The Antarctic Treaty is an international agreement that stipulates that the uninhabited Antarctic between 60 and 90 degrees south latitude is reserved exclusively for peaceful use, especially scientific research. The treaty was deliberated by twelve signatory states at the 1959 Antarctic Conference in Washington and entered into force in 1961. It has great political significance because it was the first international treaty after the end of World War II to establish the principles of peaceful coexistence between states of different social orders.
The goals of the treaty are to preserve the ecological balance in Antarctica, to use Antarctica for peaceful purposes, to promote international cooperation, and to support scientific exploration. Military exercises and operations are therefore prohibited, as is the mining of mineral resources.
Contracting States in the Antarctic System are divided into Consultative States and Normal Contracting States. To become a Consultative State, a state must conduct significant scientific research and establish a scientific station in Antarctica or send a scientific expedition. A Consultative State is entitled to vote at Consultative meetings.
The twelve states that signed the Antarctic Treaty some 60 years ago are Consultative States. These are: Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Norway (all of which make territorial claims in Antarctica), as well as Belgium, Japan, the Soviet Union (now Russia), South Africa, and the United States, which make no territorial claims in Antarctica.
Since 1961, an additional 33 states have signed this treaty. Sixteen of these later became consultative states, but with no prospect of territorial claims. In addition to the twelve signatory states, the consultative states today include Poland (state party since 1961/consultative state since 1977), Germany (1979/1981), Brazil (1975/1983), India (1983/1983), People’s Republic of China (1983/1985), Uruguay (1980/1985), Italy (1981/1987), Sweden (1984/1988), Spain (1982/1988), Finland (1984/1989), Peru (1981/1989), South Korea (1986/1989), Ecuador (1987/1990), the Netherlands (1967/1990), Bulgaria (1978/1998), Ukraine (1992/2004), and the Czech Republic (1993/2014). The German Democratic Republic also signed the treaty in 1974 and became a consultative state in 1987.
States Parties that joined since 1961 are Czechoslovakia (1962-1992), Denmark (1965), Romania (1971), Papua New Guinea (1981), Hungary (1984), Cuba (1984), Greece (1987), North Korea (1987), Austria (1987), Canada (1988), Colombia (1989), Switzerland (1990), Guatemala (1991), Slovakia (1993), Turkey (1996), Venezuela (1999), Estonia (2001), Belarus (2006), Monaco (2008), Portugal (2010), Malaysia (2011), Pakistan (2012), Kazakhstan (2015), Mongolia (2015), Iceland (2015), and Slovenia (2019).
Quelle: Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarktis-Vertrag)