As of May 2000, 15 additional nations (Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Spain, and Uruguay) achieved consultative status by acceding to the Treaty and by conducting substantial scientific research in Antarctica. Russia has signatory privileges and responsibilities established by the former Soviet Union from the original signing. Another 18 nations became parties to the Antarctic Treaty with observational status: Austria, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela. These nations agree to abide by the treaty and may attend consultative meetings as observers, making a total of 45 Antarctic Treaty nations which represent approximately two-thirds of the world's human population.
Consultative meetings have been held approximately every other year since the treaty entered into force, but since 1993 they have been held more frequently. Each meeting generates recommendations regarding operation of the treaty that, when ratified by the participating governments, become binding on the parties to the treaty. Additional meetings within the Antarctic Treaty System produce agreements on conservation of seals, conservation of living resources, and comprehensive environmental protection. The Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) is now held annually, and the 2007 ATCM XXX meeting will be held in New Dehli in April and May, 2007. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is an observer at ATCMs and provides independent scientific advice to the ATCM as requested in a variety of fields, and, particularly, on environmental and conservation matters.