what s the perpose of antarctic treaty ?
- TheHangedFrogLv 41 decade ago
The purpose is the preserve the last "pure" environment in the world. To allow the Antarctic Continent to be used as a scientific and research area and ban military buildup and commerical enterprises such as mining and whaling and chemical factories.
The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve nations that had been active during the IGY (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and USSR). The Treaty, which applies to the area south of 60° South latitude, is surprisingly short, but remarkably effective. Through this agreement, the countries active in Antarctica consult on the uses of a whole continent, with a commitment that it should not become the scene or object of international discord. In its fourteen articles the Treaty:
stipulates that Antarctica should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes, military activities, such as the establishment of military bases or weapons testing, are specifically prohibited;
guarantees continued freedom to conduct scientific research, as enjoyed during the IGY;
promotes international scientific cooperation including the exchange of research plans and personnel, and requires that results of research be made freely available;
sets aside the potential for sovereignty disputes between Treaty parties by providing that no activities will enhance or diminish previously asserted positions with respect to territorial claims, provides that no new or enlarged claims can be made, and makes rules relating to jurisdiction;
prohibits nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive waste;
provides for inspection by observers, designated by any party, of ships, stations and equipment in Antarctica to ensure the observance of, and compliance with, the Treaty;
requires parties to give advance notice of their expeditions; provides for the parties to meet periodically to discuss measures to further the objectives of the Treaty; and
puts in place a dispute settlement procedure and a mechanism by which the Treaty can be modified.
The Treaty also provides that any member of the United Nations can accede to it. The Treaty now has 44 signatories, 27 are Consultative Parties on the basis of being original signatories or by conducting substantial research there. Membership continues to grow. A full list of the current parties to the Treaty appears at the end of this document.
Since entering into force on 23 June 1961, the Treaty has been recognised as one of the most successful international agreements. Problematic differences over territorial claims have been effectively set aside and as a disarmament regime it has been outstandingly successful. The Treaty parties remain firmly committed to a system that is still effective in protecting their essential Antarctic interests. Science is proceeding unhindered.
Since the first Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in 1961, the parties have met frequently, now annually, to discuss issues as diverse as scientific cooperation, measures to protect the environment, and operational issues - and they are committed to taking decisions by consensus. This process has allowed the Antarctic Treaty to evolve into a system with a number of components that meet the special needs of managing activities in the Antarctic, while protecting national interests. This regime is now known by the broader title of the Antarctic Treaty System, which operates under the umbrella of the annual ATCM.
The Antarctic Treaty System
The Antarctic Treaty System comprises the Treaty itself and a number of related agreements. It also includes a range of organisations that contribute to the work of the decision-making forums.
In addition to the related agreements (described below), the Treaty System includes the recommendations, measures, decisions and resolutions of the Consultative Meetings relating to matters such as:
protection of the Antarctic environment;
conservation of plants and animals;
preservation of historic sites;
designation and management of protected areas;
management of tourism;
collection of meteorological data;
logistic cooperation; and
communications and safety.
The Treaty Parties have put in place rules relating to specific issues. The development of these agreements has allowed the implementation, with greater precision, of legally binding provisions for the regulation of activities in Antarctica.