Grand Unified Micronational

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Grand Unified Micronational
Intermicronational organisation
GUM logo.png
Logo

Headquarters Quorum of Delegates (Skype room)

Official language English.

Membership 19 full members; 4 observers

Leadership
Chairman Henry Clément
Vice-Chairman Newton von Uberquie
Supreme Justice Bradley of Dullahan

Establishment
– Foundation 5 January 2009
– Constitution ratified 14 April 2009
- Attempted dissolution 20 September 2010
- Restoration 14 August 2011
- Constitution revised 19 February 2012
- Implementation of 2014 Charter 15 February 2014
- Reformed into formal discussion venue 14 June 2015
- Implementation of current Charter 4 June 2016

News site

The Grand Unified Micronational, commonly abbrieviated as the GUM, is an intermicronational organisation with the aim of helping diplomatic relations between micronations, with a general focus on its own member states. Based around the MicroWiki Community and founded in January 2009, the GUM held an almost hegemonic sway over the community (especially under Robert Lethler's terms as Chairman) from the summer of 2009 until it declined in the summer of 2010.

After the departure of Robert Lethler on 30 July 2010, the organisation was hit by inactivity and controversy. Acting Chair James von Puchow's attempts to revitalise the GUM were unsucessful, as were negotiations for a merger with the Organisation of Active Micronations, which rejected every proposal offered. Von Puchow declared the GUM dissolved on 20 September 2010, and although for several months this was not widely protested, in August 2011 the GUM was brought back to activity after it was discovered that von Puchow's term had expired by the time of the "dissolution" and so the GUM had de jure never been disestablished. The GUM returned to prominence and influence within the community over 2012 guided by the "Troika" of Jacob Tierney, Crown Prince Jonathan and Will Sörgel. However, a leadership scandal at the start of 2013 led to a prolonged period of decrease in influence and activity; in 2014, the Grand Unified Micronational adopted a new fundamental legislative document, the Charter, authored by Chairman Ciprian of Juclandia, which gave the organisation a new structure and an improved legislative base. However, inactivity once again gradually set in and following a round of failed elections in March 2015, the GUM was dissolved as an intergovernmental organisation on 14 June 2015, living on as a formal discussion group via one of its organs, the GUM Lounge. The organisation was refounded as such by the members of the Lounge the following year, with the adoption of a new charter on 4 June 2016.

The GUM's regular discussion of current micronational topics and the weekly meetings held every Saturday or Sunday in a Skype chatroom make it one of the most active intermicronational organisations in existence. It remains the only active general-purpose intermicronational organisation in the MicroWiki community, outliving the UNMCN, Organisation of Active Micronations, and IMTO.

History

2009-10

The Grand Unified Micronational was founded in January 2009 by Tsar Royalé Jacob Tierney of Scientopia (predecessor of Renasia). The constitutionally recognised founding member states of Grand Unified Micronational were the Kingdom of Camuria, the Democratic People’s Republic of Erusia, Scientopia, the Republic of Petorio, Stigistan, Tozland and the Federal Republic of St.Charlie. Following investigations by the organisation, the Kingdom of Camuria was suspended from membership in late February 2009 (see the GUM Analysis of Camurian Falsehoods). During Black March (2009), the Grand Unified Micronational dealt with peace negotiations in the Meissner-Antifan War between Scientopia and the Empire of New Europe.

The Charter of the Grand Unified Micronational, written by Robert Lethler, was officially adopted on 19 April. May 2009 saw the collapse of the Union of Socialist Micronational Republics, after which the Union's membership was passed onto the Democratic People’s Republic of Erusia. Erusia's "Cold War" with New Europe helped the GUM in its rise to supreme influence over the MicroWiki community, as it helped with negotiations between the two most powerful nations of that time. When war eventually broke out between those two nations in July 2009, the organisation was heavily involved in peace talks - the Treaty of Universal Non-Aggression, which acted as a peace treaty ending this conflict, became a document which the GUM encouraged its members to sign.

The GUM was also involved in mediation between disputes over Antarctic claims. In the Siple War, the organisation originally backed Finismund and Flandrensis, but later adopted a neutral view of the conflict; further Antarctic disagreements were seen in the Poaching Conflict and in the Rhodesian War, the latter of which helped to cement the GUM's hold on the MicroWiki Sector by resulting in the dissolution of the UNMCN, the only remaining competition for the GUM as a UN-style body in the community.

