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The Antarctic Treaty

Done at Washington 1 December 1959

Entered into force 23 June 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 for ever 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 measure of a military

nature, such as the establishment of military bases and

fortifications, the carrying out of military manoeuvres, as well

as the testing of any type of weapon.



2. The present Treaty shall not prevent the use of military

personnel or equipment for scientific research or for any other

peaceful purpose.



Article II



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.



Article III



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 of and

efficiency of operations;



b. scientific personnel shall be exchanged in Antarctica between

expeditions and stations;



c. scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be

exchanged and made freely available.



Article IV



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;



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 State's rights

of or claim or basis of claim to territorial sovereignty in

Antarctica.



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

force.



Article V



1. Any nuclear explosions in Antarctica and the disposal there

of radioactive waste material shall be 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.



Article VI



The provisions of the present Treaty shall apply to the area

south of 60 deg. South Latitude, including all ice shelves, but

nothing in the present Treaty shall prejudice or in any way

affect the rights, or the exercise of the rights, of any State

under international law with regard to the high seas within that

area.



Article VII



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 of Antarctica.



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 of the 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 advance, of



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 its territory;



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.



Article VIII



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 sub-paragraph 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 functions.



2. 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.



Article IX



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;



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.



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

times as that Contracting Party demonstrates its interest in

Antarctica by conducting substantial research activity there,

such as the establishment of a scientific station or the

despatch of a scientific expedition.



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 as 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.



Article X



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 present Treaty.



ArticleXI



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.



Article XII



1a. 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 provision 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.



2a. 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 the Treaty.



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 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 Article



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 by the depositary Government.



Article XIII



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

the Treaty.



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 depositary Government.



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 thereto.



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 instruments of accession.



6. The present Treaty shall be registered by the depositary

Government pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter of the United

Nations.



Article XIV



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.