Antarctic Treaty - Summary The Treaty covers the areas south of 60°S latitude extending to the South Pole

Signed in Washington on 1 December 1959, entered into force on 23 June 1961. The treaty had 12 original signatory nations, as of 2015 there are 52 signatory nations.


An outline summary of the 14 articles of the Antarctic Treaty:

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. All territorial claims are put aside for the duration of the Treaty.
No activities under the Treaty will affect claims to sovereignty of any part of Antarctica made by any nation.

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
    United Kingdom 31 May 1960 OS/CP  
    South Africa 21 June 1960 OS/CP  
    Belgium 26 July 1960 OS/CP  
    Japan 4 August 1960 OS/CP  
    United States of America 18 August 1960 OS/CP  
    Norway 24 August 1960 OS/CP  
    France 16 September 1960 OS/CP  
    New Zealand 1 November 1960 OS/CP  
    Russia 1 2 November 1960 OS/CP  
    Poland 8 June 1961 AS/CP 29 July 1977
    Argentina 23 June 1961 OS/CP  
    Australia 23 June 1961 OS/CP  
    Chile 23 June 1961 OS/CP  
    Czech Republic 2 14 June 1962 AS  
    Slovak Republic 2 14 June 1952 AS  
    Denmark 20 May 1965 AS  
    Netherlands 30 March 1967 AS/CP 19 November 1990
    Romania 15 September 1971 AS  
    German Democratic Republic 3 19 November 1974 AS/CP 5 October 1987
    Brazil 16 May 1975 AS/CP 12 September 1983
    Bulgaria 11 September 1978 AS/CP 25 May 1998
    Germany, Federal Republic of 5 February 1979 AS/CP 3 March 1981
    Uruguay 11 January 1980 AS/CP 7 October 1985
    Papua New Guinea 4 16 March 1981 AS  
    Italy 18 March 1981 AS/CP 5 October 1987
    Peru 10 April 1981 AS/CP 9 October 1989
    Spain 31 March 1982 AS/CP 21 September 1988
    China, People's Republic of 8 June 1983 AS/CP 7 October 1985
    India 19 August 1983 AS/CP 12 September 1983
    Hungary 27 January 1984 AS  
    Sweden 24 April 1984 AS/CP 21 September 1988
    Finland 15 May 1984 AS/CP 9 October 1989
    Cuba 16 August 1984 AS  
    Korea, Republic of 28 November 1986 AS/CP 9 October 1989
    Greece 8 January 1987 AS  
    Korea, Democratic People's Republic of 21 January 1987 AS  
    Austria 25 August 1987 AS  
    Ecuador 15 September 1987 AS/CP 19 November 1990
    Canada 4 May 1988 AS  
    Colombia 31 January 1989 AS  
    Switzerland 15 November 1990 AS  
    Guatemala 31 July 1991 AS  
    Ukraine 28 October 1992 AS/CP 17 June 2005
    Turkey 25 January 1996 AS  
    Venezuela 24 March 1999 AS  
    Estonia 17 May 2001 AS  
    Belarus 27 December 2006 AS  
    Monaco 30 May 2008 AS  
    Portugal 29 January 2010 AS  
    Malaysia 31 October 2011 AS  
    Pakistan 1 March 2012 AS  
    Kazakhstan 27 Jan 2015 AS  
    Mongolia 23 Mar 2015 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