Demilitarization of Territory

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Demilitarization of Territory


in international law, the elimination of military fortifications and works in a designated territory and the prohibition of standing armed forces in the territory. The demilitarization of a territory (complete or partial) is done on the basis of an agreement between the interested states.

In the practice of international relations certain zones along state borders have been demilitarized. Such zones are often created on both sides of temporary demarcation lines established when concluding a truce (for example, in Korea in 1953, Vietnam in 1954, and the Middle East in 1949). Some international channels and canals (for example, the Straits of Magellan and the Suez Canal) have been demilitarized in order to ensure freedom and safety of navigation; the Aland and Spitsbergen archipelagoes are also demilitarized. There have also been cases in which so-called free cities (for example, Kraków in 1815) have been demilitarized. According to a multilateral treaty of Dec. 1, 1959, Antarctica is completely demilitarized.

A form of partial demilitarization of territory in current international law is the creation of nonnuclear zones, in which the production, storage, and deployment of nuclear weapons and installations for servicing them are prohibited.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.