Svalbard Treaty

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The Treaty between Norway, The United States of America, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Ireland and the British overseas Dominions and Sweden concerning Spitsbergen signed in Paris 9th February 1920, commonly called the Svalbard Treaty or the Spitsbergen Treaty for short, recognises the full and absolute sovereignty of Norway over the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, at the time called Spitsbergen. The exercise of sovereignty is, however, subject to certain stipulations, and not all Norwegian law applies. The treaty regulates the demilitarisation of the archipelago. The signatories were given equal rights to engage in commercial activities (mainly coal mining) on the islands. , Norway and Russia are utilising this right.

There were fourteen original High Contracting Parties, including: the United States, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands,On Dutch interest and historical claims see Muller, Hendrik, ‘Nederland’s historische rechten op Spitsbergen’, Tijdschrift van het Koninklijk Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootschap 2e serie, deel 34 (1919) no. 1, 94-104. Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and British overseas dominions of Canada, Australia, India, South Africa and New Zealand. Several additional nations signed within the next five years before the treaty came into force, including the Soviet Union in 1924 and Germany and China in 1925. There...
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