Gruenberg and the United Nations
Gruenberg was a member of the United Nations from August 20051 to December 2006. Its representatives were among the most active members of the General Assembly, and submitting a number of proposals and repeals. Gruenberg's UN policy traditionally favouring national sovereignty, whilst supporting the principles of international law in areas of expressly transnational policy, particularly free trade and international security. The policy was somewhat organic, however, and generally adapted to fit whatever position would allow the most angry swearing. Identified with right-wing tendencies, Gruenberg officially saw itself as more moderate, but eventually resigned when Rono Pyandran ran out of people to tell to fuck off.
- 1 History
- 2 Voting record
- 3 Legislative record
- 3.1 Repeal "UCPL"
- 3.2 Repeal "Right to Divorce"
- 3.3 Repeal "The Law of the Sea
- 3.4 Abortion Legality Convention
- 3.5 UN Demining Survey
- 3.6 Repeal "Banning the Use of Landmines"
- 3.7 UN Recycling Commission
- 3.8 Child Pornography Prohibition
- 3.9 UN Educational Aid Act
- 3.10 Individual Working Freedoms
- 3.11 Clothing Supply Pact
- 3.12 Fair Sentencing Act
- 3.13 Repeal "Hearing Impaired Aid Act"
- 4 Gruenberger Office of UN Affairs
- 5 Compliance
- 6 Notes
Gruenberg was a relatively recent addition to the ranks of the United Nations membership, having traditionally advocated isolationism and been suspicious of international law. The move to become involved in the organization came from Sultan Gardab Woltzten IX, who pursued a much more proactive foreign policy and felt that engagement in the international community would serve Gruenberg's economic and security prospects well. Moltan Bausch, a soldier, businessman and diplomat then serving as Governor of the Gelzien Nub was charged with setting up the Gruenberger Office of UN Affairs in 2002.
After a period of investigation, heavy internal debate, compliance measures and an all-important toin coss, Gruenberg petitioned for entry into the United Nations, with Zlott Woltzten, Gardab's nephew, as Ambassador. At this point, The Transgender Equality Act was at vote, and immediately upon arrival at the United Nations he declared that should it pass, his nation would not join "this cabal of deviants", promptly flying back to Flurthwel. The proposal's failure left Gruenberg in a somewhat embarrassing position, which they quietly passed over by formally joining, with Bausch taking on the role of Ambassador.
Their membership after that was continuous up to December 2006, when a surprise resignation was announced. Proceedings were swiftly made to withdraw, and following the defeat of Repeal "Fair Sentencing Act", resignation was officially effected. Captain Biggles McXiminez was retained at the UN Building as head of the observer mission, whilst the rest of the staff of the UN office were reassigned. The move came as something of a shock to many other nations, but there were assurances from within Gruenberg that it would not affect normal diplomatic relations. It has however affected domestic policy, with many of the laws instated to comply with UN resolutions now being overturned; this has been most commonly suggested as the reason for the withdrawal.
Shake it all about
You do the hokey-cokey and you turn around, that's what it's all about.
Gruenberg did not exercise a consistent policy in casting its votes on resolutions. Although in general it has supported national sovereignty whilst advocating international cooperation in areas ranging from international security and war crimes to free trade and environmental protection, there have been exceptions. For example, it supported the Workplace Safety Act and Recreational Drug Legalization. Arguably, its voting has become more consistent since the departure of Moltan Bausch, whose corruption was perhaps second only to that of Horatio Sulla.
Gruenberg has supported most repeals; Repeal "Stop dumping - Start Cleaning" was the first instance of its casting a vote against a repeal, and was done more out of fear of a more restrictive replacement than on account of support for the original resolution (though they eventually voted for and even helped draft that replacement, the Waste Disposal Covenant). This also influenced its votes against Repeal "Abortion Rights" and Repeal "Stop privacy intrusion". However, it cast its vote for Repeal "Legalise Euthanasia" and Repeal "Definition of Marriage", despite criticising the arguments and possible repercussions of both. Its final vote was against the repeal of its own resolution, Fair Sentencing Act.
Gruenberg was one of the most prolific sources of legislation within the UN. The precise number of resolutions that should be credited to them is somewhat unclear, particularly in the cases of co-authorship or where proposals were submitted on their behalf, but they are generally considered to have had thirteen proposals reach quorum. It is possible, however, that all of these should in fact be credited to Gatesville (instrumental to every one of them, though generally assisting more in taking credit than in drafting, telegram campaigning or debating) or Jey, who looked at one of them and therefore played an integral role to its success. Initially, Moltan Bausch concentrated on repeals, but then shifted to substantive proposals, a policy continued by Lori Jiffjeff and Rono Pyandran. Resolutions have covered a wide range of topics, including recycling, landmines and intellectual property rights, and have included several blockers.
- Main article(s): Repeal "UCPL"
Gruenberg's first legislative success was a motion to repeal Resolution #45, UCPL (Universal Copyright/Patent Law). Written by Moltan Bausch after overhearing Varia Yefremova wonder aloud when someone would attempt a repeal, and drafted with help from several members of the United Nations Old Guard, notably the representatives of Ausserland, Repeal "UCPL" was the first step in the reform of UN intellectual property. The repeal passed comfortably, and unusually endeared Bausch to the left, but met with vehement opposition from Aram Koopman, who feared for Knootian economic interests that UCPL had served as security for. Although the repeal passed on promise of replacement, Bausch was never able to live up to this; however, Ceoranan legislators did later pass UN Patent Law and UN Copyright Convention.
