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3rd Antargic Council meeting

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Posted (edited)

The Røvik Hotel | 1030hrs
5th May 2020
Canastota
United States of Prymont

 

Three-world-class-restaurants-to-open-in

 

Oliver Remmen, Minister of Energy & the Environment, beamed at the diplomats and politicians sat before him. They'd travelled from far and wide, the summit attracting attention from all four corners of the globe, for one united purpose. Since 2017, the Antargic Regulation Treaty of Human Activities (ARTHA) had safeguarded the southern continent of Antargis, promoting scientific research and protecting the peaceful, untouched lands from being spoiled. Prymont was known as an environmentally-friendly nation, and Remmen was very proud to be serving his country in what he considered the most important role in the cabinet. Sure, the Prime Minister was running the country, and the Health Minister kept people happy and healthy, and perhaps the Defence Minister made sure they were safe, but none of it was possible without the Energy & the Environment office. Oliver Remmen was promoting the wellbeing of the environment, not only at home but on the world stage. Hopefully this conference bore the fruits of his labour, and would show the Prime Minister what a stellar job he was doing.

"Good morning everyone," he started, his eyes meeting those of the attendees as he sought acceptance and comfort amongst his peers, "and welcome to the third Antargic Council meeting. I'm absolutely honoured to welcome you all to the United States, and I'm confident that we can make some good progress today."

He glanced down at his laptop, reminding himself of the long-winded name of the treaty while reaching for a glass of water. "The Antargic Regulation Treaty of Human Activities has been a bit of a success story so far. The Trans-Continental Science Initiative has been operating the Simon Station for over two years now, and we've already seen some great research emerging from the facility. The station is kept as sparsely populated as possible throughout the year, and as far as I'm aware there's little other human activity on the continent. Naturally, this is doing Antargis wonders, and it remains an unspoiled place of natural beauty. I'm delighted to see some new faces today, and I hope that we can welcome you all on board as we seek to protect and preserve Antargis."

On the agenda, most noticeably, were finding a permanent HQ for the Council, reviewing the zone management, and revisiting the entire wording of the treaty to ensure it was up to date before the new signatories joined. Plus, Remmen didn't doubt that the attendees would bring their own topics of discussion too. "So, ladies and gentlemen - where shall we begin?"

Edited by Prymont
Fixed grammar
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Posted (edited)

(TL;DR: the EOS ice breakers are operational but helicopters can't fly in the cold; changing of zone management is negotiable depending on what we can get for it in return.)

Mr Tobiya WayanorMr Tobiya Wayanor was appointed only five months ago after Mrs Anna Hackney moved on from her post as EOS permanent representative. Those were some big pumps to fill. Wayanor leaned forward and lightly tapped his microphone.

"Thank you very much, Minister Remmen," he began, gesturing in the direction his host with an open right palm, "I'd like to start by thanking our Prymontian hosts for preparing this splendid venue."

This was quite true. The Røvik Hotel was an excellent location for this kind of conference. Much better compared to the dilapidated old EOS headquarters. And the city of Canastota proved to be quite beautiful this time of year. The introduction of Concorde aircraft into the government's transportation fleet quickly proved itself a welcome upgrade. Travel times were considerably shortened.

"Speaking for EOS in general and Orioni in particular, we hope this 3rd official meeting of the Antargic Council resolves some important issues left open during the previous, more bureaucratic conferences," he continued. "The Entente members have prepared an update of their plans and progress. We want to put forward three major points of discussion: 1. our fleet of ice breakers, 2. the changing Antargic climate, and 3. considerations regarding the zone management."

(1) "As you all know, the first stepping stone of EOS' Antargic Strategy was the creation of research and resupply icebreakers. We can share in confidence that sea trials were a success. In May of last year, our nuclear icebreaker IRV Beredo made its maiden voyage to Antargis. We learned a great deal from operating in the hostile polar climate. While on its way to Antargic the mission also focussed on the tragic case of Mr Walter Sandiego, sadly without success. Search and rescue operations in such a vast expanse of open ocean are complicated without regular patrolling stations in Marenesia. Lessons learned from the Beredo were applied by our Miirosi partners to upgrade of the Beredo's two sister ships, the IRV Menelassar and the IRV Connor Grey. One problem I like to highlight is the reliability of aircraft. Operating the Beredo's helicopter within the Antargic circle proves problematic. Perhaps the more experience Prymontian engineers have a solution they'd like to share."

