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Antarctic Treaty - Summary

The Treaty covers the areas south of 60°S latitude
extending to the South Pole
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The Treaty has 14 Articles which are summarized as follows:

1. No military use shall be made of Antarctica, though military personnel and equipment may be used for peaceful purposes.
2. There will be complete freedom of scientific investigation.
3. Antarctic Treaty Nations will exchange plans for their scientific programmes, scientific data will be freely available and scientists will be exchanged between expeditions where practical.
4. No activities under the Treaty will affect claims to sovereignty of any part of Antarctica made by any nation. All territorial claims are put aside for the duration of the Treaty.
5. Nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal are banned from Antarctica.
6. The Treaty applies to all land and ice shelves south of 60° South, but not to the seas.
7. All Antarctic stations and all ships and aircraft supplying Antarctica shall be open to inspectors from any Treaty nation.
8. Observers and exchange scientists shall be under the jurisdiction of their own country regardless of which national station they may visit. National laws do not apply to stations or areas, but only to the citizens of those countries.
9. Treaty nations will meet to consider ways of furthering the principles and objectives of the Treaty. Attendance at these meetings shall be limited to those countries that are engaged in substantial scientific research activity in Antarctica. Unanimous approval will be necessary for any new measures to become effective (i.e. everyone has to agree).
10. All Treaty Nations will try to ensure that no one carries out any activity in Antarctica that is against the Treaty.
11. Any dispute by Treaty Nations, if not settled by agreement, shall be determined by the International Court of Justice.
12. The Treaty may be modified at any time by unanimous agreement. After 30 years any consultative Party may call for a conference to review the operation of the Treaty. The Treaty may be modified at this conference by a majority decision.
13. The Treaty must be legally ratified (agreed to) by any nation wishing to join. Any member of the United Nations may join as well as any other country invited to do so by the Treaty Nations. All notices and records are deposited with the Archives of the United States of America.
14. The Treaty translated into English, French, Russian and Spanish was signed on 1st December 1959 by 12 states and entered into force on 23rd of June 1961.

The Treaty Nations - in date order of signing the treaty

OS - Original Signatory
CP - Consultative party - Countries that play an active role in Antarctica - are engaged in
substantial scientific research activity - only the consultative parties have voting rights and can make decisions about Antarctica.
AS - Acceding State - Countries that agreed to the Treaty after the original signing in 1959

 

State / Country

Date

Status

Date when Acceding State became Consultative Party

1

United Kingdom

31 May 1960

OS/CP

 

2

South Africa

21 June 1960

OS/CP

 

3

Belgium

26 July 1960

OS/CP

 

4

Japan

4 August 1960

OS/CP

 

5

United States of America

18 August 1960

OS/CP

 

6

Norway

24 August 1960

OS/CP

 

7

France

16 September 1960

OS/CP

 

8

New Zealand

1 November 1960

OS/CP

 

9

Russia 1

2 November 1960

OS/CP

 

10

Poland

8 June 1961

AS/CP

29 July 1977

11

Argentina

23 June 1961

OS/CP

 

12

Australia

23 June 1961

OS/CP

 

13

Chile

23 June 1961

OS/CP

 

14

Czech Republic 2

14 June 1962

AS

 

15

Slovak Republic 2

14 June 1952

AS

 

16

Denmark

20 May 1965

AS

 

17

Netherlands

30 March 1967

AS/CP

19 November 1990

18

Romania

15 September 1971

AS

 

 

German Democratic Republic 3

19 November 1974

AS/CP

5 October 1987

19

Brazil

16 May 1975

AS/CP

12 September 1983

20

Bulgaria

11 September 1978

AS/CP

25 May 1998

21

Germany, Federal Republic of

5 February 1979

AS/CP

3 March 1981

22

Uruguay

11 January 1980

AS/CP

7 October 1985

23

Papua New Guinea 4

16 March 1981

AS

 

24

Italy

18 March 1981

AS/CP

5 October 1987

25

Peru

10 April 1981

AS/CP

9 October 1989

26

Spain

31 March 1982

AS/CP

21 September 1988

27

China, People's Republic of

8 June 1983

AS/CP

7 October 1985

28

India

19 August 1983

AS/CP

12 September 1983

29

Hungary

27 January 1984

AS

 

30

Sweden

24 April 1984

AS/CP

21 September 1988

31

Finland

15 May 1984

AS/CP

9 October 1989

32

Cuba

16 August 1984

AS

 

33

Korea, Republic of

28 November 1986

AS/CP

9 October 1989

34

Greece

8 January 1987

AS

 

35

Korea, Democratic People's Republic of

21 January 1987

AS

 

36

Austria

25 August 1987

AS

 

37

Ecuador

15 September 1987

AS/CP

19 November 1990

38

Canada

4 May 1988

AS

 

39

Colombia

31 January 1989

AS

 

40

Switzerland

15 November 1990

AS

 

41

Guatemala

31 July 1991

AS

 

42

Ukraine

28 October 1992

AS/CP

17 June 2005

43

Turkey

25 January 1996

AS

 

44 Venezuela 24 March 1999 AS  
45 Estonia 17 May 2001 AS  
46 Belarus 27 December 2006 AS  
47 Monaco 30 May 2008 AS  
48 Portugal 29 January 2010 AS  
49 Malaysia 31 October 2011 AS  
50 Pakistan 1 March 2012 AS  

Notes

1 Known as the Soviet Union until December 1990.
2 Succeeded to the Treaty as part of Czechoslovakia which separated into two republics on 1 January 1993.
3 Became united with Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990 (now known as Germany).
4 Succeeded to the Treaty after independence from Australia.

The treaty in full  The Madrid Protocol

 


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