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60th Anniversary Of The Antarctic Treaty

60th Anniversary Of The Antarctic Treaty:

The 60th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty was celebrated.

  • The Antarctic treaty remains the only example of a single treaty that governs a whole continent.
  • It is also the foundation of a rules-based international order for a continent without a permanent population
  • The Antarctic Treaty was signed between 12 countries in Washington on 1st December 1959 for making the Antarctic Continent a demilitarized zone to be preserved for scientific research only.
  • The twelve original signatories are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the UK and the US.
  • It entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded by many other nations.
  • Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude.
  • Recently, an enormous iceberg ‘A-76’ has calved from the western side of the Ronne Ice Shelf, lying in the Weddell Sea, in Antarctica.

Members:

  • Currently it has 54 parties. India became a member of this treaty in 1983.

Headquarters:

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Provisions:

  • Promoting the freedom of scientific research.
  • Countries can use the continent only for peaceful purposes.
  • Prohibition of military activities, nuclear tests and the disposal of radioactive waste.
  • Neutralising territorial sovereignty, this means a limit was placed on making any new claim or enlargement of an existing claim.
  • It put a freeze on any disputes between claimants over their territories on the continent.

Antarctic Treaty System:

  • It is the whole complex of arrangements made for the purpose of regulating relations among states in the Antarctic.
  • Its 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.
  • These agreements are legally binding and purpose-built for the unique geographical, environmental and political characteristics of the Antarctic and form a robust international governance framework for the region.

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