Material for the 2013 Press Release of People’s Daily

Interviews from People's Daily Ye Zhenzhen and Jiang Xuejie

(Subtitle) Why is it named "Antarctic Forum"? Why go to Antarctica?


Zhang Xinsheng(One of the founders of the Antarctic Forum and Chairman of the IUCN Council):


Politically speaking, Antarctica is the only region in the world that does not belong to any country. From the economic concept, the Antarctic contains huge resources, minerals, fresh water, krill... it is the last cornucopia of mankind, and these Wealth does not belong to any country.


In 1958, representatives of 12 countries held more than 60 meetings and finally reached the Antarctic Treaty on December 1, 1959. The treaty entered into force on June 23, 1961.


Before the signing of the Antarctic Treaty, many countries have submitted territorial claims to the Antarctic continent. The struggle is fierce, and some have almost reached the point where they meet each other. The Antarctic Treaty freezes the territorial claims of all countries, that is, “can appeal, but cannot act”; all resources cannot be developed, and once developed, they must be shared; all scientific research results are shared by all members. The Antarctic Treaty fully reflects the views of civil society in various countries at that time. It can be said that the Antarctic Treaty is a model for handling multiple types of disputes and multiple types of appeals.


The "Antarctic Forum" initiated by elites from Hong Kong, New York, Geneva, Paris and other places will open on November 23 in the Antarctic. There are now many forums where every delegate and every country is defending and fighting for their own interests. A philosopher has said that the common interests of mankind are greater than different interests. We need a forum and a platform to discuss the common responsibilities and common interests of human beings. This common interest is not opposed to individual interests, but includes individual interests. Based on this consideration and based on the characteristics of the Antarctic, we believe that it is more appropriate to use "Antarctic" as the name of this forum.



Yip Kungwai (Vice President of the Antarctic Society, Deputy Secretary-General of the Antarctic Forum):


According to the Antarctic Treaty adopted in June 1961, the territorial sovereignty requirements of the nine countries on the Antarctic continent were frozen, and the Antarctic can only be used for peaceful purposes. It can be said that the Antarctic does not belong to any country now, and it belongs to all mankind.


The Antarctic is a clean continent that has not been developed and is not polluted on the earth. It contains countless scientific mysteries and information. The Antarctic expedition plays an important role in many scientific fields such as the global environmental climate, astronomy, geology, biology, etc. The Antarctic is the common wealth of the earth, and its rich resources and energy have important economic significance for the scientific research country; The continuous and in-depth development of the scientific research field has important social and political significance for realizing sustainable development of society, stimulating the national spirit, and demonstrating the comprehensive strength of the country.


Many people have been entangled in " whether to go to the South Pole?" because they are worried about breaking the Antarctic and destroying the ecological landscape of the Antarctic. However, if you don't know a place, it's hard to really protect it. The entire Antarctic is equivalent to 1.5 China, but the number of tourists controlled by strict numbers is less than 20,000 per year. Therefore, for Antarctica, the impact of a visitor has little effect on it, and each one is strictly controlled. Visitors will always remember: except for the footprints, nothing is brought in; except for memories, nothing is taken away.


Only when you really reach the South Pole will you experience an unforgettable baptism from the pure beauty of the Antarctic. A worship of nature constantly inspires you to re-recognize and think about the value of life. You will really find that your past goals and values of life have been subverted in this Antarctic trip. This is the unique magical role of Antarctica. This is the spirit and value that Antarctic gives us. Travel is not only the arrival of the body, but the soul is also in sync with it.


The Antarctic Forum does not have to be held in Antarctica, but the first forum must be held in Antarctica.



Zhang Yuyan(One of the founders of the Antarctic Forum and director of the Institute of World Economy and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences):


First of all,I think the Antarctic is a mysterious and attractive place. Secondly, the Antarctic locates in a unique position in human life. It can be described as a pure land without “masters” which belongs to a globally managed area. This transcends the interests of individuals and groups. Based on the Antarctic Treaty, mankind has not competed for the land of Antarctica, but has maintained its tranquility for so many years through negotiation. This has a special status in human cooperation and competition.


It is a good thing to reach a consensus and take the initiative to take responsibility for the benefit of mankind. This is why I am willing to participate.


After knowing the Antarctic Forum, I participated in several preparatory meetings to discuss the theme and charter of the forum. In February, we went to the Antarctic continent. We also discussed a lot of questions about the Antarctic line in November, including who should be invited, what the goal is, and what the theme is. The first thing to be determined is: First, the forum is very symbolic to the south, the name, It is the origin of the topic, but the problem we are discussing is not only the Antarctic, but also the issue of humanity. Second, the forum should discuss the common destiny and challenges of human beings, such as ecological issues, such as the provision of public goods in the world.


