Antarctica is a land of extremes: it is the coldest and driest continent on Earth and has the highest average elevation of any continent. It has been able to maintain its pristine beauty and serenity, its landscape largely untouched by humans, due to the fact that there have never been indigenous populations or permanent residents. There are several research bases on the continent, with a small number (ranging from several hundred to four thousand at a time) of researchers who come and go for various lengths of time. The environment provides a "natural laboratory" whose conditions cannot be duplicated anywhere else on Earth.
As the only uninhabited continent, Antarctica has no government and belongs to no country. Since 1959, various countries' claims on Antarctica have been suspended and the continent is considered politically neutral. It is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System, which has the main objective of ensuring, in the interests of all humankind, that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord.
The harmonious relationships existing among the fellow researchers from numerous nations provides proof that it is possible for humanity to live in harmony. There are no recognized barriers of nationality or race. It would be in the interest of leaders of all nations to look at the example of Antarctica and make serious strides to duplicate its ability to live peacefully side by side.