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2nd Antargic Council meeting


Orioni

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(OOC topic here)

Prologue

It had been over 12 months since the Antargic Treaty was signed. A historic moment for all nations and organisation taking part. Individual nations such as @Girkmand and Eurofuhrer. And international organisations such as ISTC and EOS. Notably absent from the discussion were ATARA and the newly formed Aurelian League.

The original Antargic Regulation Treaty of Human Activities (ARTHA) established the ground-rules for operating on Antargis. The treaty included a clause of dividing the continent into spheres of influence. But the participants never discussed it where exactly those spheres would begin and end. That would become more clear now.

 


Press Statement to the Public

Antargic Council to meet at EOS Island HQ on January 20, 2019 at 10:00h

Participants are signatories of the Antargic Treaty, notably:

  • EOS members and observers
  • ISTC members
  • Girkmand
  • Eurofuhrer

Agenda:

  1. Research report
  2. Antargic zone management

    10:00h
    EOS Island HQ

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    Mrs Anna Hackney was still the EOS permanent representative from Orioni. Her fourth year on the job, actually. She had presided over the first meeting and would do so again now. That much was sure. Her working relationship with Sir Andrew Pipkin, the councillor of foreign affairs, was still good. And this year‘s elections would be a good moment for her promotion to a higher position. Depending of course on how well this conference would go.

    All signatories to the Antargic Treaty were invited. Mrs Hackney was glad to see them again. Some still looked tired from their long flight to southeastern Europa. But a good dose of morning coffee would surely reinvigorate their wits.

    “Ladies and gentlemen,” Anne opened, “Welcome to this second meeting of Antargic Council. The signing of our original Antargic Treaty in 2017 was a major milestone in many ways. Not only did it provide an opportunity for wide-scale international co-operation in physical sciences. Its Antargic activities provided encouragement for an international treaty setting the continent aside for peace and science.”

    “1st item on the agenda: research report. Since our first conclave, some first actions have already been undertaken. Two Antargic research stations were established. Slavia-1 was established by @The Eurofuhrer. And Simon station was built by the ISTC. We look forward to a scientific report from both stations on their experiments and findings.”

    "2nd item on the agenda: zone management. I would like to open up article 05 of the Antargic Treaty for discussion. This article includes:"

    05 - Zone Management

    The Antargis Continent shall be defined in 24 zones, each representing one timezone of Earth. Within these zones, a Nation, Organization or international cooperation shall be appointed Responsible for the environmental protection of the said zone and securisation from non-scientific or illegal activities, along with respecting the Venège Convention and basic human laws.

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    10:05h

    Mrs Hackney had finished her speech. It was a short exchange to get the ball rolling. Formalities like this were necessary to break the ice. It created a sense of similarity to previous situations. Depending on the situation, she could pull from a whole repertoire of starters. This 2nd meeting of the Antargic Council was no exception.

    She glanced around the room before sitting down again in her chair. It was a comfortable chair. The frame was made from dark wood with a rich finish. It was covered with soft leather that felt warm to the touch. Perhaps a little too comfortable for a working session like this that was supposed to be productive.

    Something odd: the ISTC members seemed hesitant to share their findings. Everyone present was aware of how Simon Station had seen its first winter. This is rather strange, she thought to herself, Do they prefer to keep this information to themselves? Her fellow diplomats usually weren't shy like this. Rather the opposite, to be exact.

    Then one of the other delegates put their hands on the desk and stood up, getting ready to say something.

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    • 2 weeks later...

    10:06h

    It only looked as if the other delegate was going to stand up and start their speech. But that wasn't the case. They stood up and walked out of the room. Probably a bathroom break. Anna Hackney knew how tiring the journey must have been for the other representatives. Some aides in the second and third back row were clearly suppressing some yawning.

    Flying to East-Europa took a long time for the foreign guests. For the next council meeting, they should choose another location. That's what Anna originally proposed. But nobody took her up on the offer.

    Perhaps some more coffee was in order. Anne took her notepad and scribbled a short message on it. She turned the notepad sideways, so her aides in the back could see it. It said "More coffee" in big bold letters. Someone stood up and walked out of the meeting room to instruct the kitchen staff. It wouldn't take too long for more caffeine to arrive.

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    While Anna was doing this, her personal assistant moved closer.

    "What is it Patrik," she asked in a hushed voice.

    "Madam, you're going to want to see this," Patrick answered, "The Aurelian League commented on our council meeting. The pundits on Wittier* are having a field day with this."

    "You mean to say Antargis is exploding all over Witter!?" Anne gasped in stunned surprise. She hadn't expected anything from the largely apathetic internal channels. "But everyone knows the AL isn't a signatory of the ARTHA agreement."

    "That's more certainly correct, madam", acknowledged Patrick.

    Anna wasn't phased. "Well, I sure would like to know what the other delegates think about this surprise move..."


    (OOC: Wittier is our version of Twitter. The stream is available via our News page.)

