Territorial Claims

Seven nations have made formal territorial claims in Antarctica—Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, and Norway. Some of the claims overlap; about 15 per cent of the continent is unclaimed. The United States, Russia, and a number of other countries neither recognize these territorial claims nor make claims of their own.

Under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, all territorial claims are being held in abeyance. The treaty was originally adopted by Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, and the United States, and several other nations later became treaty members. The world's nations as a whole, however, have yet to agree upon the legal status of the continent.