The winter of 2009 and the spring of 2010 saw many older micronations fall into inactivity and many new micronations join the community, destablising the status quo and slightly decreasing the influence of the Grand Unified Micronational; this was not helped by the rise of the Organisation of Active Micronations. The GUM was still greatly respected by older micronationalists, however, and played a vital role in negotiating for the referendum which ended the Austenasian Civil War fought between March and May 2010. Diplomatic conflict and tension in the community rapidly grew during the summer of 2010 (caused by new micronations such as Starland and Rajputistan, and the rise of the Intermicronational Conservative Alliance) which the GUM was not able to effectively deal with.

First period of dormancy

After the departure of Robert Lethler and the collapse of Erusia and the then-incarnation of Sandus at the end of July 2010, the organisation fell into inactivity, with numerous bureaucratic issues also formed by Lethler's departure. A possible merge with the Organisation of Active Micronations was unsuccessfully proposed (the OAM rejecting all terms offered), and Acting Chairman James von Puchow announced on 22 August a reform that was intended to bring the GUM back to activity in mid-September 2010. However, no action was taken during the month other than the disbanding of the Councils, and James von Puchow announced on 20 September 2010 that he had dissolved the organisation.

2011-15

Due to the state of inactivity that the GUM had been in, the dissolution by von Puchow was neither questioned nor opposed at the time. However, during February 2011 it was openly questioned whether or not the Chair had the power to unanimously dissolve the organisation, and in August of that year it was discovered that von Puchow's term had expired by the time of the alleged dissolution, meaning that that GUM was de jure merely dormant, not disestablished. A number of national leaders, under the leadership of Jacob Tierney and Will Sörgel, gathered together and re-established the GUM at 20:48 on 14 August 2011.

A poster of support left by the GUM at Occupy London

Acting leaders were quickly elected - Tierney as Acting Chair, Sörgel as Acting Vice-Chair, and Crown Prince Jonathan as Supreme Judge. It was decided that the GUM should have a month of consolidation and gradual regrowth before publicly announcing its rebirth to the community, both in order to protect some of its current members (one delegate was also an official in the OAM, and it was decided to wait for him to lose that office in the next OAM elections to protect him from reprisals) and to ensure that the GUM would emerge consolidated and united and be ready to deal with whatever came its way. The "former" members which were not aware of the rebirth of the organisation were either informed, suspended, or expelled from the GUM (but with no restrictions on re-applying), and nations which had never been part of the GUM before (such as Tiana and Dorzhabad) were welcomed into the organisation. The initial plan to publicly relaunch when ready was disrupted by TASPAC, which released news of the GUM's re-establishment in response to a dossier written by the recently-returned Robert Lethler against Aldrich Lucas, which Lethler had presented to the GUM before publicly releasing. News of the imminent release of the dossier was leaked to TASPAC by Joseph Puglisi, the response of which caused the Yablokogate diplomatic crisis, resulting in Tiana and Stodænna leaving the GUM and being expelled from TASPAC. The results of constitutional leadership elections were announced on 13 September, with all acting leaders retaining their positions.

A paper signed by the delegates at the GUM's only face-to-face Quorum to date.

Between the "rebirth" of the GUM and the end of 2011, it sent a physical representative to Occupy LSX to express support for the ideological aims of the Occupy movement, achieved a goal of encouraging three quarters of its members to become signatory to the Treaty of Universal Peace, a treaty aiming to make wars of aggression illegal under intermicronational law, and shifted away from the idea of a community equivalent of the United Nations to an organisation that would exist primarily for the benefit of its own members. New leadership elections were successfully held in December 2011, and under the Chairmanship of the then Crown Prince Jonathan of Austenasia the organisation successfully implemented a program of constitutional reform, with a number of amendments and additions codifying conventions and removing needless bureacratic or defunct features of the Constitution being officially adopted on 19 February 2012. Crown Prince Jonathan's successor, Bradley of Dullahan, became the first Chairman to be removed by a vote of no confidence when the Quorum passed one on 22 April in response to his disregard for the entrenchment of the Constitution and his lack of knowledge of GUM proceedings and conventions. Bradley was replaced with Will Sörgel as Acting Chair until June, when Crown Prince Jonathan was re-elected. The Crown Prince chaired the first (and, to date, only) face-to-face physically in-person Quorum in the history of the organisation on 15 July 2012 in the aftermath of the 2012 Polination Conference, with Austenasian, St.Charlian, Renasian, Sandum and Juclandian delegations present (James Stewart having been appointed a provisional Juclandian delegate).

Later that year the GUM organised the 24 Hour Quorum, the first event of its kind, which ran from 14-15 August and was attended by micronationalists from the whole community and beyond. Five or more people were kept online and talking for 24 hours, and some of those partaking were sponsored, leading to money (US $128, over £80) being donated to various charities.

