Guest editorial—the 1959 Antarctic Treaty: reflecting on the 50th anniversary of a landmark agreement
AbstractCommemorating a particular anniversary is always an arbitrary affair, an act of whimsy. After all, why acknowledge the 50th anniversary of someone or some event as opposed to the 48th? In terms of birthdays, we tend to celebrate each year as another rite of human passage. However, when it comes to events such as wars and diplomatic encounters, the media and political commentators like more substantial blocks of time: 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 100th anniversaries are particularly noteworthy. The year 2009 has proven no different in terms of representing a temporal marker for the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty. In December 2009 a so-called Antarctic Treaty Summit was held in Washington, D.C. to take advantage of not only such a milestone, but also “to highlight lessons learned about international governance ‘with the interests of science and the progress of all mankind’ ” (Antarctic Treaty Summit 2009, emphasis added).por_163 145..149
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