance, arts and media. The forum held over 10 lectures, talks and presentations focusing on such topics as the earth, environment, human beings and the future.


A series of international communication events like theme concerts and theme forums were presented to take the initiative of committing ourselves to environment conservation and harmonious social development, encouraging society to take responsibility when entering the new era of human activities in Antarctica.


The forum held video conferences from Antarctica with institutions like Columbia University of USA and International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) to have high level communications and interactions among different sites. As an achievement of this event, participants of the forum would sign a ‘Common Declaration of the Antarctic Forum.’


‘The Antarctic Forum was initiated by the circles of media and enterprises in which civilians in regions like Hong Kong played a major role, in an attempt to create a kind of mechanism of world common value discussion and Antarctica protection’, said Joan Kaufman, Director of East Asia of Global Centers of Columbia University of USA, one of the organizers of the forum.


‘Seeing with your own eyes the ice arches collapsing in Antarctica due to global warming, you would be greatly shocked in heart. You will change your way of thinking in Antarctica.’


Xinsheng Zhang, President of IUCN as well as one of the initiators of the Antarctic Forum, remarked that the values of all those who have visited Antarctica might be influenced or changed so that they would take specific actions to create value for the society and make a contribution to environment protection.


Jianmin Wu, former China Ambassador to France is also one of the initiators of the Antarctic Forum. He commented that the choice of location for the Antarctic Forum was unique. The Antarctic Forum is an international forum, where participants can sit around to discuss what the world should do today. All countries in the world are facing various problems, no matter whether they are big or small. In this sense, the Antarctic Forum is taking best efforts to seek a better future for human beings in the 21st century .