THE ANTARCTIC TREATY
Washington December 1, 1959
Ratification advised by U.S. Senate August 10,
Ratified by U.S. President August 18, 1960
U.S. ratification deposited at
Washington August 18, 1960
Proclaimed by U.S. President June 23, 1961
force June 23, 1961
The Governments of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile,
the French Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Union of South Africa, the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
and the United States of America,
Recognizing that it is in the interest 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;
Acknowledging the substantial contributions to scientific knowledge resulting from
international cooperation in scientific investigation in Antarctica;
Convinced that the establishment of a firm foundation for the continuation and development
of such cooperation on the basis of freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica as
applied during the International Geophysical Year accords with the interests of science
and the progress of all mankind;
Convinced also that a treaty ensuring the use of Antarctica for peaceful purposes only
and the continuance of international harmony in Antarctica will further the purposes and
principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations;
Have agreed as follows:Article I
1. Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only. There shall be
prohibited, inter alia, any measures of a military nature, such as the
establishment of military bases and fortifications, the carrying out of military
maneuvers, as well as the testing of any type of weapons.
2. The present treaty shall not prevent the use of military personnel or equipment
for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes.
Freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica and cooperation toward that end, as
applied during the International Geophysical Year, shall continue, subject to the
provisions of the present treaty.
1. In order to promote international cooperation in scientific investigation
in Antarctica, as provided for in Article II of the present treaty, the Contracting
Parties agree that, to the greatest extent feasible and practicable:
(a) information regarding plans for scientific programs in Antarctica
shall be exchanged to permit maximum economy and efficiency of operations;
2. In implementing this Article, every encouragement shall be given to the
establishment of cooperative working relations with those Specialized Agencies
of the United Nations and other international organizations having a scientific
or technical interest in Antarctica.
(b) scientific personnel shall be exchanged in Antarctica between expeditions
(c) scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be exchanged
and made freely available.
1. Nothing contained in the present treaty shall be interpreted as:
(a) a renunciation by any Contracting Party of previously asserted rights of or
claims to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica;
2. No acts or activities taking place while the present treaty is in force
shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to
territorial sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty
in Antarctica. No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim, to territorial
sovereignty in Antarctica shall be asserted while the present treaty is in
(b) a renunciation or
diminution by any Contracting Party of any basis of claim to territorial
sovereignty in Antarctica which it may have whether as a result of its activities
or those of its nationals in Antarctica, or otherwise;
(c) prejudicing the position of any Contracting Party as regards its recognition
or non-recognition of any other States right of or claim or basis of claim to
territorial sovereignty in Antarctica.
1. Any nuclear explosions in Antarctica and the disposal there of radioactive
waste material shallbe prohibited.
2. In the event of the conclusion of international agreements concerning
the use of nuclear energy, including nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive
waste material, to which all of the Contracting Parties whose representatives are
entitled to participate in the meetings provided for under Article IX are parties,
the rules established under such agreements shall apply in Antarctica.
The provisions of the present treaty shall apply to the area south of
60o South Latitude, including all ice shelves, but nothing in the present
treaty shall prejudice or in any way affect the rights, orthe exercise of the rights,
of any State under international law with regard to the high seas within that area.
1. In order to promote the objectives and ensure the observance of the provisions
of the present treaty, each Contracting Party whose representatives are entitled to
participate in the meetings referred to in Article IX of the treaty shall have the
right to designate observers to carry out any inspection provided for by the present
Article. Observers shall be nationals of the Contracting Parties which designate them.
The names of observers shall be communicated to every other Contracting Party having
the right to designate observers, and like notice shall be given of the termination
of their appointment.
2. Each observer designated in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of
this Article shall have complete freedom of access at any time to any or all areas
3. All areas of Antarctica, including all stations, installations and equipment
within those areas, and all ships and aircraft at points of discharging or embarking
cargoes or personnel in Antarctica, shall be open at all times to inspection by any
observers designated in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article.
4. Aerial observation may be carried out at any time over any or all areas of Antarctica
by any ofthe Contracting Parties having the right to designate observers.
5. Each Contracting Party shall, at the time when the present treaty enters into force
for it, inform the other Contracting Parties, and thereafter shall give them notice in
(a) all expeditions to and within Antarctica, on the part of its ships or
nationals, and all expeditions to Antarctica organized in or proceeding from
(b) all stations in Antarctica occupied by its nationals; and
(c) any military personnel or equipment intended to be introduced by it
into Antarctica subject to the conditions prescribed in paragraph 2 of Article I of
the present treaty.
1. In order to facilitate the exercise of their functions under
the present treaty, and without prejudice to the respective positions of the
Contracting Parties relating to jurisdiction over all other persons in Antarctica,
observers designated under paragraph 1 of Article VII and scientific personnel
exchanged under subparagraph 1(b) of Article III of the treaty, and members of the
staffs accompanying any such persons, shall be subject only to the jurisdiction of
the Contracting Party of which they are nationals in respect of all acts or omissions
occurring while they are in Antarctica for the purpose of exercising their
Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article,
and pending the adoption of measures in pursuance of subparagraph 1(e) of
Article IX, the Contracting Parties concerned in any case of dispute with
regard to the exercise of jurisdiction in Antarctica shall immediately consult
together with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable solution.
