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Antarctica Politics

Antarctica Explanation :: --Antarctica History||Antarctica Geography||Antarctica Administration||

You are here at Antarctica Continent,This is the list of Antarctic territories ..

 

 

Antarctica has no government, although various countries claim sovereignty in certain regions. While a few of these countries have mutually recognised each other's claims, the validity of these claims is generally not recognised universally.
New claims on Antarctica have been suspended since 1959 and the continent is considered politically neutral. Its status is regulated by the 1959 Antarctic Treaty and other related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System. Antarctica is defined as all land and ice shelves south of 60° S for the purposes of the Treaty System. The treaty was signed by twelve countries including the Soviet Union (and later Russia), the United Kingdom, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and the United States. It set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, established freedom of scientific investigation and environmental protection, and banned military activity on the continent. This was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War.

In 1983, the Antarctic Treaty Parties began negotiations on a convention to regulate mining in Antarctica. A coalition of international organisations launched a public pressure campaign to prevent any minerals development in the region, led largely by Greenpeace International which established its own scientific station–World Park Base–in the Ross Sea region and conducted annual expeditions to document environmental effects of humans on the continent.

 

In 1988, the Convention on the Regulation of Antarctic Mineral Resources (CRAMRA) was adopted.

 

The following year, however, Australia and France announced that they would not ratify the convention, rendering it dead for all intents and purposes. They proposed instead that a comprehensive regime to protect the Antarctic environment be negotiated in its place. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the ‘Madrid Protocol’) was negotiated as other countries followed suit and on 14 January 1998 it entered into force. The Madrid Protocol bans all mining in Antarctica, designating the continent as a ‘natural reserve devoted to peace and science’.

 

The Antarctic Treaty prohibits any military activity in Antarctica, including the establishment of military bases and fortifications, military manoeuvers, and weapons testing. Military personnel or equipment are permitted only for scientific research or other peaceful purposes. The only documented military land manoeuvre was Operation NINETY by the Argentine military.


The United States military issues the Antarctica Service Medal to military members or civilians who perform research duty in Antarctica. The medal includes a "wintered over" bar issued to those who remain on the continent for 2 six-month seasons.

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There are 27 parties to the Antarctic Treaty and 18 nations with observer status. There are territorial claims by Australia, France, New Zealand, and Norway, and overlapping claims in the Antarctic Peninsula by Argentina, Chile, and the UK. Other states do not recognize these claims.

Of main concern is the adoption of a wide range of environmental protection measures. Proposals include the monitoring of all scientific activities and also the prosecution of any country if it were demonstrated that its research would lead to detrimental global change.

 

 

Antarctica Politics

Antarctica is the only place on Earth that is not owned by anyone. It is now a continent of peace, environmental protection, and science. There is nowhere in the world except Antarctica where there is no military presence - it is entirely disarmed. No native peoples have inhabited Antarctica. Antarctica is a very unique continent.

 

Antarctica is a continent of ice. This large mass of ice is what binds the continent. Should the ice melt, Antarctica would be a small continent (eastern Antarctica) and a string of islands where the Antarctic Peninsula is located. This immense ice sheet has a big effect on the Earth's weather, reflecting great amounts of heat from the sun back into the atmosphere, tying up large amounts of Earth's freshwater, and acting as a freezer at the end of the Earth.

antarctica map

Antarctic Treaty System

The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earth's only continent without a native human population. For the purposes of the treaty system, Antarctica is defined as all of the land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude. The treaty, entering into force in 1961 and currently has 48 signatory nations, sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation and bans military activity on that continent. The treaty was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat headquarters have been located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, since September 2004.

The Antarctic Treaty System

The main treaty was opened for signature on December 1, 1959, and officially entered into force on June 23, 1961. The original signatories were the 12 countries active in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957–58. The 12 countries had significant interests in Antarctica at the time: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries had established over 50 Antarctic stations for the IGY. The treaty was a diplomatic expression of the operational and scientific cooperation that had been achieved "on the ice".

Articles of the Antarctic Treaty

  • Article 1 – The area to be used for peaceful purposes only; military activity, such as weapons testing, is prohibited but military personnel and equipment may be used for scientific research or any other peaceful purpose;
  • Article 2 – Freedom of scientific investigations and cooperation shall continue;
  • Article 3 – Free exchange of information and personnel in cooperation with the United Nations and other international agencies;
  • Article 4 – The treaty does not recognize, dispute, nor establish territorial sovereignty claims; no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force;
  • Article 5 – The treaty prohibits nuclear explosions or disposal of radioactive wastes;
  • Article 6 – Includes under the treaty all land and ice shelves but not the surrounding waters south of 60 degrees 00 minutes south;
  • Article 7 – Treaty-state observers have free access, including aerial observation, to any area and may inspect all stations, installations, and equipment; advance notice of all activities and of the introduction of military personnel must be given;
  • Article 8 – Allows for jurisdiction over observers and scientists by their own states;
  • Article 9 – Frequent consultative meetings take place among member nations;
  • Article 10 – All treaty states will discourage activities by any country in Antarctica that are contrary to the treaty;
  • Article 11 – All disputes to be settled peacefully by the parties concerned or, ultimately, by the International Court of Justice;
  • Articles 12, 13, 14 – Deal with upholding, interpreting, and amending the treaty among involved nations.

The main objective of the ATS is to ensure in the interests of all humankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord. The treaty forbids any measures of a military nature, but not the presence of military personnel.

Meetings

The Antarctic Treaty System's yearly Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCM) are the international forum for the administration and management of the region. Only 28 of the 48 parties to the agreements have the right to participate in decision-making at these meetings, though the other 20 are still allowed to attend. The decision-making participants are the Consultative Parties and, in addition to the 12 original signatories, include 16 countries that have demonstrated their interest in Antarctica by carrying out substantial scientific activity there.

Legal system

Antarctica has no permanent population and hence no citizenship or government. All personnel present on Antarctica at any time are citizens or nationals of some sovereignty outside of Antarctica, as there is no Antarctic sovereignty. The majority of Antarctica is claimed by one or more countries, but most countries do not explicitly recognize those claims. The area on the mainland between 90 degrees west and 150 degrees west, combined with the interior of the Norwegian Sector (the extent of which has never been officially defined), is the only major land on Earth not claimed by any country.
Governments that are party to the Antarctic Treaty and its Protocol on Environmental Protection implement the articles of these agreements, and decisions taken under them, through national laws. These laws generally apply only to their own citizens, wherever they are in Antarctica, and serve to enforce the consensus decisions of the consultative parties: about which activities are acceptable, which areas require permits to enter, what processes of environmental impact assessment must precede activities, and so on. The Antarctic Treaty is often considered to represent an example of the Common heritage of mankind principle.

 

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