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3rd Antargic Council meeting

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An aide behind Varazzo tapped his shoulder and passed forward a slip of paper.  Motioning himself to be acknowledged, he began, "Minister Remmen, before I go on with the rest of my statement, I wish to thank you for your welcoming position to Salvia's goals in Antargic.  Moving on to the issue of zone management, the Salvian delegation has just one point to raise, that being that the 'boxiness' of the borders, which seem to ignore the geography of Antargis.  Just from looking at this map, there seems to be an issue with borders cutting peninsulas off - zone 5 cuts off that peninsula from the rest of zone 6, the same happening with zone 7 and zone 6, and with zone 7 and zone 8.  I recommend that we instead change it so that the peninsula is given to the zone that is cutting it off - for example, zone 5 should be granted the whole peninsula that juts into zone 6.  I also must ask, since the boxes of this map do not adequately show, how far each zone extends into the ocean. That is all."

The doctor sat back down and waited for the Prymontian response.

Edited by Salvia
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Posted (edited)

(TL;DR: Some veiled critique for TCSI. An attempt to sidestep Prymont's obviously correct arguments. New research stations can be discussed, but there are some concerns about potential exploitation. Zone management will more challenging to redraw without something in return. Let's discuss.)

So far everything looked very promising, Tobiya Wayanor thought to himself. The participants were all very outspoken about their wishes and desires. Mr Remmen of @Prymont didn't beat around the bush: he wanted the Argic Council's permanent HQ to be located right here in Canastota. With Prymont being the furthest away from Antargis that didn't really make any sense. But agreeing to this request would be an easy token gesture. And who knows, perhaps another representative might come up with this remark all on their own...

"Rest assured, Mr Remmen, that the EOS is complying with and remains committed to the ARTHA rules. This was already made crystal clear when representative Hackney signed the treaty in 2017, in the presence of your very own president Duval. The improvement of civilian, humanitarian and scientific achievements were part of the core goals at EOS founding, and they remain so to this day. The ultimate overreaching goal is defined in our EOS Antargic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan. Someone from my staff will be able to attain a copy for you while we continue our discussion." Wayanor covered his mouth and whispered to his aide: but be sure to send them only the abbreviated bullet points. He then continued: "And regarding your other question, I can only point to the wurld map: EOS is concerned with maintaining peace around the Oriental Ocean. And Antargis happens to border that same ocean. Even a child can see that. There's really no need to discuss this any further."

"Now, Lady and gentlemen, for something that actually matters" Wayanor said, recognising the abnormally tall Variot Dr Fantuitlant, "It is quite obvious that we all are of a similar mind. That the burden of Antargic care-taking should be the responsibility of all nations. It seems only fair that the protection of Antargis becomes a shared duty. This task should not rest on the shoulder of the EOS alone. It is admirable that the TCSI even considers taking on more responsibility, having weathered the difficult supply problems and tragic loss of human life." Wayanor thought it was rather ironic how the TCSI wanted to double the size of their assigned zone, even though they were obviously already out of their depth. Wayanor had no problem with subtly pointing this out. "We appreciate the offer of Aamotch assistance, and hope that in the future the availability of a polar-capable helicopters can improve safety for all scientific missions."

"Thank you Mr Remmen for you proposal of redrawn zone management. You have obviously put great effort into preparing this draft. Very interesting." Wayanor leaned back from the microphone for a moment, pulling a handkerchief from his vest pocket while suppressing a sneeze. He must have caught a cold here in northern Prymont. "Many of the participants here have already clearly stated their interest in redrawing the zone management." He looked around at Mr Remmen, Dr Fantuitlant, Cdre McKellar and Dr Varazzo. This last one had already highlighted inconsistencies in the zones numbered 5, 6, 7 and 8."

"The plans of the lady and gentlemen for establishing research stations, scientific experiments and crop cultivation are quite intriguing. I'm sure these plans can be discussed on a case-by-case basis. And if these stations are to be located between135°W to 165°W the EOS will likely not use its veto right." (See §8.) For now Mr Wayanor kept his concerns about the proposed plans to himself. Antargis wasn't to be exploited for profit. And yet Cdre McKellar was already talking about crop farming. Meanwhile Dr Fantuitlant proclaimed without concern that Variota would be "protecting its zone with the same verve as we would protect our own territory". And let's not forget Prymont's minister of the Environment also happens to be the Minister of Energy, an obvious conflict of interest.

