Wikipedia contributors. 2008. Antarctic Treaty System. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 13 June 2008.
Background: The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica. For the purposes of this treaty, Antarctica is defined as all land and ice shelves south of 60°S latitude parallel. The treaty has been signed by 46 countries, including the now-defunct Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, established freedom of scientific investigation, and banned military activity.