Human development has a common purpose, but under the common goal, the cost of each participant on the way to achieve the goal is not average, there will always be a "free rider" situation, which is not good. As an platform, the Antarctic Forum should enable countries and groups to clarify common responsibilities, promote global solutions, and seek global consensus.



Joan Kaufman(One of the organizers of the Antarctic Forum, Director of East Asia at Columbia University Global Center):


I am the Director of East Asia at Columbia University Global Center. Our center undertakes coordination between the mainland, Hong Kong and Columbia University in the Antarctic Forum. We have been deeply involved throughout the launch event and have done a lot of contact work as a coordinator between the Antarctic Forum and Columbia University.


I think the ecological environment of the Antarctic is being threatened because of people's excessive fishing and other behaviors. I hope that this forum will create a platform for the world to reach some consensus, such as not overfishing, limiting the number of tourists and other ecologically harmful behaviors. This is a good opportunity to focus specifically on discussions in different fields. Let us know how the Antarctic Treaty is formed and what the future direction will be.



(Subtitle) Focusing on the common interests of mankind, there is a lot to talk about


YipKungwai (Vice President of the Antarctic Society, Deputy Secretary-General of the Antarctic Forum):


The most important core of the Antarctic spirit and the Antarctic value is the common interests and shared responsibilities of mankind. This is the highest interest of mankind. This concept seems to be more abstract, but it does reflect the philosophical thinking and ultimate concern of a nation, a country, and the value orientation and thinking boundary of its thoughts and social elites.


Zhang Yuyan(One of the founders of the Antarctic Forum and director of the Institute of World Economy and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences):


"Common interests and shared responsibility - the world and China in the next 10 years", this theme of the Antarctic Forum seems to be abstract, but it is very specific. The provision of global public goods is a shared responsibility that needs to be shared. We hope that everyone can reach this consensus. Then we can explore climate issues, stabilize the trading system, counter-terrorism issues, and protect environmental issues. The Antarctic Forum is An open platform that covers all issues.


Will this be too broad? We propose to first seek the opinions of all parties and ask them to answer the biggest questions and challenges facing the world in the next decade. Among these answers, we may take the top issues as the topic. Even our first forum will allow you to ask questions and discuss "what is the challenge", first to form a consensus on issues and challenges.


In forming consensus, discussing issues, and finding solutions, the Antarctic Forum and other forums may not be much different; the difference is that the Antarctic Forum is concerned with human general issues, long-term issues, rather than a single field. Problems, such as the Davos Forum, may focus on all aspects of the economy, and for the Antarctic Forum, it is more general.


Zhang Xinsheng(One of the founders of the Antarctic Forum and Chairman of the IUCN Council):


The theme of the 2013 Antarctic Forum is: “Common interests and shared responsibility – the world and China in the next 10 years”. The guests will elaborate on their own views around this theme, and finally we will present an Antarctic Forum Declaration for the participants to sign. Up to now, we have collected dozens of topics from guests around the world. Overall, the content of these topics is nothing more than eight words: "Earth, Environment, Humanity, Future."


At the Boao Forum in April this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping repeatedly talked about the "common development" of all countries in the world and emphasized the common interests and common responsibilities of all countries.


The purpose of the Antarctic Forum is to "think human civilization, pay attention to the global environment, promote balanced development, and achieve common values." We explore the concept of "new civilization", what kind of lifestyle and development methods should we pursue? Is it still only concerned about how big the car is and how big is the house? We can no longer pursue the maximization of GDP, but should consider how much GDP is most suitable; enterprises can no longer only pursue the maximization of interests, but should meet the needs of society. At the Boao Forum in April this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping repeatedly talked about the "common development" of all countries in the world and emphasized the common interests and common responsibilities of all countries.


Joan Kaufman(One of the organizers of the Antarctic Forum, Director of East Asia at Columbia University Global Center):


First, the forum can focus on climate change, the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet, the impact of global warming and sea level rise on the Antarctic, and the role of changes in the Antarctic environment on the world. Second, regarding international relations, the Antarctic Treaty was enacted after the Second World War. Now we have a deeper understanding of climate science. How should we renegotiate and negotiate, formulate new treaties, and jointly tackle global warming? . Third, how to avoid excessive tourism development in Antarctica and maintain the original beauty of Antarctica. There are many topics that can be discussed.