Wayanor felt confident he'd made his first point. In truth, the Beredo itself had experienced no significant issues to speak of. The helicopter crew, however, didn't get much flight time. Oil problems, strong winds and low visibility proved too great a risk for landing. Without landing bases nearby, their helicopter crew deemed the flight too risky to even try.

(2) "Our second element concerns the Antargic climate. The MIDAS satellites network has detected some rather alarming changes. We've prepared a short briefing for you. If you'll please turn your attention to face the monitors." While Wayanor explained the climate findings, participants got to see an animation of the Antargic ice sheet. Between 2006-2015 the animation showed the Antargic ice sheet growing and shrinking. Between 2016-2020 the changes became more exaggerated. And a simulation of changes from 2020 onward looked outright dramatic. "As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, the Antargic continent is changing at an alarming rate. In January of this year an ice-sheet broke off that's the size of Greater Canastota. The addition of this much freshwater will have an as of yet unpredictable impact on our ocean's salinity. Our scientists tell me that big shifts in salinity could be a warning that more severe droughts and floods are on their way, or even that global warming is speeding up."

When the animation had run a few times, Wayanor turned to face the nearest of TCSI. "Right now the TCSI is the only member of this Antargic Council with a permanent base on Antargis. We eagerly look forward to the first scientific findings you'd like to share."

(3) "And as our third and final point, we'd like to bring up the existing zone management agreement. The 2nd Antargic Council decided on a two-zone division of Antargis. This made TCSI responsible for W135° to W165°, with other zones outside of this area falling under EOS management."

Wayanor knew zone management was an important issue. The ratification of these zones had been one of his predecessor's greatest achievements. It was a major milestone for the EOS, after years of stagnation. Before departing O'polis he received clear instructions from the councillor of foreign affairs to play it very hard if any renegotiating of the agreement came up.

"However, in January 2019 the Federative Republic of @Shffahkia announced their plans to establish their own Mercier Research Base, in collaboration with the Worker's Republic of @Fulgistan. This complicates the existing agreement as neither countries are signatory to the Antargic Regulation Treaty of Human Activities."

"Certainly near-Antargic nations will wish to become involved in the zone management. Think, for example, of the Aurelian League and the Marenesian nations. What is the TCSI's stance on this unilateral action by non-signatories? How will we ensure the ARTHA is respected while avoiding any potential conflict?"

Edited by Orioni
Removed reference to Mercier Research base; added TLDR
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It was somewhat ironic that Salvia, a warm country where many-a people escape to during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter, was at a council about the frigid, inhospitable Antargic.  Yet despite the wild difference in climate, Antargic was close enough to the continent of paradise for Salvia to take interest in her.  And so it was for this reason that Dr. Catori Varazzo, a senior advisor to the Minister of the Environment of Salvia, was sent with a team of diplomats to the Third Antargic Council to voice the opinions of a Salvian state emerging from its isolationist cocoon, ready to take part in international matters once more.

Well, in reality, Salvia’s been “emerging from her cocoon” for two f*cking years now.  Must be one massive butterfly if it takes this long, the doctor thought to himself.  The things he was about to say weren’t even his own thoughts - rather, they were carefully constructed into a paragraph written by the most boring diplomats known to mankind.  Wishing to test this hypothesis further (and trust him, he’s tested it plenty already), he leaned towards one of them and whispered, “What’s the difference between a @Prymontian and an Antargic seal?  One lives in a cold, inhospitable wasteland and is constantly under the threat of being clubbed, and the other is a seal.”  Finishing his joke, the doctor snickered, waiting for the diplomat’s reaction. 

Nothing.  Shifting back to his seat, he muttered “Boring prick,” before turning back to the meeting, where he noticed most of the people staring at him.  A look of disbelief on his face, the Orionese delegate leaned back towards the microphone and simply asked, “Did you have any comments, Mr… Varazzo?”

The doctor cleared his throat several times and stammered out, “Ah-ahem, uh, not at, uh, at all Mr, uh, ...Wah-yuh-nor.”  He flashed the entire room a (hopefully very charismatic) smile.  The diplomats next to him cringed slightly or laughed behind their hands before one nudged the doctor, nodded towards the microphone and mouthed “GO.”  Varazzo nodded and chuckled awkwardly before continuing.

