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Diplomatic relations restored between Austenasia and Sandus

A treaty was yesterday signed between Austenasia and the State of Sandus, restoring diplomatic ties between the two nations almost exactly three years after they had been cut by the Austenasian government.

Diplomatic relations with Sandus were suspended by Prime Minister Lord Admiral Kennedy on 27 July 2016, after the Sandum head of state Sogmo Soergel published accusations that Emperor Jonathan I and Shane Cahill (the latter being the then Chair of the GUM) had masterminded a “conspiracy” to exclude Sandus from the organisation.

The accusations were denied, but influenced Cahill’s decision to eventually leave the diplomatic community.

This incident took place in the wake of two years of building tension between Austenasia and Sandus, primarily caused by a combination of international controversy surrounding Sandum policies regarding privacy and a growing friendship between Austenasia and Sandus’ long-time rival Wyvern.

An attempt was made by the government of Überstadt – which has remained a close friend of both nations throughout this period – in October 2016 to mediate between Austenasia and Sandus, but to no avail.

Yesterday’s treaty marks the culmination of discussions which began in November last year, aiming to finally lay to rest the tensions between Austenasia and Sandus.

The treaty includes mutual pledges of non-aggression (both militarily and politically), as well as mutual apologies and grants of forgiveness for any wrongdoings in the past.

Sandus was a close friend of Austenasia over the first half of the decade, with both nations co-operating in the Grand Unified Micronational and in other initiatives. Sogmo Soergel was one of the heads of state hosted by Austenasia in the first state visit to the country, which took place on 15 July 2012.

Although it seems unlikely that Austenasia and Sandus will share such a strong friendship again, this treaty has gone a long way to restoring goodwill by putting the hostility between the two nations in the past.

GUM Summit held at Birmingham

Yesterday saw the first international summit organised by the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) held at Birmingham.

With twelve attendees representing eight GUM member states and Westarctica, the summit was the largest held in the United Kingdom for small nations since PoliNation 2012, seven years ago.

Organised by outgoing GUM Chairman Adam I of Adammia, the summit was held in the Guild Council Chamber of the University of Birmingham, the university at which Adam I is currently studying.

Adam I was joined by Lady Hermione Peace, his Minister of National Development. Austenasia was represented by Emperor Jonathan I.

The summit was, naturally, chaired by Adam I as Chairman, assisted by Jonathan I, who was as Associate Justice and Archivist the next-highest ranking GUM official in attendance.

Other attendees were Lord Mike Lewis of Lundenwic, two diplomatic representatives of Westarctica, and Lord Daniel Morris (formerly of Draega and Flandrensis but now representing the micronation of New Westphalia).

Also in attendance were five officials from the micronation of Essexia, three of whom each also represented another GUM member state (Gradonia, Aspen, and Quebec resepectively).

The summit saw presentations by attendees, as well as open discussions on law enforcement, international organisations, and economics

The summit was also used as an occasion for the signing of the Edgbaston Convention, a treaty aiming to ensure higher standards of accuracy in regards to the sometimes vague or frivolous claims made in the community of small nations.

As well as signing the Edgbaston Convention, Emperor Jonathan I also signed a treaty of mutual recognition with the State of Gradonia, courtesy of its Essexian representative.

With so many national delegations gathered in one place, the opportunity was held to hold only the second in-person Quorum meeting of the GUM in history. The first had been held at the Tate Modern in July 2012, the day following PoliNation; Jonathan I is the only person to have been present at both.

This in-person Quorum was primarily a ceremonial event, but did vote to refuse one membership application and to expel an unprofessional observer state.

The summit ended with the playing of national anthems. It is hoped that a similar summit will be held next year.

Bradley of Dullahan publishes GUM Chairman manifesto

June 24th will see voting open for the June 2019 election for the position of Chairman of the Grand Unified Micronational.

Bradley, Duke of Dullahan

Four candidates have so far announced their intention to run, although nominations do not officially open until the 10th.

The last time that four candidates stood for the position of GUM Chairman was in June 2009, making this the most competitive election in a decade.

The four candidates are Nicholas Randouler of Posaf, Thomas Bainbridge of Hrafnarfjall, Austin Jaax of Iustus (who also serves as Governing Commissioner of Kingeston), and Bradley, Duke of Dullahan, the Prime Minister of Wyvern and incumbent Austenasian Minister of Defence.

The Duke of Dullahan has selected Lady Vice Admiral Eryn Lewis, who serves on the Austenasian delegation to the GUM, as his running-mate, with a pledge to nominate her for the position of Vice Chair if he is elected.

If she becomes Vice Chair, Lady Vice Admiral Lewis will be the first female member of the GUM’s leadership.