(Subtitle) Go with thoughts and questions, go back with responsibilities and missions


Zhang Xinsheng(One of the founders of the Antarctic Forum and Chairman of the IUCN Council):


In the 2013 Antarctic event, more than 170 people went to the South Pole for ten days. At the same time, there will be about 30-50 scientists, entrepreneurs, and politicians conducting video conferences in Europe or the United States. In this way, more elites can participate in the Antarctic Forum.


The theme of the forum seems to be macro, but it is related to everyone, and it will inevitably affect everyone's behavior. Every year, 30,000 people go to the South Pole, half of the exams, and half of them. If so many people go for pure travel, it is definitely a kind of destruction and waste. In these places, letting out a part of the elite, let the elite go with thoughts and problems, with responsibility and mission back, will have great value.


Everyone's behavior, every point of excessive development, will be reflected in the Antarctic, and it is confirmed. When you witness the ice arches of the Antarctic collapsed because of global warming, the mind will be greatly shaken. In an environment like Antarctica, people's thinking changes.


After a famous entrepreneur went to the South Pole, he said that his thinking about his future life has changed. A pair of ordinary retired workers and couples traveled around the world. After going to Antarctica, they said that they had a new understanding of the value of life, and they were already around 70 years old. We hope that more elites can participate in the Antarctic, improve their values and influence more people.


Zhang Yuyan(One of the founders of the Antarctic Forum and director of the Institute of World Economy and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences):


Everyone who has been to Antarctica knows that there are strict rules for boarding the Antarctic continent. There is a saying: "What is brought is the eyes, the imprint is taken away, and the footprints are left." In terms of environmental protection, we will try our best to do our best. I have also been entangled in why this forum must be held in the Antarctic continent. Such a forum that explores the common interests and shared responsibilities of human beings seems to be wherever it is. But after I have been there, I believe that there is a kind of income that looks like a "ritual", but it has very practical value.


The cost of going to the South Pole is very high and the time is long. It is actually very painful on board. Still, it is worthwhile to go to this. There we witnessed the collapse of the glacier arch. At that time, the Antarctic was in the summer. Perhaps this situation is not particularly shocking. What is even more shocking is that the tour guide who has worked in Antarctica for more than ten years said that the bare rock on the coast today is more than a dozen. When he first came, he was completely invisible. The gradual exposure proved that the temperature in the Antarctic is indeed rising year by year. This kind of immersive feeling is not found in other places. In the South Pole, you will really feel that these problems are not personal matters, not things of a certain country, but things of all mankind.


Joan Kaufman(One of the organizers of the Antarctic Forum, Director of East Asia at Columbia University Global Center):


The global video connection forum way allows more people to participate. Many people don't have time to go to the South Pole, but through video connection, we have the opportunity to hear more voices and more from Columbia University or other institutions. Scientists can share ideas.



(Subtitle) "Antarctic Forum" does not necessarily have to go to Antarctica


Over the past year or so, our team has visited nearly 100 international and domestic leaders, economics, science and technology, culture, religion, sports, art, and government leaders. Thanks to the care and guidance of leaders and friends today. With support, the Antarctic Forum has evolved from pre-planning, the establishment of the host institution, the establishment of the preparatory committee, and the comprehensive development of today's work.


 At present, we have registered and set up the Antarctic Forum non-profit organization in Hong Kong. We have also determined the timing of the Antarctic Forum Preparatory Meeting, the official Antarctic Forum meeting, the structure of the Antarctic Forum Organizing Committee ...


Zhang Xinsheng(One of the founders of the Antarctic Forum and Chairman of the IUCN Council):


From the idea of founding the Antarctic Forum to today, in less than two years, the content of the Antarctic Forum has been much richer, but there are still many difficulties. We do not have a ready-made model to study, no theory, no professional team, no government and state-owned institutions to provide funding, and we are still groping in the way of communication. We want to make society more comprehensive and accurate about the Antarctic Forum.


Of course, the Antarctic Forum does not necessarily have to go to Antarctica. "Antarctica" is a name and one of the topics of the forum. Our upcoming Antarctic trip in 2013 is just one of the activities of the Antarctic Forum. In addition, we will form a regular mechanism. Next year, we will launch the "Antarctic Think Tank" and the "Antarctic Club".


Antarctica is a platform that can interact frequently, mainly attracting business elites. After they are materially rich, they need to think about spiritual contributions and responsibilities. In the past, we pursued to maximize the enterprises and make the most money. In the future, we must think about how to do our best, how to let enterprises create value for society, and how to contribute to environmental protection. Changes in the business elite will directly affect the specific behavior of enterprises.


