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the conference antarctica continent and follow up the antarctica treaty
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The conference Antarctica Continent and follow up the ‘Antarctica Treaty

The conference Antarctica Continent and follow up the ‘Antarctica Treaty

Antarctica, the fifth largest continent in the world, has an area of about 1.4 million square kilometers. The world’s coldest continent is covered almost entirely by thick ice.

Its environment is so hostile that no human can live there permanently. Still, Britain first claimed ownership of the continent of Antarctica in 1908, mainly in hopes of extracting natural resources. Since then, different countries have started claiming their sovereignty over this continent.

At the same time, different countries started exploration activities in different parts of Antarctica. Initially, the nations began the activities cooperatively and peacefully, but at some point, it became a cause of international tension.

Then Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Norway, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union (Rasia) – some scientific organizations of these 12 countries jointly undertook scientific research.

As a result, these 12 countries observed the ‘International Geophysical Year from 1 July 1957 to 31 December 1958. These countries have established more than 55 research stations in Antarctica.

At the call of the then US President Eisenhower, the conference at the highest diplomatic level of those 12 countries began on 15 October 1959 in Washington.

Based on the consensus of this conference, the ‘Antarctica Treaty was signed on 1 December that year. Through this agreement, the countries undertake to use the Antarctic continent peacefully for the welfare of humankind without making it the subject of any international dispute.

At the same time, they were conducting military activities, testing any weapons, including nuclear weapons, and extracting mineral resources, which are also prohibited in Antarctica.

The agreement mentioned the preservation of fauna and natural resources of Antarctica and protecting the environment.

However, the treaty does not deny or support any country’s claim to national sovereignty in the region. By 2022, 43 more countries had signed the treaty, which entered into force on 23 June 1961.

Global warming has affected Antarctica as much as the rest of the world. The ice has started to melt slowly. As a result, low-lying areas of the world are in danger of sinking into the sea.

Even in such a situation, influential countries continue to dominate by building one research center. New countries are constantly adding to this list.

Some countries are again in favor of extracting the natural resources of the Antarctic continent and relaxing the existing restrictions. As a result, the continent of Antarctica has become a threat to the world.

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