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Antarctica proof of international law success

Antarctica proof of international law success

Half a century since a historic agreement was signed to scientifically preserve Antarctica, experts claim the 50-year success of the agreement should provide a valuable lesson that international…

Half a century since a historic agreement was signed to scientifically preserve Antarctica, experts claim the 50-year success of the agreement should provide a valuable lesson that international co-operation can work.

ICY FRONTIER: The Antarctic Treaty's 50th anniversary
This week, the 50th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty - which originally saw 12 countries agree that Antarctica should only be used for peaceful purposes and science - has been remembered, with the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Art, Peter Garrett, launching a commemoration ceremony at Old Parliament House on Tuesday.

Since the agreement was signed in 1959 a further 35 countries have come on board to sign the treaty, which covers an extensive area of land and sea across the Antarctic continent. It's a mark of success, said Australian National University history professor Tom Griffiths, and one that proves international co-operation is possible on environmental protection.

"The Antarctic Treaty provides a compelling model for international co-operation, and Australia was a significant player in its formation," Griffiths said in a statement to the media.

The last 50 years has also seen the original agreement further bolstered, including the addition of a protocol for environmental protection and a convention for the conservation of living marine resources.

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