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U.S. policy

  1. Antarctica and International Law – A Collection of Inter-state and National Documents, Volume III, by W.H. Bush, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1988 (551 p.).  Part XVIII, United States of America, pages 417-537, contains texts establishing or describing U.S. policy toward Antarctica since 1823.  Of note:

    1. Nonrecognition of Antarctic territorial claims, by Secretary of State Charles E. Hughes.  Page 430, 13 May 1924.
    2. Draft agreement providing for a condominium over Antarctica (led to the 1959 Antarctic Treaty).  Page 464, July 1948.
    3. Policy objectives in Antarctica.  Page 488, 15 May 1975.
    4. Federal agency responsibilities regarding the U.S. Antarctic Program.  Page 535, July 1985.

  2. Planning and Conduct of the United States Program for Antarctica (establishes Executive Branch responsibilities for the continuing U.S. Antarctic Program following the 1957-1958 International Geophysical Year).  Bureau of the Budget Circular A-51, 3 August 1960.

  3. Antarctic Treaty, signed by 12 nations at Washington, D.C., on 1 December 1959, ratified by the U.S. Senate 10 August 1960, entered into force 23 June 1961.

    1. Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (CCAS), signed in London on 1 June 1972, entered into force in 1978.
    2. Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), signed in Canberra on 20 May in 1980, entered into force in 1982.
    3. Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, signed in Madrid on 4 October 1991, entered into force in 1998.
    4. Secretariat describes consultative and acceding parties, meetings, recommendations, and agreements adopted under the Antarctic Treaty system.  The treaty’s now 28 consultative nations represent two-thirds of the world population (four-fifths of the world economy).

  4. U.S. Antarctic Policy and Program (transfers management of the U.S. Antarctic Program from DoD to NSF and affirms the importance of an “active and influential U.S. presence”).  National Security Decision Memorandum 71, 10 July 1970.

  5. Planning and Conduct of the United States Program in Antarctica (implements NSDM 71, establishing responsibilities of the Antarctic Policy Group and agencies).  Office of Management and Budget Circular A-51 (revised), 4 August 1971.

  6. U.S. Policy for Antarctica (revalidates the mission of an active and influential U.S. presence, affirms the NSF management responsibility, and asserts that Antarctic funding should not be at the expense of other NSF programs).  National Security Decision Memorandum 318, 25 February 1976.

  7. U.S. Antarctic Policy and Programs (the active and influential presence requires year-round occupation of the South Pole and two coastal stations). White House Memorandum 6646, 5 February 1982.

  8. U.S. policy on private expeditions to Antarctica.  The U.S. Government does not support or service private expeditions, but in an emergency may try to rescue private expedition personnel.  Private expeditions should be self-sufficient and insured. NSF may bill for costs of emergency search and rescue.

  9. U.S. Antarctic Program environmental stewardship.  NSF operates the Antarctic Program in accordance with U.S. and international requirements regarding protection of the environment. This site summarizes treaties and laws that apply to Antarctica.

  10. United States Policy in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions (U.S. Antarctic policy is to protect the environment, protect opportunities for scientific research, maintain Antarctica as an area of international cooperation for peaceful purposes, and conserve living resources in the adjacent oceans).  Presidential Decision Directive NSC-26, 9 June 1994.

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