January 2013 saw controversy as Chairman Yaroslav Mar and Vice-Chairman Bradley of Dullahan were accused of conspiring with Secretary of the Security Council Haakon Lindstrom to remove Sandus and Juclandia from the GUM for political reasons. Accusations and arguments resulted in some member states leaving and the former three individuals all resigning from their positions of leadership in the organisation, with Crown Prince Jonathan becoming Acting Chair on 19 January. The organisation soon returned to normality under his direction, with former members rejoining and the GUM focusing on various projects, and the March, June and September 2013 elections went ahead as planned.

Towards the end of 2013, activity began to decline, and the December elections that year were almost completely forgotten about until the last minute. This prompted fresh efforts to revitalise the organisation, led by Ciprian of Juclandia as Chairman. On 15 February 2014, these efforts led to the Quorum approving a new Charter to replace the old Constitution. This finally abolished the Security and Advancement Councils, as well as introducing the Secretariat. Bradley of Dullahan continued the development of the Secretariat during his term from March to June 2014 by introducing the GUM Staff, comprised of all the executive offices along with the Supreme Judge, which held regular meetings in addition to the standard Quorum meetings. Joseph Kennedy became Chair during the June to September 2014 term, which saw new projects to revise the Charter based on the recommendations of Supreme Judge Taeglan I Nihilus and to hold a Mock Trial in order to provide the organisation with some experience in handling legal matters. These projects continued into the term of Adam I in September 2014. On 24 September 2014, the Quorum voted to expand the Secretariat by creating Junior Secretaries, which were optional in each department.

During the term of Taeglan I, which started in December 2014, activity in the GUM started to decline. Wyvern, a long-time member state, renounced its membership in February 2015. Although plans were made during the March 2015 elections by candidates Adam I and James I to restore the GUM's reputation, it was soon realised that it was too little, too late when it was announced that the election was invalid due to turnout being too low. The growing consensus both inside and outside the organisation was that it was time to dissolve the GUM for good. Based on a proposal by Austenasia's delegates, Adam I, who was eventually elected to a second term after a new election on 1 April, put a motion before Quorum on 12 April 2015 which would begin the process of amending the GUM Charter to dissolve the GUM as an organisation, but retain the GUM Lounge as a formal venue for professional discourse between politicians and diplomats. After this motion was passed, the GUM ceased all activity for almost two months, until an Extraordinary Constituent Quorum was summoned to repeal almost all of the Charter. The motions to repeal the necessary articles were passed on 14 June 2015, at which point the GUM as an intergovernmental organisation was considered dissolved.

Second period of dormancy

Upon the effective dissolution of the GUM as an intergovernmental organisation, the GUM Lounge Skype group was retained, and functioned as a formal venue for professional civil discussion between micronationalists, the office of the Chairman becoming the moderator of said Skype group. On 30 July 2015, under new rules for the election of the Chairman, Emperor Jonathan I was for a third time elected as Chairman.

By having scaled itself back to no more than a Skype group, the GUM was able to survive with legal continuity until such time as there was perceived to once again be a need for an intermicronational organisation in the MicroWiki sector. On 14 April 2016, after several weeks of private discussion between several micronationalists, notably including Mcarthian President Kit McCarthy, Jonathan I and others in support of the idea brought up in the Lounge the topic of restoring the GUM as an intermicronational organisation. Those whom it was considered likely would oppose the project were removed from the room, and a Quorum was held. Meetings and discussion between those interested in the idea continued for several weeks, until a new Charter was approved on 23 May. The first eighteen national delegations to ratify the new Charter became the new members of the GUM, with the organisation being officially restarted on 4 June upon the eighteenth ratification.

Present

The entering into force of the new Charter sparked an election for Chair, for which Jonathan I did not stand. Fionnbarra Ó Cathail, who stood against Kit McCarthy, was elected Chair by nine votes to one, and took power on 25 June 2016. Since its return as an organisation, the Grand Unified Micronational has grown in membership and held weekly meetings to discuss various goals and projects. On 7 May 2017, the organization - under incumbent Chair Henry Clément - held a second 24 Hour Quorum, raising over $140 for various charities.

Structure

The Grand Unified Micronational is comprised of three branches, each of them resembling one branch of the three powers in state: legislative, executive and judicial. The separation of powers is set out in Article 1 of the Charter, and consists of:

  • The Quorum of Delegates, "the collective body of delegations from each member state," serving as the supreme legislative organ of the GUM, but also being given "supreme executive, legislative and judicial competence";
  • The Chair (and Vice-Chair), "elected by the delegations of the member states to co-ordinate the activities of the organisation" and acting as the executive leader;
  • The Supreme Court, the supreme judicial organ.

