E-mail: fvillamizar ubo. This treaty contains some mechanisms that, until now, have been effective in protecting the Antarctic territory. In this article the hows and whys of said mechanisms are laid out. However, at the same time the effectiveness of the mechanisms are only applicable to the states that form part of the Antarctic Treaty. How then would the Antarctic territory be defended with respect to states that are not party to the Antarctic Treaty?
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The Antarctic Treaty originated in an extraordinary moment of Cold War-era cooperation. In the mids, a group of scientists convinced the United Nations to institute an event to promote cooperation in the sciences. At the conclusion of the project, all agreed that the IGY had been successful.
The momentum of this symbolic event was followed by the drafting of the Antarctic Treaty in Washington in Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord. Among other things, the Treaty prohibits nuclear explosions, radioactive waste disposal, and military deployments in the ATA.
Article IV clarifies that the Treaty does not repudiate any existing claim, but it prohibits their assertion as well as the establishment of new claims.
Currently, 48 nations have agreed to the Antarctic Treaty, but only 29 control the decision making process. However, nations who conduct scientific research on the continent can apply to become Consultative Parties.
The Treaty obligates Parties to use Antarctica for peaceful purposes only. Any measures of a military nature, including testing of any type of weapons, are prohibited; any nuclear explosions in Antarctica and the disposal there of radioactive waste material are prohibited.
Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only; any military measures, with the exception of use of military assets for scientific research or any other peaceful purpose, are prohibited. Freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica and cooperation as applied during IGY shall continue. Plans for scientific programs and the observations and results thereof shall be freely exchanged; scientists may be exchanged between expeditions. All national claims are held static from the date of signature.
No future activity of any country during the life of the Treaty can affect the status quo on any rights or claims to territorial sovereignty. Nuclear explosions and disposal of radioactive waste are prohibited in Antarctica. Any Contracting Party may appoint observers. Regular consultative meetings of the active signatory nations shall be held. Contracting Parties shall ensure that no activity contrary to the Treaty is carried out.
Any disputes between Contracting Parties shall be resolved by peaceful negotiation, in the last resort by the International Court of Justice. These Articles provide the legal details of ratification and deposit. The Antarctic Treaty is the core of a number of related agreements forming the Antarctic Treaty System. All areas of Antarctica, including all stations, installations, and equipment within those areas, and all ships and aircraft at points of discharging or embarking cargos or personnel in Antarctica are open at all times to inspection by observers designated by the Contracting Parties.
Over 50 inspections have taken place between and , the majority since The Treaty has a technical secretariat in Buenos Aires, but there is no administrative body to oversee its implementation. The methods of dispute resolution provided by the Antarctic Treaty are negotiation, arbitration, or, if all the parties to the dispute agree, adjudication by the International Court of Justice.
China officially presented its plan for constructing a fifth Antarctic research station in the Ross Sea, in what observers called an effort to increase its influence in Antarctic governance regimes.
The ATCM produced a two volume final report. Topics of discussion included climate change, increased tourism, scientific exploration, and resource conservation. China plans to build its fifth Antarctic station by In February, China announced the establishment of its first air squadron in Antarctica.
China will also commission a second icebreaker ship later this year. The ATCM adopted eight revised management plans. States parties discussed the immediate and long-term impacts of Climate Change and increased tourism activity on Antarctica. Venezuela formally submitted a request for Consultative status to the Treaty. It has been a Non-Consultative Party since In , China added one new base and revealed plans for another in Antarctica.
It is assumed China is hoping to mine for resources under the guise of research. There is no clear consensus about when this mining would occur. Russia, India, and Iran have also shown interest in Antarctic resources. The Czech Republic moved from being a non-consultative party to a consultative party. Kazakhstan and Mongolia are non-consultative parties. Climate change, biological prospecting, and mining persisted as topics of interest. On 11 February, China announced their plan for a fourth Antarctic Research base, and plans for a fifth base next year.
Brazil recalled the proscription of nuclear testing in Antarctica and reaffirmed its commitment to a weapons free South Atlantic Region. There was a focus on increased coordination between states regarding their Antarctic activities, including sharing information.
There was also a focus on climate change, mineral resource activities prohibition, and Antarctic inspection standards. China revealed its plans to build new bases, as did Belarus. Other states voiced their apprehension and wanted specifications on their fuel storage and handling plans, as well as the current environmental state at the proposed site and the type of research to be conducted there. At the ATCM, parties focused on the importance of international cooperation and the study of climate change, though tourism remained a topic of discussion.
The ATCM adopted seventeen management plans for Antarctic protected areas, sixteen Site Guidelines for visitors, and a strategic work plan. This work plan aimed to ensure a robust and effective Antarctic Treaty system, strengthen the protection of the Antarctic environment, and effectively manage and regulate human activities in Antarctica.
