Antarctic Treaty

  • The treaty was opened for signature on December 1, 1959, and officially entered into force on June 23, 1961.
  • The original signatories were 12 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • India is also a party to the Antarctic Treaty.
  • Some important provisions of the Treaty:
    • Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only.
    • Freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica and cooperation toward that end shall continue.
    • Scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be exchanged and made
      freely available.
  • India is expanding its infrastructure development in Antarctica. The government is rebuilding its station, Maitri, to make it bigger and last for at least 30 years.