The Chairman acts as the executive leader of the GUM while a Supreme Judge enforces the rules of the organisation, both with the confidence of the Quorum. The Quorum also appoints secretaries to fulfill certain roles. After its creation, the GUM established (with the help of various member states) a Constitution, which was signed and ratified 18 April 2009 and revised in February 2012. The Constitution was abolished and replaced on 15 February 2014 with the first Charter of the Grand Unified Micronational, which was replaced by the current Charter on 4 June 2016.

Quorum of Delegates

The Quorum of Delegates is the main assembly and supreme organ of Grand Unified Micronational. The Quorum consists of between one and three delegates from each member state. The Quorum of Delegates serves as a board for discussion between member states, and has the power to vote the decisions made by the organisation, including election of organs and offices of the organisation, as well as recognition of Charter ratifications (membership applications). Quorum sessions were held weekly (fortnightly during 2013) on Sunday evenings in a designated Skype chatroom, providing at least 5 full member states were present; under the new Charter, Quorum sessions continue to take place every week on Skype, but now alternate between Saturday and Sunday and midday and evening in order to allow all delegations to attend regardless of timezone.

Chairman

The Chair of the Quorum of Delegates is the executive leader and general representative of the Grand Unified Micronational. Their role in the organisation is parallel to that of a Secretary General. The term of Chair was three months before June 2015, became unlimited during the 2015-16 dormancy, and since June 2016 has been six months. The Chair is charged with the general administration of the GUM, and has duties and powers such as directing voting and meetings of the Quorum. The Chair also has the power to unilaterally suspend any delegate, although any such decision could be vetoed by the Quorum. The first unofficial chair was the founder of the GUM, Jacob Tierney, although the official inaugural holder of the office was Kalvin Koolidge of the Republic of Petorio.

As the main external representative of the GUM, the Chair promotes the public image of the GUM and is responsible for representing it in bi- and multilateral discussions. Chairmen since the foundation of the GUM have been actively involved in the processes of conflict mitigation and intermicronational mediation, frequently leading diplomatic teams in peace talks.

In the interests of fairness, the Chairman of the Quorum is always expected to be largely politically independent in order to ensure that they demonstrate no bias in the exercising of their powers. For this reason, candidates for the Chairship during an election are usually experienced diplomats who have made a name for themselves and earned the trust and respect of the membership as a whole, although any delegate has the right to stand.

Though they continue to represent their nation to the GUM, Chairmen are expected to put the interests of the institution before that of their own nation. In debates at Quorum the Chair usually speaks to represent their personal and professional opinion, rather than that of their nation, though they may note - and clearly distinguish - both opinions.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, formerly known as the Justice Commission is the organisation's intermicronational judicial organ. The Supreme Court has the power to try member states and other parties which it considered could have violated intermicronational law. The Court is constitutionally obliged to remain unbiased and independent in all its decisions.

Nevertheless, before August 2010, Robert Lethler was often seen as the man controlling the proceedings of the Justice Commission, sometimes with the collaboration of the Supreme Judges, who were often forced to follow him due to the absence of a legal convention. The Supreme Justice (formerly titled officially as the Chair of the Presidium of the Supreme Tribune, and often known as the Supreme Judge) is the head of the Supreme Court, nominated by the Chair and approved by the Quorum.

The Justice Commission brought New Scientopia to trial over negligent disclosure of information regarding New Europe, offered possible trial to the Kingdom of Camuria, introduced the illegalisation of hacking, compiled a list of intermicronational legal terms with clear definitions, and declared official opinions regarding events such as the Rhodesian War. Since the return of the organisation from its 2010-11 dormancy, the main duty of the Supreme Justice has been to interpret the Charter and to offer rulings and advice on GUM regulations and conventions.

A list of Supreme Judges/Justices since the organisation's founding is as follows:

On 11 February 2017, the position of Associate Justice was formally created, to assist the Supreme Justice in his duties and to enable a vote to take place should a decision of the court be appealed. A list of Associate Justices - of which there are two - is as follows, with the incumbents in bold:

Secretaiat for Public Relations and Press

The Secretariat for Public Relations and Press was founded on 13 May 2017 as an expansion of the office of the Press Secretary. The Secretariat conducts media and public projects, and is led by the Secretary, the office of which originally existed between 2009 and 2010 before it was re-established in March 2014, when the Secretariat offices were established by the Quorum of Delegates.

A list of Secretaries for Public Relations and Press is as follows:

Secretariat for Statistical Research

The Secretariat for Statistical Research was founded on 1 May 2017 as an expansion of the office of Statistics Secretary. The Secretariat authors and conducts statistical research on member states, and is led by the Secretary, the office of which was created on 31 July 2016.

