Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Antarctic Treaty

During the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58, scientists from 12 countries had worked in and around Antarctica. They had established bases in Antarctica, and had engaged in scientific cooperation despite their countries different claims of sovreignty over the continent. One year later, these same 12 countries signed the Antarctic Treaty.

The treaty guarantees the continued use of Antarctica exclusively for peaceful ventures, and the freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation in Antarctica.

The treaty starts thus: "Recognizing that it is in the interest 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..." Not so bad for a treaty written and signed during the Cold War !

Find out more about the Antarctic Treaty at the webpage of the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. You can also find the full Antarctic Treaty here.

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