Enter the country or territory for the information paper you want. (We do not have information papers on all countries.)
The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by 12 nations active in Antarctica during the 1957-58 International Geophysical Year (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and USSR). The Antarctic Treaty’s primary purpose 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”. The Treaty entered into force on 23 June 1961 and applies to the area south of 60° South latitude.
A key element of the Treaty is the practical compromise on the question of territorial sovereignty in Antarctica. Under the Treaty, Parties which previously asserted rights of or claims to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica (e.g. New Zealand) were not obliged to renounce those rights or claims. Equally, the position of any Party regarding its recognition or non-recognition of any other State’s rights or claims was not prejudiced. No new claim or enlargement of an existing claim is permitted, and no activities undertaken while the Treaty is in force create any rights of sovereignty.
This practical compromise on the sovereignty question has provided the basis for the main achievements of the Treaty:
The Antarctic Treaty Parties hold regular Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCMs) to exchange information, consult together on common interest matters about Antarctica, and to formulate, consider and recommend to respective governments measures to further the Treaty’s principles and objectives.
For further information refer to the ATS website. [external link]