The Antarctic Treaty System is the whole complex of arrangements made for the purpose of regulating relations among states in the Antarctic. At its heart is the Antarctic Treaty itself. The original Parties to the Treaty were the 12 nations active in the Antarctic during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58. The Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961. The Consultative Parties comprise the original Parties and other States that have become Consultative Parties by acceding to the Treaty and demonstrating their interest in Antarctica by carrying out a substantial scientific activity there.
The primary purpose of the Antarctic Treaty is to ensure “in the interests of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord.” To this end it prohibits military activity, except in support of science; prohibits nuclear explosions and the disposal of nuclear waste; promotes scientific research and the exchange of data; and holds all territorial claims in abeyance. The Treaty applies to the area south of 60° South Latitude, including all ice shelves and islands.
The Treaty is augmented by Recommendations adopted at Consultative Meetings, by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Madrid, 1991), and by two separate conventions dealing with the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (London 1972), and the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Canberra 1980). The Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities (Wellington 1988), negotiated between 1982 and 1988, will not enter into force.
Signatories to the Antarctic Treaty
The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by 12 states, and entered into force for those states on 23 June 1961. Below are listed in chronological order the dates of ratification of the Treaty by the original signatories, the dates of accession or succession by other states, and the dates upon which acceding states became Consultative Parties.
OS = Original Signatory
CP = Consultative party
AS = Acceding State
|State||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 1962||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|
- 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 the Federal Republic of Germany on 3 October 1990 (now known as Germany).
- 4. Succeeded to the Treaty after independence from Australia.
- Courtesy : www.scar.org