Information on the Antarctic
Enlarge image (© Colourbox) New Zealand
The Antartic is a vast region outside state control subject to a system of internal agreements. Its core document is the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. It is made up of 50 nations, among them Germany which joined in 1979. The Antarctic Treaty governs the area south of the 60° southern latitude and among other things regulates the use of the Antarctic region for peaceful purposes only, expressly prohibiting any military use. It guarantees the freedom of scientific research and thus international co-operation in the region. The sovereignty demands by the seven participating member states (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Great Britain and Norway) on parts of the region are left open in the Treaty on purpose and at the same time, "frozen" for the validity period of the Treaty (see Art. IV). Germany refrains from making a territorial claim.
New Zealand, by virtue of its geographical proximity, is an important starting point for research and economic activities in the Antarctic region. "Christchurch", with its International Antarctic Centre and important port and airport connecting with the South Polar region, is the "capital" of the region.