§8 Construction of Scientific Stations

Those scientific stations can be built in any zone as long as any Responsible does not veto. If a veto was to be made, the Responsible needs to further explain their reasons. If the veto was to be contested, a mediation shall be initiated.

"What seems to have been overlooked is that this proposal, and for now we'll only consider this a proposal, entirely consists of dividing the zones under EOS management. While we understand the intent, the existing ARTHA does not permit you to redefine another member's zones. (See §6) To the best of my knowledge the EOS are fulfilling their obligations. And as mentioned earlier, we have even been assisting the TCSI. Perhaps we should be discuss reducing the TCSI responsibilities to something... easier to manage?"

§6 Zone Management

Those zones Responsibles [...] may be removed, amended or added during any conference if a Nation/Organization or international cooperation shall be failing to fulfill this treaty.

Wayanor had made his point in the most polite way possible. He didn't have to commit to anything. The EOS were holding almost all of the cards.

    Edited by Orioni
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    As soon as Remmen took a seat his aide leaned over with a sly grin. She was already in deep shit for her lackluster editing of the wurld map to display the zone management propisition, so she may as well continue digging her own grave. "What about the Seylosian?" she whispered as Salvia's Dr Varazzo rose to speak.

    "Why didn't you tell me that before I'd finished?" Remmen groaned as he wondered how to remedy the fatal error once he next spoke.

    "You seemed to get into a rhythm, I didn't want to disturb you." Remmen gave her the cold shoulder as he took note of Varazzo's amendment, which was very fair all things considered. His proposal was short and sweet, and Remmen was ready to get up and support the proposal when @Orioni's Tobiya Wayanor took centre stage. What came out of the delegate's mouth was the largest, fattest piece of tripe he'd ever heard. Remmen recalled the tripe his grandmother made; it was a favourite dish of hers, but to him it was vile and repulsive, much like what he was hearing from Wayanor. The man was shooting down valid proposals on the foundation of EOS taking advantage of a very vacant audience in the previous meeting. Unfortunately for him, Remmen was not about to roll over and obey his every command like a dog. Oliver Remmen took to the podium, cleared his throat, and began his response.

    "Thank you Dr Varazzo, and Mr Wayanor for your comments. Before I make any response I hope you don't mind if I briefly apologise to Commodore McKellar. The treaty would wholeheartedly support Seylosian involvement and the morals and focus of your government fall in line with the aims of the treaty. We'd be very honoured for you to become a fellow signatory today. I would be interested to speak with your scientists in Llalta regarding the discoveries they've made about ice breakup in the north pole. Since we're effectively in the north pole now, there's room for some research collaboration that could be very useful in comparing how climate change is affecting the north and south poles. Furthermore, I'd like to remind you that while farming tests on a very small scale would be fully acceptable in Antargis, we would prohibit anything on a larger scale in the fear of it disrupting the environment. Overall, we'd be happy to have you. My apologies again. Now Dr Varazzo, your suggestion is something I can get behind and would support as long as it is supported by the others. However, we may have a hurdle to overcome before we can get that far."


    Remmen turned his attention to Wayanor and stared at the man for a moment as he contemplated his response. He leaned forward slightly on the podium, his piercing scowl an attempt to unnerve a man who had... well, a lot of nerve spouting such rubbish. The Seylosians and the Salvians had come with excitement and anticipation to join what was a great treaty, and while he was certain those pesky Variotans had sinister motives they were outwardly just as warm and receptive as the others. Tobiya bloody Wayanor had the nerve to throw a spanner in the works, when Remmen was making progress in leaps and bounds. Even his own aide, who had been difficult and careless in her role, squirmed in her seat. The atmosphere in the room had turned from one of hope to one of hostility.