“Thank you, Minister Remmen and, uh, the delegate from @Orioni.  The Salvian delegation, grateful for its involvement in the Third Antargic Council, has just two major points to put forward; both are, in a way, responses to the Orionese delegation’s concerns.  First, the Salvian delegation wishes to inform the respective states of her intentions on joining The Antargic Regulation Treaty of Human Activities and to become involved in scientific exercises on the Antargic continent.  As a result of signing onto this pact, the Salvian state also wishes to discuss the establishment of a Salvian scientific research base on the continent.  Secondly, the Salvian delegation wishes to review the zone management of Antargis so as to include the Marenesian states, who have so far been excluded from the continent.  Thank you, that is all.”  With that, the doctor sat down and turned to the diplomat who he had joked to.  Making sure his microphone was off this time, he muttered, “Oh, so now you f*cking laugh.”

Edited by Salvia
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Commodore Austyn McKellar had taken in the sight around him in the Antargic Council Chambers of all the diplomats and scientists who had come to the meeting. It was surely a strange sight seeing a military man in the room, in fact possibly one of the very few directly representing their country. Should any other nation present a military leader to the council this may be a cause for concern, but a Seylosian military officer with a group of scientists wasn’t something to bat an eye at. As the head of the Royal Navy Oceanic Research Division, he was a scientist just like many of the other attendees.  If anything it was almost a seal of approval of the gathering of nations, with some of the country’s brightest minds joining the Seylosian military. He sat listening to the representative from Orioni, a Mr Tobiya Wayanor, talk about his various points from icebreakers, climate change, and of course the elephant in the room territorial acquisition.

Dr. Varazzo from Salvia was next, though it took a moment to get their standing. Some of the other diplomats around the room snickered as the man stammered out his first words before getting to the topic at hand. Which of course seemed to be the most sought after topic of the day, again territorial management. He could tell things might be a bit rough regarding that. Following Varazzo was what he could only tell was an incredibly tall clone of Dina Diva with a PhD. He had taken to watching her across the room fidgeting and sighing, a look of barely contained anger on her face.  He rolled his eyes at her platitudes of protecting Antargis, he doubted the Variotans cared much for keeping the integrity of the continent intact. He watched the woman sit and quickly down her drink, her face reverting back to thinly veiled disgust. McKellar hadn't the best opinions of Variotans, though he had met a few he had genuinely positive feelings towards. The last time he had actually spoken to one was at a gathering at the Royal Palace, where members of the military scientific community had gathered at the King's request. He had remembered the Variotan ambassador showing up very strung out and chugging as much of the free alcohol in the room as he could. When McKellar had finally been able to meet the King, the ambassador had strolled up nudging him and has asked him quite loudly if all the equipment on his 'science boats' could microwave the fish in the ocean before being picked up before whispering loudly that Variota would pay a princely sum for such a revolutionary technology. At least the King had gotten a laugh out of it while the Commodore had just sat there with his palm to his face.

McKellar stood up to address the council after checking over his notes one final time, “Thank you all, and thank you especially to the United States of Prymont for hosting this event. I won’t lie that I’m incredibly excited to be here to help share in the untapped potential of Antargis. The scientific community in Seylos has been ready to explore this unknown continent for many years, and we hope now to join the international effort of uncovering its mysteries.”

“Like Mr Wayanor had spoken of before, Seylos has also been highly concerned for the possibilities of climate change, and the impact it may have on the seas that our country relies so heavily upon. Our own concerns stem from observations made in the north pole by climate scientists stationed in Llalta, who have made the journey to study the breakup of several ice sheets. We agree that studying the effects of any sort of climate shift the planet is going through is of critical importance to all nations present. Seylos also seeks to study the continents past, and to use the location as a way to research crop growth in the most extreme of conditions to prepare ourselves for the future. Our country has already seen a terrible set of possibilities in our neighbors to the west, where ecological devastation and overpopulation has pushed the island of Ceris to its near breaking point.”

“And of course the biggest question in the room that we are all seeking the answers to is… how do we deal with all this territory? Though I’m sure that we are all going to dive into that issue at length, I would like to impress upon the representatives that we need to treat this land not as just another acquisition of clay to expand our nations’ power and influence,” McKellar took a moment to glance over at the Variotan representative. He didn’t know how many people had noticed but he couldn't help himself. “But as a place rife with scientific wealth and potential for extraordinary exploration.”

He sat back down, satisfied with his opening statement, and prepared himself to listen to the next diplomats speak as well.

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