The Treaty covers the area between 60°S
latitude to the South Pole
Signed in Washington, USA on 1 December 1959, entered into force on 23 June 1961. The treaty had 12 original signatory nations, as of 2018 there are 53 signatory nations.
An outline summary of the 14 articles of the Antarctic Treaty:
1. No military use shall be made of
military personnel and equipment may be used for peaceful
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|
|Iceland||13 Oct 2015||AS|
1 Known as the Soviet Union until December
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.