Foreign relations of A1
A1's main foreign policy objectives are roughly equivalent of those of other micronations.
All, except those listed below:
The policy was essentially to obtain recognition and ensure that the claimed territories were adequately provided with the services that one would expect from a micronation. The latter policy was achieved with reasonable success by July 2009, which is when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration, along with the Office of the Deputy Chairman released its first White Paper entitled ‘Preparing for Future Foreign Affairs Challenges’.
Initial anti-Capitalism fervour
Following the successful Pprit Revolution in late 2007, culminating the declaration of independence on January 1 2008, A1's then small government immediately began a rigorous anti-capitalist campaign, including posters, leaflets and announcements.
This impacted greatly on A1's foreign policy, as it continuously offered support to the macronation of Russia, especially during the attempted Georgian invasion of Russia in 2008 and did not officially recognise any macro or micronation officially deemed to be 'capitalist' by the People's Congress.
More moderate anti-capitalism policies
Following the 1st Anniversary celebrations on January 1 2009 and the disappearance of Chairman Pprit, A1 began a slow transformation into more moderate anti-capitalism policies. Such changes included recognition of previously unrecognised macronations and the 'toning down' of anti-capitalist propaganda.
This enabled A1's foreign affairs and relations to be greatly expanded, eventually culminating in A1's first bilateral agreement with the Democratic Republic of Bobalania and followed by membership of the United Micronations (2008) and the GUM.
July 2009 White Paper
The White Paper was called for by the government in order for A1 to have official obviously stated foreign policy objectives and to create "some idea of the direction that A1 is taking", according to the then Deputy Chairman, Roy Bailey.
It identifies the following ‘Four Points’ that, according to the Paper, it can expect to face "...over the next 1-2 years in foreign affairs":
- Problems with recognition of sovereignty and status of being a nation by other micronations
- The issue of the placement and selection of embassies around the world
- Membership of international organisations
- Conflicting national interests and specific foreign policy objectives
'New' Foreign Policies
As a general guide, these new policies were:
- More involved in macronational issues
- Aimed less at membership of international organisations
- More involved in direct bilateral agreements
- More involved in the assisting of other micronations
- A more independent foreign policy
Sir. Jonathan Morris established the MAO on October 19 2009, to "provide practical assistance and advice” to “fledging and newer micronations”, according to the Chairman. It was hoped that the Office will help A1 increase its standing in the micronational world and vastly expand its network of bilateral agreements and alliances.
Establishment of the A1 Broadcasting Commission
Following the huge success of the A1 News Service, the Ministry for Communications announced the creation of the A1BC.
From a foreign relations perspective, the A1BC is another "means of getting information out there" (Prof. John Collins).
Proposed anti-Zionist policy
It has been proposed by high members of the government for A1 to adopt an anti-Zionist policy, in view of accusations of state terrorism and atrocities committed by the macronation of Israel.
As part of the 'new' foreign policy, this is expected to be the first official foreign policy that regards macronational, rather than micronational, affairs.
Micronational war policy
A1 is believed to have an anti-micronational war stance, with many government members stating disdain whenever micronational war has broken out.
However, as A1 is protective of its sovereignty, it does not rule out declaring war if A1 itself is attacked first.
Official stance on intermicronational organisations
In October 2009, the MoFA formulated A1's first official intermicronational organisation policy, other than that outlined in the July 2009 White Paper, which was succinctly put by Chairman Rob Gribbon:
We see multimicronational organisations as adding to the capabilities of micronations, such as providing means of communication between micronations or providing for a middleman in negotiations, rather than compromising or replacing them.— HG Rob Gribbon
Tensions with GUM
On November 16 2009, Chairman Prof. John Collins posted a statement on the GUM talk page suspending A1's membership of the organisation, citing various reasons for doing so.
The statement heavily criticises the GUM itself, as well as touching on apparent faults and issues with the current Chairman of the GUM, Robert Lethler.
Organisation of Active Micronations
Within the first two weeks, there was a notable lack of member nations, and Chairman Gribbon even took the step of considering dismantling the Organisation. However, he was convinced out of this and following this, a surge of new members followed.
From a foreign policy perspective, the venture was almost a complete success. It vastly increased A1's standing in, at least, the MicroWiki community and greatly improved A1's relations with many micronations.
New guidelines on establishing diplomatic relations & recognition
In February 2010, new guidelines for A1's establishing of diplomatic relations with other micronations were outlined. These were to not recognise micronations or micronations' claims if these claims were in:
- Anywhere that's not on Earth
- The Arctic
- Seamounts & other underwater formations
- Anywhere that is not actual land
These new guidelines, and Donald Sunderland's speech to the Central Committee in early February caused much controversy and outcry amongst many Antarctic micronations. Despite this, A1, to date, has firmly entrenched itself in its new guidelines.
Donald Sunderland's views on Micronationalism in Antarctica were first revealed in public in his controversial speech to the Central Committee in early February 2010, which was leaked to MicroCommons by an as of yet unknown Cabinet minister.
The speech followed the announcement of the new recognition guidelines, and resulted in an ongoing exchange of views between the A1 Minister for External Affairs, Sir. Eddie McFarlane. and his Antarctic counterparts.
The second most notable ongoing exchange was sparked by and "...unnecessarily aggressive post..." by Premier James von Puchow of Landashir on the RrSA Antarctic Territory Talk Page, which resulted in a scathing opinion article written by Gribbon on the A1 News Service]. This sparked a diplomatic incident, which resulted in further exchanges between the AMU and Gribbon.
Eventually, the discussion moved to the AMU forum, where the discussion continued slowly before petering out a few weeks later.
When the A1 National Liberation Front declared itself to be the 'legitimate government of A1', a number of micronations recognised them as such. Those who openly declared their support were (in chronological order):
Subsequently, from a foreign relations perspective, A1 derecognised all of the above automatically for obvious reasons.
Despite great diplomatic pressure from almost all of the rest of the community, support for the A1NLF and the A1 Government in Exile has grown rather than waned. A motion proposed by the MGPRA1 in the OAM passed almost unanimously, condemning all supporters of the A1NLF and calling on member nations to not recognise the 'government in exile'.
On the 1st October, Chairman Donald Sunderland challenged all three micronations known to recognise the A1NLF to a debate. No response has been received to date.