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Antarctic Treaty conference wraps up tomorrow (May 14th)

Posted by Lindy on May 13, 2010


Global Insider: The Politics of the Antarctic

Kari Lipschutz | Bio | 13 May 2010

The Antarctic Treaty Conference in Uruguay wraps up tomorrow, ending two weeks of discussions between more than 350 foreign officials, on pressing issues such as conflicting territorial claims and environmental threats to the region. In an e-mail interview, Danila Bochkarev, Energy Security Associate at the EastWest Institute, explains the current political climate in the Antarctic.

The Antarctic Treaty of 1959, which relates to all land mass and ice shelves south of 60 degrees south latitude, bans military and raw-material exploration activities and sets the continent aside as a purely scientific territory. Current claims are unlikely to change that given that the treaty states, “No acts or activities taking place while the present treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting, supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica. No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica shall be asserted while the present treaty is in force” (Article IV).

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