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The Antarctic Treaty System The Antarctic Treaty System
by The Ovi Team
2016-06-23 10:02:29
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23rd June 1961; The Antarctic Treaty System comes into force to regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, "all land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude parallel". Antarctica is the Earth's only continent without a native human population.

The Antarctic Treaty consists of a number of articles agree by the 12 original signatories Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the USSR, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The treaty includes the following important rules.
1. Research be used for peaceful purposes only.
2. Military activity, such as weapons testing, is prohibited.
3. Free exchange of information and personnel.
4. The Antarctic Treaty does not recognize, dispute, or establish territorial sovereignty claims .
5. Prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes.

antar01_400There are a number of other articles but those above are the most important combined with the mission statement

"The main objective of the "Antarctic Treaty System" ATS 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."

The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat was established in Buenos Aires, Argentina in September 2004 by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM). Mr. Jan Huber (from the Netherlands) served as the first Executive Secretary for 5 years until August 31, 2009. He was succeeded on September 1, 2009 by Mr. Manfred Reinke (Germany), appointed for a 4 year term.

The tasks of the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat can be divided into the following areas:

Supporting the annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and the meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP).

Facilitating the exchange of information between the Parties required in the Treaty and the Environment Protocol.

Collecting, storing, arranging and publishing the documents of the ATCM.

Providing and disseminating public information about the Antarctic Treaty system and Antarctic activities.

There are 46 countries that own bases in Antarctica.

Antarctica has no permanent population and hence no citizenship or government. All personnel present on Antarctica at any time are citizens or nationals of some sovereignty outside of Antarctica, as there is no Antarctic sovereignty. The majority of Antarctica is claimed by one or more countries, but most countries do not explicitly recognize those claims. The area on the mainland between 90 degrees west and 150 degrees west, combined with the interior of the Norwegian Sector (the extent of which has never been officially defined), is the only major land on Earth not claimed by any country.
 
Governments that are party to the Antarctic Treaty and its Protocol on Environmental Protection implement the articles of these agreements, and decisions taken under them, through national laws. These laws generally apply only to their own citizens, wherever they are in Antarctica, and serve to enforce the consensus decisions of the consultative parties: about which activities are acceptable, which areas require permits to enter, what processes of environmental impact assessment must precede activities, and so on. The Antarctic Treaty is often considered to represent an example of the Common heritage of mankind principle.


   
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