What You Didn’t Know About the Antarctic Treaty

What You Didn’t Know About the Antarctic Treaty

What You Didn't Know About the Antarctic Treaty


The Antarctic Treaty is the treaty which was implemented in order to determine the exact disposition of Antarctica with regard to the international community. The Antarctic Treaty was the initial document which established the basic tenets for the disposition of Antarctica, with the Antarctic Treaty being expanded over time into the Antarctic Treaty System, including amendments and changes to the Antarctic Treaty which were designed to change the way in which Antarctica was dealt with internationally for the better.

The Antarctic Treaty itself was put into effect in 1961 and has remained in effect ever since. The initial signers of the Antarctic Treaty included Argentina, Belgium, France, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union, as well as four others.

The Antarctic Treaty sets out that Antarctica cannot be used by any country for any kind of military purpose and that it should be preserved and retained for the purposes of science and scientific expeditions. The Antarctic Treaty also sets out that no nation has territorial rights to Antarctica, meaning that no nation has the right to dispense with hazardous waste in Antarctica, for example.

The Antarctic Treaty establishes the International Court of Justice as the Court which will handle any disagreements which might arise with regard to the disposition of Antarctica. The Antarctic Treaty has been expanded by such treaties as the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals, the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, and the Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resource Activities.




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