A list of Statistics Secretaries is as follows:

GUM Archivist

The office of Archivist was created on 22 October 2016. The holder of the position is responsible for "the protection of the GUM's data; the protection and organisation of the GUM's history; [and] the accuracy and updating of the GUM's wiki presence."

A list of Archivists is as follows:

Secretariat for Conflict Resolution and Intermicronational Law

The Secretariat for Conflict Resolution and Intermicronational Law (SCRIL) is jointly responsible for the provision of mediation services, and developing intermicronational law. Headed by a Secretary appointed by Quorum, SCRIL was established on 14 January 2017.

A list of Secretaries for Conflict Resolution and Intermicronational Law is as follows:

Defunct organs and positions

Advancement Council

The Advancement Council (AC) was the organ of the Grand Unified Micronational charged with the promotion and development of issues of mutual development between member states. The Advancement Council was established by the Constitution, containing up to five member states and with an electoral term of three months. Members of the AC were elected by the Quorum of Delegates. The Advancement Council was disestablished during the August 2010 attempted reform, but reformed by the Quorum after the restoration of GUM activity a year later. The Advancement Council was deactivated during the term of Richard Cunningham as Chair of Quorum in March 2013, as an indirect result the 2012-13 GUM leadership scandal, and was disbanded permanently with the entry into force of the Charter on 15 February 2014.

Security Council

The Security Council (SC) was the organ of Grand Unified Micronational charged with the promotion and development of intermicronational peace and security. As with the Advancement Council, the SC consisted of up to five member states who were elected every three months with a ban on having a third consecutive full term. The Security Council could intervene in any issues regarding security, conflict or peace promotion between member states, but had no authority to force any nation to change their policy on any issue. The Security Council was disestablished during the August 2010 attempted reform, but reformed by the Quorum after the restoration of GUM activity a year later. It was again disestablished on 31 March 2013, in response to a lack of traditional micronational conflicts for it to respond to.

Former Secretaries

After the dissolution of the Security Council and Advancement Council in 2013 and 2014 respectively, three secretarial positions were established by Quorum on 13 March 2014. The Secretary for Security and Community Affairs was to continue the work of the Security Council, whereas the Secretary for Culture and Education and the Secretary for Science and Research were to continue the work of the Advancement Council. These three positions were abolished in June 2014 upon the organisation transitioning into a formal discussion group, and were not re-established upon its return to organisation status the following year.

Members

Full members

Full members are those ratifiers of the Charter that enjoy all rights and duties given to a member state: they can contribute to discussions and debates, vote in Quorum sessions, and stand for election to any positions in the organisation. There are currently nineteen full member states. They are:

Provisional members

Provisional membership is a status granted to newly-approved member states or to member states that are found in the process of expulsion. Provisional members do not hold voting rights and cannot stand for election but may partake in Quorum discussions. After two weeks as a provisional member, the Quorum votes on whether the micronation in question should become a full member or be expelled from the organisation (if undecided, the Quorum can also vote for the micronation to stay as a provisional member for another two weeks). There are not currently any provisional members.

Observers

Observers are nations which are permitted access to Quorums, and can propose matters to be discussed in a Quorum, but do not have the right to vote in a live Quorum meeting, or actively participate in one without the consent of the chair. Instead of the three delegates permitted to full and provisional members, observers are only granted one non-voting delegate to observe Quorum sessions. They also must confirm their continued wish to stay in the GUM every three months, in order to ensure that observer nations wish to actively partake in GUM business as far as is possible and not simply hold the status of observer in a titular fashion. There are currently three observers:

Permanent observers

Permanent observership was originally a status given to three nations which were members of the GUM at its "dissolution" in September 2010 but did not take part in its "rebirth" in August 2011, and had stated that they may consider resuming full membership at some point in the future, namely St.Charlie, Bokonton, and Francisville. Permanent observers had the same rights as observers, while also being permitted to view Quorum sessions and contribute to discussions, but could not vote or stand for election. It was decided on 1 April 2012 to abolish this membership status, as it was seen as giving preferential treatment to former members; the three permanent observers were transitioned into "regular" observer states and a ban was applied on creating any new permanent observers, de facto abolishing the status. On 8 July later that year, the status was revived along with reforms to observer status, with permanent observers being micronations with a close historical association to the GUM that would otherwise be observer nations but would not be not required to periodically reaffirm their desire to stay in the organisation. The status of permanent observed was revoked indefinitely when the February 2014 Charter entered into force.

See also

References