Antarctica is the southernmost continent of the earth and contains the South Pole. Antarctica does not have permanent residents, as most people visit for a few months and leave. The continent is governed by about 53 countries that have signed a treaty, named the Antarctic treaty, which is used in the governance of the region. The treaty came into force on December 1, 1961. Some countries have laid claims to parts of Antarctica, these countries and their territories include the United Kingdom – British Antarctic Territory, New Zealand – Ross Dependency, France – Adelie Land. There are also Norway – Peter I island, Australia – Australian Antarctic Territory, Norway – Queen Maud Land, Chile – Chilean Antarctic Territory, and Argentina- Argentine Antarctica.

Antarctica does not have government elections in the traditional sense, although some matters are decided by the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat was formed on September 1, 2004. The Secretariat is tasked with preparing and supporting the consultative meetings, publishing reports of the meetings, ease communication between member states of the treaty and to supply information to the public about the Antarctic Treaty. The secretariat’s headquarters is based at Buenos Aires, Argentina. Many of the claims made on Antarctica by various countries do not have international acceptance.

There is no house of parliament or any presidential residence in Antarctica. Meetings to discuss pertinent issues are held in one of the consultative nations yearly on a rotational basis. The meetings take about ten working days between May and July. There can also be scheduled meetings, which may consist of a meeting of experts, which are held at an agreed state. The other 24 countries are allowed to attend the meetings though only the 29 consultative countries are allowed to make decisions.

There are no political parties active in Antarctica, as the only residents of the continent are scientists, or tourists who pass through for temporary visits.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018