Antarctic Treaty System


July 3, 2022

The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively known as the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS), regulate the relations between countries involving Antarctica. For the purposes of the Treaty System, "Antarctica" is defined as all land and ice shelves below 60°South latitude. The Treaty came into force in 1961 and currently has 53 parties. scientific conservation Established freedom of scientific investigation and prohibited military activities on the continent. The Treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. Since September 2004, the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat's headquarters has been located in Buenos Aires. Argentina, the Main Treaty, opened for signing on December 1, 1959 and officially entered into force on June 23, 1961. The original signatories were the twelve countries that had activities in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year 1957–1958. Two countries with significant interests in Antarctica at the time were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the USSR, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries set up more than 50 stations in Antarctica for the International Geophysical Year.