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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.