    The Minister had to take a further moment to compose himself and swallowed the strong urge to throw an insult. He was not Julian Nordeng. He would use his words to overcome his opponents rather than belittle them, although he wished he had Nordeng by his side to unleash a barrage of insults anyway. "Mr Wayanor... I'd like to point out that you have failed - no, refused to redefine the EOS. As it stands, the organisation continues to be seen primarily as a military alliance, and that strictly contradicts point 2.4 of the treaty, as I've already pointed out."

    The prohibition of any military projects on the continent of Antargis

    "I appreciate that you respect the rules of the treaty, and as such I know you'll agree with me when I say your stance against reorganising the zones based on points 6 and 8, as you kindly pointed out to us, is completely invalidated by point 2.4. A military organisation has no place on Antargis as agreed by all signatories. You're also keen to remind us that President Duval was a founding member of the treaty, and in turn, I shall remind you that he has not been a member of parliament for over a year. President Duval made many mistakes, and allowing the treaty to develop in such a way is one of them. I hope that today we can correct that mistake."

    Remmen took a moment to collect himself and regain his professionalism. He took a sip of water, referred back to the notes he'd scribbled during Wayanor's ramble, and resumed. "Moving on, I disagree that the TCSI needs its zone reducing. We've made leaps and bounds since we first arrived on the continent and our progress isn't stopping yet. I acknowledge the setbacks that we have faced recently, particularly a string of failures with launching weather balloons which has disrupted our observations of the local climate. These setbacks are unfortunate and frustrating and have been pinpointed to older technology and a lack of adequate funding. Today I would like to announce that Prymont will be contributing an additional β5 million directly to the Simon Station as an act of faith and confidence in the good, honest work that the scientists carry out there. Additionally we're considering increasing the funding for the University of Canastota's environmental sciences department, which has sent many students and professors to the Simon Station, and if ratified by the budget review panel, will be available for the 2021-2022 financial year.

    "Finally I would like to reveal plans for the TCSI to construct a seed bank in Antargis. Prymont has already seen the successful construction of a seed bank in our northern lands which currently holds over 500,000 samples from around the wurld. This structure is essential in preserving the vital crops of Eurth, and an additional bank in Antargis would be another failsafe. A further β5 million will go towards this project directly from Prymont's pocket, and we encourage our fellow TCSI members to contribute to a vital piece of environmental preservation and protection. May I note that the EOS is yet to set foot on the continent, despite having the largest zone. Perhaps they're concerned about their abilities to succeed in such unforgiving climates? The TCSI and the United States will continue to thrive under the pressure and will not be deterred in the ugly faces of adversity and uncertainty.

    "Mr Wayanor, everybody here wants equal zone management." Remmen gestured to his peers who had been supportive of his proposal to divide Antargis into equal portions, and the @Salvians had even offered improvements. "Your current position is counterproductive and, by assuming such a stance, you are preventing the widespread, fair protection of Eurth's last frontier. Let us protect these unspoiled lands together."

    He took another mouthful of water and gathered his notes. His response was complete, but there was one last comment he wanted to make and he couldn't quite help himself. "At the end of the day, Mr Wayanor, a child can see that EOS is going against what ARTHA stands for. Let's not ruin what we have."

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    Mr Wayanor spilt his drink. It happened while Minister Remmen was staring at him. The glass had slipt his hand, and now his pants were all wet. It was a fitting metaphor for the position he found himself in. Minister Remmen's arguments were rock-solid. And that last little sting, using his words against him? Wayanor was sure it would follow him around for the rest of his career.

    "Minister Remmen," he said calmly while his assistant Ms Julia Atenas tried dabbing his pants with some tissues that quickly started to fall apart, "As you can see, I must ask for a brief recess while I change into another outfit. Shall we say... 30 minutes?" Half an hour was more than enough for Wayanor. In fact, he only needed ten. Would anyone notice the delay tactic? This so-called accident would buy him some time for a private discussion. Or even a phone call to a certain someone in the city of Andro. 

    Their host proved very accommodating, again. Wayanor and his team moved to a side-room in the Røvik Hotel. "Sir, while you take a moment to change I will reach out to Andrew Pipkin," asked Ms Atenas. It was a good idea. Wayanor didn't want to inform Councillor Hackney about the major pushback he was receiving. Orinese politics didn't work like that. The perception was just as important as actual accomplishments. Perhaps even more important. Reaching out to his old mentor Sir Pipkin seemed like a good strategic alternative. Meanwhile, his other aide, the young Mr Atikili Tenya, could rush up to the hotel room and grab some fresh pants.