The Duke of Dullahan yesterday published his manifesto for the election, which is reproduced below:

The Grand Unified Micronational is a great force of good in this community. Bringing together many different types of people and micronations. Through each encounter in the GUM we learn from each other and develop ourselves. It is my firm believe that I can be a force for development, stability and progress for this organisation. With my Vice-Chair choice I know I picked someone with new ideas and someone very different from myself. That makes our team not only unique but dynamic. I believe Eryn and I can make progress and we’ll do it together with the Quorum!

Below are our stances on a few topics and I’ll name a few of our plans. Should you have questions do not be afraid to ask me:

Dynamic & involved staff

I believe a good Chairman holds meetings and discusses all kinds of policy choices with his staff. They do not only perform their duties but are also the direct advisors. I believe that the Staff should consist out of people from our organisation who have ambition, plans and vision. Who want to do something or learn how the GUM works. We need to be a learning organisation above all. Should I be elected I will seek a team consisting of various people who can aid me and have plans of their own. I will listen to them and incorporate them in my platform. Why? Because this is a team effort!

Staff and the Leadership

Currently the Associate Justices are part of the Staff. But the Charter clearly separates them from the leadership. I wish to separate the two and create room for the staff members and one for the Supreme Court members to discuss things. The Chair, Vice-Chair and Supreme Justice shall, for practical means be in both channels.

Regarding the vacant Secretaries, we shall strive to fill the vacancies with ambitious and visionary delegates from both the Old Guard and the New Guard. Together we shall form a staff that works together and meets and discuss regularly. We believe firmly in teamwork. That’s why we expect the staff member to propose propositions in these staff meeting or outside it in the Staffroom.

In the staff the Vice-Chair hasn’t played a role. That is a choice each Chairman can make. I believe the Vice-Chair can be of great value and aid to the Chair. The Vice-Chair shall not only act as the Chair’s replacement but also of first advisor and manager of the Staff. We believe the Chairman should make use of the hands he is given in his Staff.

Secretary for Micronational Development

When elected we will strive towards creating a new Secretary, the Secretary for Micronational Development. Through awards, events and other means this secretary should pursue the sharing of knowledge and the reporting or sharing of micronational development. Each three months the secretary shall than announce a winner of an award in certain fields of micronationalism, such as diplomacy, culture, military development or politics. Positive rewards can be beneficial for the development of micronations. The Micronational guides for example are also a part of this Secretary’s responsibilities.

Sharing achievements and development

Like we said, we like it when nations share their ideas and development. The new secretary shall responsible for this. But we must also look at the lounge, is it really the place for sharing it? Maybe we should design a seperate channel to post it. I believe it merits a good chat in Quorum regarding how we can share our activities. Quorum for one is not the place to do this as Quorums will only take more time on an evening. When elected the Staff and the leadership shall come with a proposal to Quorum regarding this topic.

The GUM as a mediator

Our organisation has a historic role in helping mending schisms in our community or aiding in the resolution of conflicts between two micronations. We should keep doing this and work to aid in a positive way to the development and integrity of our community. The Staff and the leadership shall all have a role to play in this.

The ‘Old Guard’ teaches the ‘New Guard’

As many know I am of what is named the Old Guard, a group of micronations who has been active in this community for over 8 to 9 years. We have always played our part in the GUM and have guided new nations that join our community. Sadly this sometimes causes conflicts due to the new nations time to adjust to our ways of doing things. Making sure that the understanding between nations is found will be my top priority. The new nations should be able to learn from the Old Guard and the Old Guard should not react too harshly when mistakes are made. Like micronational war, we have all done it and we all regret the fake wars.

Austenasia, Flandrensis and GUM sign convention condemning falsehoods and sockpuppeting

16 September 2018 3 comments

Daniel Morris, foreign minister of Flandrensis, signs the Wrythe Convention.

Several small nations and independence movements yesterday signed the Wrythe Convention, a treaty denouncing and condemning falsehoods and intentional deception within the community of small nations.

The Convention was signed yesterday at a gathering at the Imperial Residence in celebration of Austenasia’s tenth Independence Day.

A link to the text of the Wrythe Convention can be found here.

The treaty condemns sockpuppeting, identity theft, false claims and deceptive exaggerations, practices which have unfortunately become common within the micronational community over the past few years, with many entities making fictional claims in an attempt to boost their esteem.

One individual in particular engaged in all of the said practices, James Klaassen-White and his “Kingdom of Catan”, is specifically singled out and condemned by the Convention as having “not had the decency to cease such behaviour after it has been exposed”.

Klaassen-White is well-known in the micronational community for his absurd claims and hostile behaviour to those who question them, having infamously claimed to have gained recognition from the UK and USA via photoshopped letters, spent £30 million on a navy, and creating a fake social media account with stock photos which he later “killed off” by falsely claiming it to have been a victim of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.