The Antarctic think tank is the "source of thought." Next year, we will establish links with more international institutions, organizations and schools to cooperate and bring together academics from various fields into a professional team. There may be only a few dozen experts at the beginning, and they will grow to hundreds in the future. Every year, we release an Antarctic report. This report not only refers to Antarctica, but to the world, to the common issues of mankind, and to the common wisdom and needs of mankind. Members of think tanks need to raise several issues related to human development each year. After being organized by special committees, different expert groups are formed to hold highly specialized in-depth discussions. Members express their views, seek answers, and propose solutions.


Zhang Yuyan(One of the founders of the Antarctic Forum and director of the Institute of World Economy and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences):


 If there is only a forum, there will be no long-term influence after the end of forum, but the research of think tanks can attract long-term attention and form long-term effects. I think that the Antarctic Forum can produce a report every year. This report can have an impact on decision makers in various countries and major enterprises and promote the spread of ideas.


Joan Kaufman(One of the organizers of the Antarctic Forum, Director of East Asia at Columbia University Global Center):


 As a think tank, it can deeply participate in global governance, guide dialogue on Antarctica, and extend its influence to the general public. Share information and play a leading role in reducing Antarctic ecological damage. I haven't heard that there are other think tanks about Antarctica in the world. The Antarctic Forum is a great way to help China and other scientists around the world to find cognitive differences and let Chinese scientists work with international teams to protect Antarctica.



(Subtitle) Elite Forum: It can affect both the government and the people 


Zhang Xinsheng


 The purpose of this forum is: "It is committed to influencing and improving the thinking and values of the world and China's elite groups, for the benefit of mankind." Why elites? Because we believe that the elites should take more responsibility, we hope to improve their worldview and values. On the other hand, elites include scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and other people who can affect both government officials and ordinary people. If this group can lead as example, it will have a big impact on the world.


Scientists who have studied Antarctica in Europe and America said that they have done research on Antarctica for decades, but they always define it at the scientific level and the environmental level, and they have never entered the ideological level or the social level. If thoughts and values are injected, it's like injecting new blood into research, and its influence will affect everyone.


When discussing with UNESCO, we also want to radiate the Antarctic Forum to the field of education so that primary and middle school students and children can understand Antarctica so that they can have the concept and vision of a large society such as "Earth" and "Humanity."


Zhang Yuyan


 The elite forum I understand is a high-level forum. It is a forum for decision-makers and people who influence decision-making. These people have a direct impact on human processes, and their responsibilities are above average. You can indirectly affect more people through them.


Joan Kaufman


 The Antarctic Forum will work closely with the media to strengthen public education about Antarctica and guide society as a whole, not just change the elite. The forum should change people's thinking and make people more concerned about the threat to the environment. And it should be a global action, not just a Chinese action. At the same time, protecting Antarctica should also be the key role to corporate responsibility. Fishery companies and shipping companies should not overfish in Antarctica to help them understand the content of the new Antarctic Treaty. Balancing economic interests is a common goal worldwide. While pursuing economic interests, companies need to learn more about Antarctica and care about environmental protection.



(Subtitle) Initiated by civilian forces, shared responsibility 


Zhang Xinsheng


China should bear more responsibilities and obligations. Our approach to the world is not based on commercial mergers and acquisitions, not on several performances, not on possession and solicitation, but on participation and integration into the world by taking on responsibilities and obligations.


Zhang Yuyan


 The Antarctic Forum is not a government action or an official action. It is an international forum initiated by people of insight around the world. The energy and funds invested by Chinese entrepreneurs show that the Chinese are willing to assume common responsibilities for the common interests of mankind, and that China is part of the world.


As an economist, I hope that through the Antarctic Forum and its follow-up activities and work, we can reach a consensus among all mankind, that is, we have common interests, and at the same time realize that we share common responsibilities in the process of realizing common interests . In addition, I hope that through the Antarctic Forum, we can find a good incentive mechanism to motivate people to take the initiative and assume their own roles, instead of relying only on moral constraints.


Joan Kaufman


The Antarctic Forum is a new thing and a very important thing. We need a platform for public diplomacy, and the Antarctic Forum is a good example. It has created a good discussion of global science and technology and international relations around issues of global concern. This model of the Antarctic Forum can also be used in other important areas. Civilians in places like Hong Kong have played an important role in international affairs, trying to create a mechanism to discuss the common values of the world and the protection of Antarctica. This is a successful initiative of public diplomacy.