    It took a while for the secure connection to get through. And there was a time difference to account for. But a few minutes later Sir Pipkin was on the line. He appeared to be outside some club, wearing a bright patterned outfit. "Ah hello, Toby. This is a surprise. It's been a while. And what an unusual hour," the former councillor said, "What can I do for you?" Wayanor explained the situation: the military alliance questions, housing the HQ, zone management, side-projects, etc. Pipkin listened for no more than 3 minutes before interrupting.

    Wayanor-Pipkin call about ARTHA

    "No no no Toby! You're seeing this all wrong," Pipkin called out, waving his hands in front of the camera phone, "The only thing that matters here is the zone management. What you need to do is turn the tables." Wayanor looked at the screen with a blank stare. "Listen, Toby, I'll let you in on a little secret" continued Pipkin, "We always envisioned the large EOS zone as a bargaining chip for something better, something more important. The way I see it, you can turn this around and make it into a nice PR moment for the Entente. By 'sharing' the large Antargic zones with other nations, you'll be the peace-maker. People will quickly forget the change in some territory down in Antargis. It'll soon be forgotten when the next news cycle rolls around."

    The two men further refined the argumentation. Ms Atenas had made ample notes. After another review, they said goodbye to Sir Pipkin. His perspective proved most helpful. Meanwhile, the second aide, gasping for breath, had returned with some fresh pants. The colour didn't match his jacket. But that was alright. The combination gave off an air of Variot je ne sais quoi, resembling a style similar to Dr Fantuitlant.

    Refreshed and feeling more confident about their approach, the Orinese trio stepped back into the room. Wayanor sat down again. "My apologies to keep you waiting," he spoke with a slight smile, feeling more confident than before, "The change in outfit has allowed me to see the change in perspective. It has become clear from the arguments you shared today, that there is a great passion for the Antargic. This latest announcement by Minister Remmen on the creation of a seed bank highlights this even more. It is in this shared passion that I think a compromise can be reached. Humanity stands to gain much from increased peaceful cooperation. What we propose to do is…"

    1. Encourage. We want to encourage greater participation in preserving and protecting Antargis. A revision of the Antargic Zone Management as outlined by Minister Remmen is key, considering the proximity of each signatory;
    2. Observance. We want to continue the observance of the original Antargic Regulation Treaty, which included recognition of the Entente as a valued signatory and partner;
    3. Service. We want to provide service and shoulder our fair share of the burden. This includes continuing transports of people and supplies to and from Antargis, maintaining coastguard patrols within the Antargic circle, and improving our search and rescue capabilities in cooperation with other signatories.

    "What do the council participants think of this proposal?" Wayanor wanted to take another sip from his glass of water. But then he realised he had no more glass.

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    Varazzo tapped his mic as Mr. Wayanor finished, indicating he wished to speak.  Being recognized by Minister Remmen, the doctor began, “I’d first like to point out that the presence of a military force - or organization, for that matter - in the Antargic runs counter to your wishes for ‘peaceful cooperation’, Mr. Wayanor.  Salvia fully supports Minister Remmen’s position on the EOS and its position in the Antargic.  I pose a question for you: would it not be both improper and inappropriate if Salvia and @Prymont instead approached the Antargic under TRIDENT?  I certainly believe it would, and the EOS is no different.  Certainly, then, @Orioni and all other signatories of the EOS should ditch the label and approach this treaty as we all are?  I also take issue with your stance that the EOS should remain on this treaty on the basis that previous sessions have maintained that the organization’s presence is legal and recognized.  The original councils obviously failed in enforcing its own treaty in ensuring the absence of any military powers, and the fact that this issue is just now being addressed speaks more to the failure of the treaty’s signatories rather than the legality of the EOS’s presence.”


    The doctor paused to take a sip of water before continuing, “On a off-handed note, Salvia also fully supports Minister Remmen’s plans on establishing a seed bank on the continent and would be willing to help create and maintain such a structure.”  Varazzo indicated to the minister that he was finished speaking and turned his mic back off.

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