The Wrythe Convention’s first four signatories were Austenasia, Flandrensis, Adammia, and the GUM (the Chairman of the latter signing on behalf of the organisation of 22 members).

Adammia has aided in the fight against online deception by Catan before, having previously informed a person claimed by Klassen-White to have been Catan’s “Prime Minister” that the latter had stolen his name and photographs from social media, much to the surprise of the individual involved, who of course had no knowledge of Klassen-White’s claims.

The Wrythe Convention was also signed by Wildflower Meadows, as well as Lundenwic, Sakasaria, and New Westphalia.

The treaty has been left open for signature, and those who have signed encourage other nations to do so as well.

Treaty signed with leaders of Venedia

Jonathan I signs the treaty with Jan Linhart

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor met yesterday evening with leaders of Venedia, and signed a treaty of mutual recognition and friendship with them.

Venedia is a Czech organisation which is working towards the creation of a territorial state in Europe, planned to be a constitutional monarchy.

Venedia undertakes economic investments to raise money for the purchase of an area of land on which to found the new country. It also manages projects in developing countries to improve education and infrastructure.

Emperor Jonathan I met with Jan Linhart, Superior (and prospective future King) of Venedia, and with Marie Lencová, the Secretary of the association, in London.

The meeting took place at the Starbucks café by the Tate Modern Museum, the same location at which the only (to date) in-person Quorum meeting of the Grand Unified Micronational took place in July 2012.

As Venedia does not yet have an independent territory, the Austenasian government has recognised it as a “sovereign entity under international law”, the same status held by the Order of Malta. Once the Venedian monarchy has been founded, the treaty promises full recognition and support from the Empire.

Diplomabear arrives in Wrythe

Emperor Jonathan I holds Diplomabear in Parliament Hall, Wrythe.

Diplomabear, a well-travelled teddy bear which started its journey in August 2012, arrived yesterday morning in the Imperial Residence.

The Diplomabear World Tour was started by Pierre d’Égtavie, leader of Egtavia, after said nation was annexed by St.Charlie in 2012. With Egtavia no longer in control of its own foreign policy, Diplomabear served as a means of forging unofficial, friendly ties with other small nations around the world, to which it was sent on condition that it would be passed on to the government of another.

With the dissolution of Egtavia in 2013, Diplomabear became a symbol of diplomacy and friendship between small nations as a whole.

In early 2015, Renasia – the country in which Diplomabear was then being hosted – dissolved, and Diplomabear was assumed lost forever.

However, in August 2016, Emperor Jonathan I was able to contact a former Renasian official and have Diplomabear recovered and sent on to Überstadt, restarting the tour, this time under the direction of the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM).

After some other stops, Diplomabear has now come to Austenasia, arriving at Wrythe yesterday morning.

This is the second time that Diplomabear has been to Austenasia, having also been hosted at Wrythe in 2012, making the Empire the first destination which Diplomabear has visited twice.

Emperor Jonathan I has published a photograph to Facebook showing him holding Diplomabear in Parliament Hall in the Imperial Residence. The Emperor is wearing the Egtavian Star, a medal presented to him by d’Égtavie while Egtavia was still independent.

Some of the other twelve destinations visited by Diplomabear include Molossia, Landashir, Wyvern, and Zealandia.

 

On the Grand Unified Micronational and what plagues it

Article by His Grace Bradley, Duke of Dullahan

This is not a work to discourage micronations from formal association or to harass, attack or demean the GUM. This article is written out of the pure observation of someone who studies public administration and has seen trends that make the governance and maintenance of an organisation structured like the GUM impossibly hard. In this article I try to explain some trends and developments in both the macronational and the micronational world which might explain the hardships organisations like the GUM face.

We must never shy away from taking a good look at the works we joined or constructed. Even the oldest institutions and oldest buildings need mending so now and then. Forgoing a sharp critique of what is in front of you due to prestige and history is ignorance. Should we turn a blind eye to the errors and shy those who wish to aid an organisation then we are no better than the leaders of the OAM, who ignored clear signs even if they were shown by members.

To this end I will write about the history of the GUM, the functions it had and served and what it inspired. But also what difficulties it faces in today’s world. I ask all who take their time to read this to reflect on the GUM and the analysis I put forward and please draw your own conclusions.

The GUM, its history, significance, and prestige

The GUM was an organisation that bound together those who wished to communicate with each other. It became a club of high professionalism, learning and prestige. If you joined it you were of the higher classes of micronations who proved to be serious and stable. The GUM in this solved problems of diplomacy and allowed members to speak about and try and resolve issues in the community better and faster than could be done on the wiki.

For many the GUM was a learning ground. During its refounding it modelled itself like its previous incarnation with the vision of spreading professionalism, aiding in a formal diplomatic venue for micronations and offering a way for faster communication. The shear prestige that the biggest influential nations brought to the organisation in all its incarnations as well as its accomplishments in peacekeeping and development of micronations brought it great success. But here we can see the cracks happening.

