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Antarctic Treaty
Date Issued: 1991-06-21
Postage Value: 50 cents

Commemorative issue
Antarctic Treaty 30th anniversary
Antarctic Treaty

The Antarctic Treaty was ratified June 23, 1961, by 12 nations: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, and the USSR. Signing the agreement later were Brazil, China, Germany, India, Italy, Poland, and Uruguay. Other nations that are not conducting major scientific activity in Antarctica have signed the document, but do not have rights. The treaty specifically states that the area shall be used for peaceful purposes only, and supports the freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation. In 1988 an agreement to regulate the future exploitation of Antarctica's mineral resources was negotiated, but was widely criticized by environmentalists and by developing nations demanding that the continent's resources be shared under U.N. supervision.

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