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    10:11h

    The double doors swung open again. Staff pushed in a cart with the fresh coffee as requested. This would surely perk up those sleepy international travellers. Cups across the room were filled. The smell was already having some effect. Patrick handed a fresh, warm cup to Mrs Hackney. "Right, ladies and gentlemen," she repeated to all participants, "Perhaps now that everyone is present we can finally start our council meeting." She nodded in acknowledgement towards the right honourable Foreign Minister Masaki Kaneda from @Kipan.

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    Anna looked around the room. But the ISTC members remained adamant in their silence. Some even seemed to shrug their shoulders. Was this an agreed upon tactic of playing a hard bargain? Or perhaps they didn't want to share their research findings. That would be odd, in an open partnership like this. "Well if the ISTC has no results or finding to share, perhaps an update from the Entente of Oriental States is in order." She leafed through her binder.

    "In 2017, we announced our 20-year strategy for Antargis," she said while turning towards one of the television screens. "One important point in this action plan was the construction of a new nuclear icebreaker for this mission. After 15 months of construction, we are proud to announce the launch of EOS' newest research vessel" The television screen started playing a montage. Starting out with initial drawing, turning into a digital model, and then a timelapse of the ship being laid down. Anna continued: "In July 2018 the ship was floated from the dry dock to the wet dock, for the next phase of construction. EOS' new Antargic icebreaker, the IRV Beredo, is due to be launched from the @Miirosi shipyards at the end of February. After some months of sea trials, the Beredo will make its maiden voyage to Antargis in May of this year."

    Faces of the EOS members and observers lighted up in delight. "The icebreaker will become the main life-line of our Antargic research stations and the central platform of our Antargic and Southern Ocean scientific research. She is powered by two nuclear reactors and will be able to break ice fields up to three metres thick. A total of three icebreakers will be built. Along with the Beredo, there will also be the future IRV Menelassar and the IRV Connor Grey. These three ships will become the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear-powered icebreakers."

    (OOC: IRV is short for International Research Vessel .)

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    10:25h

    This morning wasn't going so well for Anna Hackney. Besides the eager and attentive Masaki Kaneda from @Kipan, who was here for his first Antargic council meeting, the participants seemed absent and disinterested. Anna feared that this would leave a bad impression on the new member. She wonders what the reasons might be for this behaviour. Last year, while discussing the Antargic treaty, there was much more enthusiasm. This year, it seemed that the feelings had grown much colder. Perhaps under influence of the Antargic cold? Who knows...

    "For those among you who are interested in the more technical details: she is 173 m (568 ft) long with a displacement of 33.540 tonnes. The nuclear engines can provide a top speed of 22 knots (41 km/h or 25 mph). A multinational crew of 75 will be onboard at all times. As explained, the IRC Beredo will be completed by the end of February, next month. Two additional ships will be launched in the future: the IRV Menelassar and the IRV Connor Grey."

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    :pic:  Design render of the IRV Beredo

    "This concludes our update on the almost completed EOS icebreaker program. It is our belief that the IRV Beredo will permit us to uphold our duties as outlined in the ARTHA treaty. Especially section 3, which states that only scientific vessels are permitted within a 200 km radius around the coastline of Antargis or its floe."

    Antargic Regulation Treaty of Human Activities

    03 — Obligations of the Signatories

    The signatory Nations or Organizations agree to the following:

    a) The prohibition of any non-scientific vessel or human-made vehicle within a 200 km radius around the coastline of Antargis or its floe (see 06 — Exceptions for complements);

    Anna was sure the importance of honouring the treaty could not be ignored. It certainly would be important in what she was going to propose next. "Also detailed in the treaty is a definition of Zone Management," she continued. "You will observe in section 5 how the continent is subdivided into twenty-four zones, according to timezones of Eurth."

    Antargic Regulation Treaty of Human Activities

    05 — Zone Management

    The Antargis Continent shall be defined in 24 zones, each representing one timezone of Earth. Within these zones, a Nation, Organization or international cooperation shall be appointed Responsible for the environmental protection of the said zone and securitisation from non-scientific or illegal activities, along with respecting the Venège Convention and basic human laws, even above 04 — Neutrality of the Continent. Those zones Responsibles shall be defined and appointed during the first conference, and may be removed, amended or added during any conference if a Nation/Organization or international cooperation shall be failing to fulfil this treaty.

    "Assignment of these zones is to be defined during today's conference. The EOS will now outline its vision for this zone management. Noting the location of Simon Station at approximately S63° by W148°, we propose assigning the zones from one hundred thirty-five degrees west to one hundred sixty-five degrees west to the ISTC. Additionally, we propose the other zones outside of this area fall under the management of EOS." Anna looked around the room in anticipation. "The signatories may share their opinion on the proposal. Should no objections arise, your decision will be noted as in agreement with this proposal. Of course, these zones management responsibilities may be removed, amended or added during any future conference."

