April 18, 2024

Antarctic Treaty

Why in news ?

Recently, 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 1stDecember 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.


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


  • Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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