The CEP endorsed a site clean-up manual and decided to develop a prioritized climate change response work plan. Malaysia and Pakistan both attended for the first time. The meetings focused on the impact of climate change on Antarctica and adopted guidelines for ensuring that tourism activities are conducted safely and sustainably.
The first study of the environmental impacts of tourism on Antarctica was reviewed. Participants shared information on major research activities and welcomed the report on joint inspections conducted by the United States and Russia since the previous meeting. They also agreed to develop by a manual on practical approaches to clean up sites of past activity from before the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty Madrid Protocol.
The agreement specifically noted waste disposal sites and abandoned facilities, and the ATCM also agreed to work intersessionally on approaches to repair and remediate sites that may have been subject to environmental damage. The meetings focused on climate change, developing early warning systems for Antarctica for natural disasters, as well as enhancing tourism guidelines, as well as the adoption of milestones laid out in the Declaration of Buenos Aires.
On April, the Antarctic Treaty Meeting of Experts ATME was held in Norway to discuss issues of climate change in relation to Antarctica, research on the continent, and the need to establish monitoring, scenario planning and risk assessments. The core issues discussed included:. Among the issues discussed, the accomplishments of the International Polar Year March March and the future of polar science priorities featured more prominently.
The Committee for Environmental Protection CEP discussed climate change, non-native and specially protected species, marine acoustics, inspections reports, waste management and prevention of marine pollution, and cooperation between organizations. There were also working groups on tourism and non-governmental organization activities, legal and institutional issues, and operational matters. Issues discussed at the meeting included environmental protection, tourism and non-governmental activities, scientific cooperation and facilitation, educational issues, and the International Polar Year The final report of the 30 th ATCM discussed issues on the agenda, measures, decisions and resolutions, as well as opening and closing remarks, reports and additional documents.
The final report focused on raising public awareness of environmental issues specific to Antarctica. In addition, several resolutions were adopted that created management plans for specially protected areas of Antarctica. After almost 13 years of negotiations, parties agreed on liability rules in the event of an environmental emergency in Antarctica. The agreement requires states that operate in the Antarctica to take measures to avoid, minimize, or contain the impact of an environmental emergency.
The meeting also adopted guidelines for developing and implementing environmental monitoring programs. The guidelines present practical advice for states but are not binding on member states and guidelines for environmental impact assessments in Antarctica to achieve transparency and effectiveness in assessing environmental impacts during the planning stages of possible activities in Antarctica.
The meeting adopted several resolutions related to environmental protection measures in Antarctica. The meeting also adopted a resolution on the establishment of an intersessional contact group to improve information exchange among states. The meeting adopted resolutions on the Antarctic protected area system and management plans for Antarctic specially protected areas. Outcomes achieved include progress on the establishment of the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat and improvements to the operation and structure of treaty meetings.
Petersburg, Russia. The Parties achieved a long-awaited breakthrough with a decision to establish the first Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty System in Argentina, 40 years after the Treaty entered into force. The breakthrough came when Britain announced to the meeting that it would join the consensus. The informal meeting of legal experts continued its discussions on an annex or annexes to environmental liability in the Protocol.
Legal experts also discussed aspects of the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. The purpose of the program on the ice intended to give participants an understanding of the global importance of Antarctica and of the significance of the achievements of the Antarctic Treaty System on the eve of the new millennium.
Site visits and specialist briefings and presentations achieved this goal. Poland instead offered to host an ATCM in With no alternative resolved at the conclusion of the meeting, the United States, as Depository Government for the Antarctic Treaty, undertook an investigation of alternatives through diplomatic channels.
A representative of the US Department of State verified in April that an official diplomatic invitation issued by the Netherlands stated plans to hold the annual Antarctic Treaty meeting during the week of 11 September This meeting provided the forum for formal discussions and negotiations in relation to the Antarctic Treaty. The visit aimed to demonstrate the extraordinary importance of the continent and the success of the Antarctic Treaty System.
The Treaty obligates parties to only use Antarctica for peaceful purposes. Military activities are prohibited, including the testing of weapons, nuclear explosions, and the disposal of radioactive waste in Antarctica. This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents.
Copyright Antarctic Treaty. Last Updated: March 29, Decision-Making Currently, 48 nations have agreed to the Antarctic Treaty, but only 29 control the decision making process. The 14 Articles of the Treaty may be summarized as follows: 1.
The Treaty shall remain in force for a minimum of 30 years.
Antarctic Treaty System
Remember Me. Signed at Washington December 1, Entered into force June 23, 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;. Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only.
The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively known as the Antarctic Treaty System ATS , regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica , Earth's only continent without a native human population. The treaty entered into force in and currently has 54 parties. The treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. The main treaty was opened for signature on December 1, , and officially entered into force on June 23, The treaty was a diplomatic expression of the operational and scientific co-operation that had been achieved "on the ice".