BOX 4.1 THE ANTARCTIC TREATY SYSTEM
The Antarctic Treaty System originated in 1961 during the height of the Cold War, and although the Cold War effectively ended more than two decades ago, the Antarctic Treaty System remains in force. The countries that are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty System are listed in the table below. One might argue, given the importance of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean for the conditions of the larger world, that the treaty system is now more important than ever. The Antarctic Treaty System provides the foundation for treating the continent of Antarctica as a scientific research zone, while excluding hostile military activity and territorial conquest. Subsequent additions to the Antarctic Treaty System of the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resource, which manages fishing in the Southern Ocean, and the Environmental Protocol provide explicit regulations to maintain the comparatively pristine conditions of the continent.
TABLE Signatories of the Antarctic Treaty System, Country and Date Joined (as of 2011)
|Canada||04-5-88||Papua New Guinea||16-9-75|
|Czech Republic||01-9-93||Russian Federation||23-6-61*|
SOURCE: Information from Antarctic Treaty Secretariat.