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Emperor chairs GUM summit in London

Grove Vale Library, East Dulwich

Yesterday saw an international summit organised by the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) held in London, chaired by Emperor Jonathan I.

The GUM, founded in 2009, is the oldest and largest international organisation for small unrecognised independence movement and “micronations”.

The Emperor took office as Chair of the GUM on 6 September earlier this year – the fourth time he has held the position – after winning a snap election called after the resignation of the previous Chair following a chaotic time in the organisation.

Jonathan I was elected on a platform of restoring order to the GUM – a task which it is fair to say has been achieved – as well as on several specific pledges, foremost of which was organising an in-person summit before his term ended with the New Year.

The GUM ordinarily conducts its meetings – formal sessions of official business being called Quorums – online, and has only held two in-person summits in its history.

The first took place in July 2012, immediately following the famous PoliNation summit in London. Representatives of several GUM member states were gathered in one place, and took the opportunity to hold a physical Quorum.

The second was a less spontaneous affair, held in Birmingham in 2019, and was organised by Adam I, Emperor of Adammia, the then Chair.

It had been proposed for the Birmingham summit to inaugurate a tradition of annual meetings, but this hope was dashed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With life now returning to normal, Jonathan I was able to organise yesterday’s summit, and chair the third in-person GUM Quorum.

The summit was held at Grove Vale Library in East Dulwich, London. Four GUM member states were represented in person: Austenasia (by Jonathan I), Adammia (by Adam I), and also the Serene Beaconite Republic (by James Frisch) and Elmwycke (by Larry Martin).

Also in attendance was Lord Mike Lewis, Prime Minister of Lundenwic, a nation which is no longer a GUM member but has been in the past and is interested in re-applying for membership.

A higher turnout was expected, but some prospective attendees had to drop out, including the Emperor’s Vice-Chair, Newton von Uberquie.

The minimum number of delegations required for a Quorum meeting to take place is eight; with only four member states present, a “hybrid” Quorum was held, with the summit meeting being livestreamed and delegations able to participate online.

The formal Quorum meeting held during the summit addressed some routine votes on membership issues, and also discussed a possible replacement for Diplomabear (a toy animal posted between different countries on a “diplomatic tour”) and campaigning regulations for future GUM elections.

The summit also saw two presentations, one on early Adammic history and its legacy, and one on the flag of Elmwycke.

Emperor Jonathan I is the only person to have been present at all three in-person Quorums, and Adam I and Lord Lewis the only other two people to have been present at more than one.

Treaties signed at London meeting

Jonathan I and Lord Friedrich pose with the treaties

Yesterday saw Emperor Jonathan I sign treaties of mutual recognition with Mercia and with Mekniy-Lurk at an informal summit in central London.

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor met with Austenasian senator Lord Karl Friedrich, who had travelled to the UK from the Czech Republic.

Lord Friedrich serves as Governor of Aurora, and has previously held various Cabinet positions. He jointly owns MicroWiki along with Jonathan I.

However, in addition to his role in Austenasia, Lord Friedrich also serves as joint head of state of two other countries – Mercia and Mekniy-Lurk – both of which have diarchal governments.

Austenasia has held friendly informal relations with Mercia for almost a decade, and extended formal recognition in 2016, but the two countries had never formally signed a treaty. Although the government of the nation has been inactive for some time, Mercia has never been formally dissolved and remains a source of national identity for its citizens.

A state visit from Lord Friedrich to Austenasia in his role as Lord Temporal of Mercia to sign a treaty of mutual recognition had been planned for August 2020, but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

By the time this visit came about, Lord Friedrich had also become co-ruler of Mekniy-Lurk, a highly-developed small nation which declared independence from the Czech Republic in 2009.

The treaties were signed in the grounds of St. Paul’s Cathedral in central London. Also there to greet Lord Friedrich to the United Kingdom were James Frisch and Newton von Uberquie, who formerly held office in Mercia as Speaker of Parliament and as First Minister respectively.

The four dignitaries met at Monument station, and visited several nearby landmarks including the eponymous Monument to the Great Fire, the Tower of London, the aforementioned St. Paul’s Cathedral, and London Stone.

After eating lunch together, the dignitaries parted ways, with the Emperor accompanying Lord Friedrich to the correct train station for him to continue his travels, via more sightseeing at Westminster and Whitehall.

During the course of the meeting, Lord Friedrich made a donation of several coins and banknotes to the Imperial Numismatic Museum. Notable among these are a Roman denarius of Septimius Severus minted in AD 194-195, and a rare commemorative coin minted by Mekniy-Lurk.

Relations established with Lundenwic at London meeting

The two Emperors with Lord Lewis (centre) in Kensington

A treaty was signed yesterday establishing mutual recognition and formal relations between Austenasia and Lundenwic at a multilateral meeting in central London.