1. Representatives of the Contracting Parties named in the preamble to the
present treaty shall meet at the City of Canberra within two months after the date
of entry into force of the treaty, and thereafter at suitable intervals and places,
for the purpose of exchanging information,consulting together on matters of common
interest pertaining to Antarctica, and formulating and considering, and recommending
to their Governments, measures in furtherance of the principles and objectives of
the treaty, including measures regarding:
(a) use of Antarctica for peaceful purposes only;
2. Each Contracting Party which has become a party to the present treaty by
accession under Article XIII shall be entitled to appoint representatives to participate
in the meetings referred to in paragraph 1 of the present Article, during such time as
that Contracting Party demonstrates its interest in Antarctica by conducting substantial
scientific research activity there, such as the establishment of a scientific station
or the despatch of a scientific expedition.
(b) facilitation of scientific research in Antarctica;
(c) facilitation of international scientific cooperation in Antarctica;
(d) facilitation of the exercise of the rights of inspection
provided for in Article VII of the treaty;
(e) questions relating to the exercise of jurisdiction in Antarctica;
(f) preservation and conservation of living resources in Antarctica.
3. Reports from the observers referred to in Article VII of the present treaty shall
be transmitted to the representatives of the Contracting Parties participating in the
meetings referred to in paragraph 1 of the present Article.
4. The measures referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall become effective when
approved by all the Contracting Parties whose representatives were entitled to participate
in the meetings held to consider those measures.
5. Any or all of the rights established in the present treaty may be exercised from
the date of entry into force of the treaty whether or not any measures facilitating
the exercise of such rights have been proposed, considered or approved as provided
in this Article.
Each of the Contracting Parties undertakes to exert appropriate efforts,
consistent with the Charter of the United Nations, to the end that no one engages
in any activity in Antarctica contrary to the principles or purposes of the
1. If any dispute arises between two or more of the Contracting Parties
concerning the interpretation or application of the present treaty, those Contracting
Parties shall consult among themselves with a view to having the dispute resolved by
negotiation, inquiry, mediation,conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement or
other peaceful means of their own choice.
2. Any dispute of this character not so resolved shall, with the consent,
in each case, of all parties to the dispute, be referred to the International Court
of Justice for settlement; but failure to reach agreement on reference to the
International Court shall not absolve parties to the dispute from the responsibility
of continuing to seek to resolve it by any of the various peaceful means referred
to in paragraph 1 of this Article.
1. (a) The present treaty may be modified or amended at any time by unanimous
agreement of the Contracting Parties whose representatives are entitled to
participate in the meetings provided for under Article IX. Any such modification
or amendment shall enter into force when the depositary Government has received
notice from all such Contracting Parties that they have ratified it.
(b) Such modification or amendment shall thereafter enter into force as to any
other Contracting Party when notice of ratification by it has been received by the
depositary Government. Any such Contracting Party from which no notice of ratification
is received within a period of two years from the date of entry into force of the
modification or amendment in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph 1(a) of
this Article shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the present treaty on the date
of the expiration of such period.
2. (a) If after the expiration of thirty years from the date of entry into force
of the present treaty, any of the Contracting Parties whose representatives are
entitled to participate in the meetings provided for under Article IX so requests
by a communication addressed to the depositary Government, a Conference of all the
Contracting Parties shall be held as soon as practicable to review the operation of
(b) Any modification or amendment to the present treaty which is approved at such
a Conference by a majority of the Contracting Parties there represented, including
a majority of those whose representatives are entitled to participate in the meetings
provided for under Article IX, shall be communicated by the depositary Government to
all the Contracting Parties immediately after the termination of the Conference and
shall enter into force in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of the present
(c) If any such modification or amendment has not entered into force in accordance
with the provisions of subparagraph 1(a) of this Article within a period of two years
after the date of its communication to all the Contracting Parties, any Contracting
Party may at any time after the expiration of that period give notice to the depositary
Government of its withdrawal from the present treaty; and such withdrawal shall
take effect two years after the receipt of the notice of the depositary
1. The present treaty shall be subject to ratification by the signatory
States. It shall be open for accession by any State which is a Member of the
United Nations, or by any other State which may be invited to accede to the
treaty with the consent of all the Contracting Parties whose representatives
are entitled to participate in the meetings provided for under Article IX of
2. Ratification of or accession to the present treaty shall be effected by
each State in accordance with its constitutional processes.
3. Instruments of ratification and instruments of accession shall be deposited
with the Government of the United States of America, hereby designated as the
4. The depositary Government shall inform all signatory and acceding States of
the date of each deposit of an instrument of ratification or accession, and the
date of entry into force of the treaty and of any modification or amendment
5. Upon the deposit of instruments of ratification by all the signatory States,
the present treaty shall enter into force for those States and for States which
have deposited instruments of accession. Thereafter the treaty shall enter into
force for any acceding State upon the deposit of its instrument of accession.
6. The present treaty shall be registered by the depositary Government
pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.
The present treaty, done
in the English, French, Russian and Spanish languages, each version being
equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of
the United States of America, which shall transmit duly certified copies
thereof to the Governments of the signatory and acceding States.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, duly authorized, have
signed the present treaty.
DONE at Washington this first day of
December, one thousand nine hundred and fifty-nine.
THE ANTARCTIC TREATY
|Country||Date of |
Peoples Republic of
|Korea, Republic of||--------||--------||11/28/86
|Papua New Guinea||--------||--------||03/16/81
|South Africa||12/01/59|| 06/21/60||--------
|Union of Soviet|
|United Kingdom||12/01/59|| 05/31/60||--------
|United States||12/01/59|| 08/18/60||--------