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    10:40h

    "Thank you very much for your suggestions, Mr Kaneda," answered permanent representative Anna Hackney after the Kipanese foreign minister finished speaking. "You make a valid point regarding the absence of the Aurelian League in this discussion on zone management. And you've probably seen the messages on Wittier as well." Anna was sure everyone in the room had seen this morning's statement from Sebon tr'Riog. Because all meeting long the phones had been buzzing in the background. Anna continued: "Of course, as you also know Mr Kaneda, the Oreliyani Ligi (Anglish: Aurelian League) is not a signatory to the Antargic Regulation Treaty of Human Activities. Until such time as when they endorse and ratify the treaty and acknowledge its obligations, the AL has no official seat at this table. Your own nation is an exception, because of @Kipan's double status as EOS observer and AL member."

    Anna wondered what the ISTC thought about all of this. Knowing what was at stake, surely those members would have a strong opinion to share. To get the ball rolling, Anna proposed: "While the item is not on the official agenda, we can use the remaining time this morning to discuss the role of the Aurelian League. This will, of course, require some preparation. But in the spirit of Antargic cooperation, we can come up with an official response to the Aurelian statement."

    Anna glanced at her watch. "Ladies and gentlemen. I see it is 10:45h right now. I propose that we take a short break." The double doors swung open. Sunlight streamed in. Some participating delegates walked into the atrium to stretch their legs and grab something small to eat. The EOS members also needed a moment in private to discuss the potential involvement of another partner.

    "Patrick, I need to speak with Pipkin asap", said Anna firmly to her assistant while waving the rest of her team to follow, "We need to discuss this development. Immediately." 

    "Yes, madam," answered her Patrick, "I'll set up a secure connection for you right away." The old EOS hq still wasn't up to speed with modern equipment. But the internet speeds had improved. Even for strong encryptions.

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    • 2 weeks later...

    10:45h

    "Good morning Anna," said Sir Pipkin on the other end of the encrypted video call. Andrew was feeling tired. he had been jetting around again. Too many hours spent up in the air. The delivery of those three Concorde aeroplanes from @Fleur de Lys would greatly improve his quality time on the ground. "How are you this morning?"

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    Anna Hackney liked discussing politics with Pipkin. She could see from his eyes that the councillor of foreign affairs was tired. But his wit and spirit seemed to be wide awake. "Quite well, councillor. How about you?"

    "Fine, thank you," Pipkin replied. "I presume this is about Antargis, is that right?" Pleasantries aside, he wanted to get down to discussing the order of the day.

    "Yes, Sir. As planned the zone management was swiftly decided without much objection." Both Anna and Pipkin had expected this decision. But they also prepared other options. Those weren't needed and would go back into the foreign council's massive scenario playbook archives.  "But now there's the matter of involvement by the Aurelian League. There was a statement by Sebon tr'Riog from @Rihan. And Foreign Minister Masaki Kaneda from @Kipan also asked for more involvement by the Aurelians."

    A small frown formed on Pipkin's forehead. It lasted only a couple of seconds. But for a moment the councillor had seemed annoyed at something. "The question of Aurelian involvement in Antargis is certainly worth considering," he answered in a tactful manner. "We knew in advance that the double role of the Kipanese as EOS observer and AL member could lead to this. But that needn't complicate matters too much. We can kick the ball forward and discuss their membership of the Antargic Council during a next council meeting."

    The six months between each semi-annual Antargic council meeting would certainly allow for plenty of time to prepare and strategize. EOS could expand its operations while preparing its analysis of Aurelian intentions. "Yes, Sir. When the meeting resumes I will propose starting negotiations with the Aurelian League. They'll have to review and accept the Antargic Treaty. The existing signatories can have a vote about it later."

    Both Pipkin and Hackey seemed mildly pleased with this outcome. Yet another involved party to take into consideration. That complicated matters slightly. But was nothing they couldn't handle. "Thank you. Until later."


    11:07h

    "Welcome back everyone. I hope you had time to enjoy this short break," Anna declared formally. "Reviewing the initial agenda, you will note that both agenda items have been discussed and dealt with. This leaves some more time to discuss other matters. Namely, the proposal of Mr Kaneda from @Kipan. The Aurelian League has shown a clear interest in co-managing the Antargic Treaty. Speaking for the EOS, I propose starting these talks with representatives of the Aurelian League. If this goes well, we can vote on accepting the Aurelian League into the Antargic Council when we see each other again in 6 months from now. Does the council have any comments or objections to this?" Anna looked around the large room. "We will convene again in 6 months from now. Some first agenda may include (1) a progress report by all signatories, and (2) the conclusion of negotiations with the Aurelian League."


    (OOC: If no-one feels the need to comment, I will consider this matter as settled. This RP lasted almost 6 weeks. That's plenty of time, don't you agree? This will conclude our 2nd meeting of the Antargic Council. The next one is set to occur in July 2019. Thank you very much to all those who participated.)

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