What is the Antarctic Treaty?

By: Natalia Mindowicz

What is it?

It's a treaty between countries whose scientists were part of the research done in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. It states that any information gathered should be exchanged and made freely available to other countries involved and that Antarctica should be used for peaceful purposes only.

When was it signed?

It was signed in Washington on December 1st, 1959 by the twelve original countries involved in the research but it didn't come into effect until June 23, 1961.

Who was Involved?

The treaty involves the 12 original countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States) plus additional 16 countries ( Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and Uruguay) who joined later.
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