Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting

Educación Media- Español


  • The role of Antarctica in global climate processes
  • Adopting a Strategic Approach to Environmentally Managed Tourism and non-governmental activities in Antarctica
  • Application of Nuclear Energy in the Treaty Area


The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve countries whose scientists had been active in and around Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58. It entered into force in 1961 and has since been acceded to by many other nations. The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 53.

Some important provisions of the Treaty:

  • Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only (Art. I)
  • Freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica and cooperation toward that end … shall continue (Art. II).
  • Scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be exchanged and made freely available (Art. III).


Every year the original twelve Parties to the Treaty and those Parties that demonstrate their interest in Antarctica by conducting substantial research activity there - together called the Consultative Parties - meet "for the purpose of exchanging information, consulting together on matters of common interest pertaining to Antarctica, and formulating and considering and recommending to their Governments measures in furtherance of the principles and objectives of the Treaty" (Art. IX). This forum is the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM).

Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting Study Guide CILA 2016