argentina antarctica treaty
When most people think of Argentina they think of humid, bustling cities, not the worldâ€™s most desolate and unexplored continent. However, Argentinaâ€™s connection with Antarctica goes way back. Apart from being the closest country in the word to Antarctica (along with Chile) it is one of only three nations that claim parts of it as their own territory (the other two being Great Britain and Chile.) The Argentine Antarctic region is technically known as part of the province of Tierra del Fuego, although this is not internationally accepted. Argentinaâ€™s historical claims on Antarctica are based on the fact that an Argentine, JosÃ© MarÃa Sobral, was one of the first people to travel there in 1901. Later, in 1904, Argentina established the Orcadas base there, one of the first permanent operational bases on the continent. Argentina was the only nation to have an Antarctic base for 40 years until the British built their own. However, few nations recognize any one country's entitlement to Antarctica, and neither Argentina, Chile nor Britain has made any active effort to establish their dominance.
Considering its long-standing interest in Antarctica, it comes as no surprise that Argentina played a major role in establishing the Antarctic Treaty in 1961. Famous as being the first arms control agreement to have been made during the Cold War, the treaty came about as an effort to ban military testing on the continent and to make it a preserve that scientists from any nation were free to study. The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat headquarters has been located in Buenos Aires since 2004, where most of the international regulating regarding Antarctica is held. Even though Argentinaâ€™s relationships with other countries have been historically rocky, it is interesting to note that it made such an effort to cooperate with other nations in order to protect one of the last truly wild places left in the world.