The Antarctic Treaty (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 forever to be used exclusively for
peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of
international discord;

Acknowledge the substantial contributions to scientific knowledge
resulting from international co-operation in scientific
investigation in Antarctica;

Convinced that the establishment of a firm foundation for the
continuation and development of such co-operation 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
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
types of weapons.
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 co-operation
toward that end, as applied during the International Geophysical
Year, shall continue, subject to the provisions of the present
Treaty.

Article III
In order to promote international co-operation 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:
information regarding plans for scientific programs in Antarctica
shall be exchanged to permit maximum economy and efficiency of
operations;
scientific personnel shall be exchanged in Antarctica between
expeditions and stations;
scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be
exchanged and made freely available.
In implementing this Article, every encouragement shall be given to
the establishment of co-operative working relations with those
Specialized Agencies of the United Nations and other international
organizations having a scientific or technical interest in
Antarctica.

Article IV
Nothing contained in the present Treaty shall be interpreted
as:
a renunciation by any Contracting Party of previously asserted
rights of or claims to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica;
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;
recognition or non-recognition of any other State’s right 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
Any nuclear explosions in Antarctica and the disposal there of
radioactive waste material shall be prohibited.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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;
all stations in Antarctica occupied by its nationals; and
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
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 functions.
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
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:
use of Antarctica for peaceful purposes only;
facilitation of scientific research in Antarctica;
facilitation of international scientific cooperation in
Antarctica;
facilitation of the exercise of the rights of inspection provided
for in Article VII of the Treaty;
questions relating to the exercise of jurisdiction in
Antarctica;
preservation and conservation of living resources in
Antarctica.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Article XI
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.
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 or 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
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 meeting 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.
Such modification or amendment shall thereafter enter into force as
to any other Contracting Policy 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.

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.
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
Article.
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
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.
Ratification of or accession to the present Treaty shall be
effected by each State in accordance with its constitutional
processes.
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.
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.
Upon the deposit of instruments of ratification by all the
signatory States, the present Treaty shall enter into force for
these 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.
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.
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.

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