International Stewardship

To boldly go where no one has gone before.

—Star Trek antarctic treaty system

The significance of scientific cooperation in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) reverberated through the participating nations. Recognizing their historic opportunity, in 1959 the seven claimant nations (Fig. 3.5) and five nonclaimant nations (Belgium, Japan, South Africa, Soviet Union, and the United States) crafted the Antarctic Treaty and became the initial signatories ''with the interests of science and the progress of all mankind'' (Box 5.1). The Antarctic Treaty came into force on 23 June 1961, having been ratified by the 12 IGY nations, with the goal of managing Antarctica for the benefit of humanity—an entire continent governed by international cooperation ''forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes only.''

How does the Antarctic Treaty promote international cooperation and peaceful use of the region south of 60° south latitude?

The Antarctic Treaty is elegant in its simplicity and profound in its capacity to accommodate the ''interests of all humankind.'' The Antarctic Treaty also establishes a precedent for managing regions or resources that exist beyond national jurisdiction. [To facilitate your understanding of the Antarctic Treaty and its ensuing legal framework, texts of the documents that have been signed by the Antarctic Treaty nations from 1959 to 1999 are incorporated into a searchable for-

box 5.1 1959 antarctic treatya PREAMBLE

The Governments of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, the French Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Union of South Africa, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America,

Recognizing that it is in the interest of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord;

Acknowledging the substantial contributions to scientific knowledge resulting from international cooperation in scientific investigation in Antarctica;

Convinced that the establishment of a firm foundation for the continuation and development of such cooperation on the basis of freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica as applied during the International Geophysical Year accords with the interests of science and the progress of all mankind;

Convinced also that a treaty ensuring the use of Antarctica for peaceful purposes only and the continuance of international harmony in Antarctica will further the purposes and principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations;

Have agreed as follows:

aFrom the Antarctic Treaty Searchable Database: 1959-1999.

mat for interpreting the historical and topical contexts based on your choice of key words or phrases on the Antarctic Treaty Searchable Database: 1959-1999 CD-ROM]. The Preamble and 14 articles of the Antarctic Treaty (Box 5.2) will be used to illustrate this process of analyzing the language and intent of these documents.

How do the articles of the Antarctic Treaty reflect the history of nations in the region?

Like any good book, the Antarctic Treaty opens in the preamble by introducing the principal characters and their story. The 12 initial signatories were convinced that

0 0

Post a comment