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Antarctica: Antarctic Treaty

Antarctic Treaty System
The Antarctic region is governed by a system known as the Antarctic Treaty system; the system includes: 1. the Antarctic Treaty, signed on 1 Dec. 1959 and entered into force on 23 June 1961, which establishes the legal framework for the management of Antarctica, 2. Measures, Decisions, and Resolutions adopted at Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, 3. The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (1972), 4. The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (1980), and 5. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (1991); the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings operate by consensus (not by vote) of all consultative parties at annual Treaty meetings; by Jan. 2022, there were 54 treaty member nations: 29 consultative and 25 non-consultative; consultative (decision-making) members include the seven nations that claim (see map) portions of Antarctica as national territory (some claims overlap) and 22 non-claimant nations; the US and Russia have reserved the right to make claims; the US does not recognise the claims of others; Antarctica is administered through meetings of the consultative member nations; measures adopted at these meetings are carried out by these member nations (with respect to their own nationals and operations) in accordance with their own national laws.  
Original Signatories¹
Country Date of Effect
Consultative Status
Argentina 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
Australia 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
Belgium 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
Chile 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
France 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
Japan 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
New Zealand 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
Norway 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
Russia 23 June 1961 [13 Jan. 1992]
  
South Africa 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 23 June 1961–13 Jan. 1992
23 June 1961
United Kingdom 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
United States of America 23 June 1961
23 June 1961
Consultative Nations
Country Date of Effect
Consultative Status
Brazil 16 May 1975
27 Sept. 1983
Bulgaria 11 Sept. 1978
5 June 1998
China 8 June 1983
7 Oct. 1985
Czechoslovakia 14 June 1962–31 Dec. 1992
 
Czech Republic 1 Jan 1993
1 Apr. 2014
East Germany 19 Nov. 1974–3 Oct. 1990
 
Ecuador 15 Sept. 1987
19 Nov. 1990
Finland 15 May 1984
20 Oct. 1989
Germany 5 Feb. 1979
3 Mar. 1981
India 19 Aug. 1983
12 Sept. 1983
Italy 18 Mar. 1981
5 Oct. 1987
Netherlands 30 Mar 1967
19 Nov. 1990
Peru 10 Apr. 1981
9 Oct. 1989
Poland 23 June 1961
29 July 1977
South Korea 28 Nov. 1986
9 Oct. 1989
Spain 31 Mar. 1982
21 Sept. 1988
Sweden 24 Apr. 1984
21 Sept. 1988
Ukraine 28 Oct. 1992
4 June 2004
Uruguay 11 Jan. 1980
7 Oct. 1985
Non-consultative Nations
Country Date of Effect
Environment Protocol 
Austria 25 Aug. 1987
26 Aug. 2021
Belarus 27 Dec. 2006
15 Aug. 2008
Canada 4 May 1988
13 Dec. 2003
Colombia 31 Jan. 1989
14 Mar. 2020
Costa Rica 11 Aug. 2022
 
Cuba 16 Aug. 1984
 
Denmark 20 May 1965
 
Estonia 17 May 2001
 
Greece 8 Jan. 1987
14 Jan. 1998
Guatemala 31 July 1991
 
Hungary 27 Jan. 1984
 
Iceland 13 Oct. 2015
 
Kazakhstan 27 Jan. 2015
 
Malaysia 31 Oct. 2011
14 Sep. 2016
Monaco 31 May 2008
31 July 2009
Mongolia 23 Mar. 2015
 
North Korea 21 Jan. 1987
 
Pakistan 1 Mar. 2012
31 Mar. 2012
Papua New Guinea 16 Mar. 1981
 
Portugal 29 Jan. 2010
10 Oct. 2014
Romania 15 Sept. 1971
5 Mar. 2003
Slovakia 1 Jan. 1993
 
Slovenia 22 Apr. 2019
 
Switzerland 15 Nov. 1990
1 June 2017
Turkey 24 Jan. 1996
27 Oct. 2017
Venezuela 24 Mar. 1999
31 Aug 2014
Antarctic Treaty Secretariat
Executive Secretaries
Johannes Huber 2004-09
••••
Manfred Reinke 2009-17
••••
Albert Lluberas 2017-pres
••••

1. One of the twelve countries active in the Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year of 1957–58, and who attended negotiations for the Treaty in 1959.000

Sources

Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty, 2022.

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