Emperor Jonathan I met Lord Mike Lewis, Prime Minister of Lundenwic, as well as Emperor Adam I of Adammia.

Adam I is also currently serving as Acting President of New Virginia after last month’s failed coup in said nation.

The three national leaders met at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, gradually making their way to Kensington over the course of the afternoon.

Lundenwic was founded in December 2013, and has a population of fifteen. Its land claims are bordered by south-west London.

Despite only entering into formal diplomatic relations yesterday, Austenasia has held informal friendly relations with Lundenwic for some time. Lord Lewis visited Wrythe as a tourist in December 2016, took part in Austenasia’s tenth anniversary celebrations along with Grand Duke Julian of Lundenwic in September 2018, and joined both emperors at the June 2019 GUM Birmingham Summit.

Over the course of yesterday’s meeting, Austenasia, Adammia and Lundenwic all agreed in principle to the creation of an organisation to promote the interests of small nations and unrecognised independence movements in the British Isles. This idea was put forward by Austenasian Prime Minister Lord John Gordon in November last year, and its promotion made a priority of the Austenasian Foreign Office.

More details of the prospective organisation will be forthcoming as discussions progress.

The location of Speaker’s Corner was chosen to commemorate the tenth anniversary – off by only ten days – of the 2011 Intermicronational Summit. This summit, which likewise had Speaker’s Corner as its initial meeting place, saw fourteen politicians and diplomats gather for the first multilateral in-person meeting of members of the “MicroWiki community”.

Imperial visit to Green Gate

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor visited Green Gate earlier today in the first ever imperial visit to an Austenasian Territory.

Emperor Jonathan I in Green Gate earlier today.

Green Gate was annexed last month, and is comprised of a wooded area bordering a golf course.

This marks the first time that Jonathan I has visited an Austenasian claim other than his home city of Wrythe and the nearby Crown Dependency of Rushymia since Zephyria and Thanasia were ceded to the United Kingdom in 2017.

The geographical proximity of Green Gate to Wrythe – both being enclaves of south London – facilitated the ease of planning the visit.

While in Green Gate, the Emperor raised the Austenasian Star and surveyed the area.

Jonathan I was unable to be received by Lord Zarel Smith, Governor of Green Gate, due to the latter falling ill, but a meeting between the two is planned for the summer.

March sees territorial changes for Austenasia

Austenasia has both annexed and ceded land and residents so far this month.

Theodosiopolis, the newest Town of Austenasia.

A new town, Theodosiopolis, and two new territories, Bregusland and Green Gate, have both been annexed to Austenasia, and the city of New Richmond has expanded with a new property being claimed.

Meanwhile, the crown dependency of Jovanovo was ceded to Montenegro on Thursday 21st.

Jovanovo had previously been a town, but was made a crown dependency a year ago in order to prevent its founder, Daniel Dankovsky, from influencing the central government after having made various racist statements.

Dankovsky was stripped of Austenasian nationality in July last year, and since then Jovanovo had been governed completely autonomously by its own residents. With Jovanovo having no contact with the government, the decision was made to cede all claims to the land.

The two new territories of the Empire, Bregusland and Green Gate, are enclaves of Arizona and Greater London respectively. Green Gate is a relatively short distance from the capital, Wrythe, and there are plans for its governor, Lord Zarel Smith, to visit in the near future.

Theodosiopolis, the newest Austenasian Town, is an enclave of Amsterdam. Founded by Lord Dionisiy Tedzhan-Smahin – who helped to design last year’s commemorative coins – the town is comprised of two properties and has a population of four people.

Finally, Saturday 2nd saw New Richmond expand with the annexation of a sixth non-contiguous property, named Alexandria and currently used as the residence of the Prime Minister.

Although the cession of Jovanovo has on paper resulted in a drop in the number of Austenasians (with the population now standing at 83), the new annexations have for all practical purposes greatly increased the population in terms of those who will take an active interest in the government and in their Austenasian identity.

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.

Emperor graduates with first class honours

The Emperor in formal academic robes at his graduation ceremony yesterday.

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I has graduated from the University of Roehampton, receiving a first class with honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology and Religious Studies.

A graduation ceremony was held yesterday at the Royal Festival Hall in South Bank, London. Jonathan I attended along with his parents and Princess Consort Hannah.

The Emperor started his three-year course at Roehampton in September 2013, and spent most of term time over said years living in accommodation on campus, in a flat which was temporarily designated Austenasian Embassy to the United Kingdom.

During his course, Jonathan I took modules in which he studied topics including the Bible, Christian doctrines, classical and medieval philosophy of religion, the relation of religion to human rights and to art, the person of Jesus Christ, the history and doctrines of Islam, Judaism and Hinduism, and the religious make-up of London.

The Emperor chose to take two extra modules in his final year rather than write a dissertation. His highest marked piece of work was a 3100-word essay he wrote in his final term on the way in which Jesus is presented in St. John’s Gospel.