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.