People from all over the world undertake research in Antarctica, but Antarctica is not owned by any one nation.

Antarctica is governed internationally through the Antarctic Treaty system.

The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by 12 countries who had scientists in and around Antarctica at the time. The negotiation of the Treaty stemmed from the very successful 1957–58 International Geophysical Year.

The original signatories of the Antarctic Treaty included seven countries with territorial claims. These are Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom.

The Antarctic Treaty entered into force in 1961. It has since been agreed to by many other nations.