What people sometimes forget is that a large part of the community wasn’t on Skype; Skype wasn’t even in the picture yet. The OAM was the biggest forum and organisation; it gave, like the GUM, a platform to communicate and share information with each other, something the Wiki couldn’t do. This was the most relevant and prestigious part of contribution these organisations gave the community.

Changes in activity and the role of conflict

The GUM never drastically evolved or faced the problems it had. Without it people felt there was no place for serious or professional diplomacy and discussions on their micronational development. But in times that it existed the most active days were those with conflict. I do not like to pad myself on my own shoulder but the State of Sandus and the Kingdom of Wyvern’s feud with each other was something that kept the community active, especially the GUM which was once a fighting ground for control between factions that disliked each other. These conflicts, which are not limited to the Wyvern-Sandus conflicts, gave purpose to the organisation. It gave relevance to an organisation that was being out competed by other venues that were less organised.

It was in our community’s culture to have conflicts, fights and arguments over nothing of importance. The admins and the GUM often called for peace and the return to calm micronational development. I once spoke with Emperor Jonathan Augustus of Austenasia regarding this topic. He seemed to notice that when we as a community began to disvalue conflicts and see them as idiotic child’s play on the internet, the inactivity rose sharply. Look at the Ideological conflicts, Black Marches, Yablokogate & the Leadership Scandal. These were the most active periods of time. The ‘’New Era’’ is one of the longest lasting and boring eras, and with it the GUM is faltering ever more.

Old age, no change, relevance issues and commitment

We see that organisation cultures are important. The GUM has a culture in its standards, behaviours and way of doing things. We can all see that it’s difficult to change the GUM and that has always remained the same in how it does things, even if the organisational structure is different. One of the cultural aspects that is the same but hurts it the most is the Chairman. The Chair is seen as the leader of the GUM and is tasked with the administration of the GUM. With this task the members see it as the Chair’s job to set the agenda, to set in motion activities and programs. The commitment of the members is low, it will also never increase. We tried hard, but to avail. Chair after Chair try and fail. We all try to change this, but a culture isn’t easily changed, especially when the ground cause is a world that is different than it was once.

Look around us, the world is faster and micronations on the Skype-part of this community are growing older, more busy. The youngsters do not always have the time either nor do they have the skills that we do. Look at who run the GUM or who guide the GUM from the sidelines. It is us, what these new ones call the Old Guard. If something is wrong with the GUM, Austenasia steps in and takes over to guide the GUM back to stability.

But should we? Isn’t it time that we let the GUM die and reform it into something that was tried once before? You see in the macronational world organisations and governments are having trouble with the governance of society as well. The complexity of the society has increased and the spread of data, information and knowledge is growing every day. Facebook, the Forum and Skype all provide venues where people can converse, enter into debates or share their development and news. In such a world the GUM makes itself obsolete. What relevance does the GUM hold? We have chats on Skype for informal diplomacy and chats/debates. We have the forum, wiki and Facebook for sharing our news and getting information, and we can use Skype for formal discussions as well. Why the need for structure in a society that moves from the traditional structures of hierarchy to complex networks?

The problems with reforming

Like I said earlier, forming a network out of the GUM in which the institutions are dropped is hard to keep as people desire to rebuild the old and try and give an old concept new life. Besides this it has been tried and then the relevance of the GUM slows down even more as other venues offer the same thing. But is perfect activity in a GUM network or discussion room bad? That is the question we need to ask ourselves.

To me it is simple. I have no time for the GUM and it adds nothing for me. Its surveys are meaningless if nothing is done with it, same goes for the guides. Quorums are barely even followed by half its members and many more wish to leave out of dissatisfaction. The Chair is the only person trying to pull the cart forward but no one pushes to help. Commitment is low and will remain this way. We must see reality. In a changing world where complexity and IT has changed the world of communication so drastically, should there be a GUM?

In conclusion

To recap, the GUM is an old institution that has lost its relevance and has its age-old problems still with it: lack of commitment, inactivity, losing more and more Old Guard and not able to address the lack of relevance for the organisation. With an evolving world of technology and communication we must face the facts that Discord, Facebook and informal Skype venues as well to some degree the Forums offer the same and even more then the GUM does; there are no commitments, people can put in what they like and take what they need at any time without the fear of being thrown out because of inactivity.

My suggestion is to make it a serious professional platform for sharing ideas, discussions and professional diplomacy. The Chair could be its admin, not its leader nor the leader of the executive branch. This might condemn the GUM to more inactivity, but it will solve the issues that are slowly killing it. Hierarchy in an organisation that only functions on the fuels of prestige and not purpose will eventually die.