1 December, 2014

Antarctica Day 2014: 55 years since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty

Today, 1 December, is Antarctica Day and people across the globe are celebrating! The Day was inaugurated in 2010 to mark the signing of the Antarctic Treaty on 1 December 1959.

Fifty-five years ago, the group of twelve nations who’d been involved in the International Geophysical Year of 1957 signed the Treaty.

The Treaty has ensured that Antarctica remains a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science.

Among its provisions are:

  • Antarctica is only to be used for peaceful purposes, although military personnel may be used in logistical support
  • There is freedom of scientific investigation and co-operation
  • Scientific information, data and personnel can be freely exchanged
  • Territorial claims are “frozen” and new ones cannot be made
  • Nuclear explosions and radioactive waste are banned

To date, it has been signed by fifty countries. Each year representatives from these nations meet to discuss relevant issues and any pressing concerns, which can range from environmental protection to scientific collaboration, and from the management of tourism to operational issues.

Antarctica Day was initiated by the Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces as an annual event to build global awareness of this landmark institution, celebrating this milestone of peace in our civilization with hope and inspiration for future generations.

Celebrations are taking place throughout the world today to mark the occasion. Find out more on the Antarctica Day Facebook page.

The Antarctic Treaty

Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty