This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Antarctic Treaty – recognised as one of the most successful international agreements, setting an example of peaceful cooperation. Pobjoy Mint is therefore delighted to announce the release of this beautiful new £2 coin on behalf of the British Antarctic Territory to commemorate this anniversary. There are very few places on this planet where there has never been war, where the environment is fully protected and where priority has been given to scientific research. Antarctica is one such place, a whole continent that the Treaty Parties have designated as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”. Originally signed on 1 st December 1959 in Washington by the twelve nations that were active in Antarctic science at the time, the Treaty came into force on 23 rd June 1961. It has since been acceded to by many other nations, and there are now 54 Parties to the Treaty.
The Treaty itself is succinct but effective. Among its 14 articles, the Treaty stipulates that Antarctica should only be used for peaceful purposes; it guarantees the continued freedom to conduct scientific research, and promotes international scientific cooperation, setting aside disputes over territorial sovereignty. 60 years since the Treaty entered into force, the Parties remain committed to a system that protects Antarctic interests and allows science to give us the ability to monitor the impacts of climate change – an important issue that affects the whole of this planet. The coin is offered on behalf of the Government of the British Antarctic Territory, with full recognition of Article IV of the Antarctic Treaty. The design on the coin features a map of Antarctica with four Emperor Penguins standing on the land. The obverse of the coin features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.
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