In contrast to Antarctica, the Arctic was for a long time deprived of an adequate system of multilateral international scientific cooperation. That gap was filled in 1990 by the foundation of a non-governmental International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). In this article, the origin, structure, operation and perspectives of that Committee are presented.
In this article, Svalbard was presented as place and object of intensive scientific research, carried on under the rule of the 1920 Spitsbergen Treaty, which has transformed the archipelago into a unique political and legal entity, having no counterpart anywhere else in the world. Scientific activities in Svalbard are carried out within an uncommon legal framework, shaped by a body of instruments both of international law and domestic laws of Norway, as well as other countries concerned, while the Spitsbergen Treaty, in despite of its advanced age of 75 years, still remains a workable international instrument, fundamental to the maintenance of law and order within the whole Arctic region. In 1995 two important for Svalbard anniversaries were noted: on 9 February, 75 years of the signing of the Spitsbegren Treaty and on 14 August, 70 years of the Norwegian rule over the archipelago.