Repeal "Right to Divorce"
- Main article(s): Repeal "Right to Divorce"
Repeal "Right to Divorce" was possibly the first resolution in UN history to be submitted by another nation on the author's behalf. Moltan Bausch had been the most vocal opponent of Resolution #135, Right to Divorce, and had already begun preparing a repeal with Lori Jiffjeff and members of the National Sovereignty Organization as the resolution passed. However, Gruenberg lacked two endorsements at that point, and so could not submit the proposal. As such, the nation of Fonzoland submitted the proposal on Gruenberg's behalf, leading to a legality challenge of questionable intent from representatives of Love and esterel.2 The submission was ruled to be legal, and the repeal passed by a supermajority. It was also the first repeal to pass as the next resolution after the one it repealed; however, two failed proposals - Forced Banishment Ban and Rights of Biological Sapients - came in between the two, meaning Repeal "Promotion of Solar Panels" retained the record for fastest repeal.
Repeal "The Law of the Sea
- Main article(s): Repeal "The Law of the Sea"
Following his previous successes, Moltan Bausch turned his attention to The Law of the Sea, a resolution he had been fixated on since his first days at the UN. On one particularly busy afternoon, he contributed to several repeals, including what would pass as Resolution #139, Repeal "MANDATORY RECYCLING", and then produced a first draft of his own repeal. Some arguments, chiefly his assertion that the UN had no authority to claim jurisdiction over international waters, did not meet with wide approval, but the repeal did manage to pass reasonably comfortably, with most of the discussion concentrating on replacing the resolution - another promise Bausch did not live up to.
Abortion Legality Convention
- Main article(s): Abortion Legality Convention
The Abortion Legality Convention was the first substantive resolution by Gruenberg; written by them, it was however submitted by Omigodtheykilledkenny, Gruenberg again being unable to do themselves. It is one of the most controversial resolutions in UN history, yet regarded by many as one of the most important blocker resolutions. Written by Moltan Bausch and Lori Jiffjeff, it was designed to prevent the UN from further discussing abortion in the wake of the passage of Repeal "Abortion Rights".
UN Demining Survey
- Main article(s): UN Demining Survey
UN Demining Survey was the 150th resolution to be passed by the General Assembly. It was also the first from the new international security organization UN DEFCON, and represented a different tactic: trying to pass a "replacement" before the repeal. In this case, the repeal in question was Repeal "Banning the Use of Landmines", which was to fail. Bausch attempted to tackle what he saw as the main problem posed by landmines - that unmarked landmines would endanger civilians after conflicts had ended - by instituting a range of recommendations on demining and minefield marking, as well as establishing the UNDS to aid with such efforts. The resolution was hotly contested in debate, with many suspicious of the UNDS's powers to research landmine technology, but passed easily.
Repeal "Banning the Use of Landmines"
- Main article(s): Repeal "Banning the Use of Landmines"
The last repeal that Moltan Bausch managed to get to quorum, Repeal "Banning the Use of Landmines" failed heavily. It was the third successive resolution at vote to fail, but was the first such instance for Gruenberg. Also a UN DEFCON effort, the repeal was intended to follow UN Demining Survey and reinstate the right of nations to use landmines in war; some saw it as a chance to replace the original, poor resolution with a more comprehensive ban, though Bausch himself opposed this. He considered it his best work in the UN, and was especially proud of the argument he composed, and was highly disappointed when UN voters did not take to it. He later opined that some had misinterpreted his argument, though also admitted that the repeal would evidently be hard no matter what arguments were used.
UN Recycling Commission
- Main article(s): UN Recycling Commission
Moltan Bausch's final resolution, UN Recycling Commission has since been rejected and disowned by Gruenberg. Rono Pyandran has expressed regrets over some of its provisions, and has even suggested that at some point a repeal might be attempted. UN Recycling Commission was written to replace MANDATORY RECYCLING, but took a distinctly pro-capitalist tone in its execution: it established a free trade zone for recycled goods, set up the UNRC as a means for promoting international commerce, and promoted the industrialisation of recycling, with an emphasis on the involvement of businesses. It passed fairly comfortably, though some felt that its free trade clauses would in fact hinder the development of recycling industry in developing nations.
Child Pornography Prohibition
- Main article(s): Child Pornography Prohibition
Child Pornography Prohibition was the first post-Bausch resolution by Gruenberg. It was written by Lori Jiffjeff for the Gruenberger organization Mothers Against Weird Stuff, marking their first legislative success in the UN. It proved a tremendously popular resolution, passing with an approval rating of almost 90%: this was the greatest margin in favour for any resolution by Gruenberg, and the third highest for all UN resolutions (behind only Female Genital Mutilation and Outlaw Pedophilia). However, it was ferociously contested in debate by a small minority, some citing national sovereignty, some feeling that it was too restrictive of non-harmful forms speech, and some fearing that it was too open to abusive interpretation, and thereby not restrictive enough.
UN Educational Aid Act
- Main article(s): UN Educational Aid Act
Gruenberg has always maintained a strong national sovereignty line on education, opposing almost all efforts by the UN to legislate on education. This policy was continued after Moltan Bausch, and taken up as the subject of Rono Pyandran's first proposal, which he co-authored with Lori Jiffjeff. UN Educational Aid Act was the first resolution in the new Education and Creativity category and proved popular amongst UN voters, with an approval of over 80%. It promoted a range of policies to improve the state of education in UN members and established the UN Educational Advancement Fund; however, it also contained a clause that blocked future UN interference in educational matters.
Individual Working Freedoms
- Main article(s): Individual Working Freedoms
Following on from his success with the UN Educational Aid Act, Rono Pyandran drafted Individual Working Freedoms on his own, though drew inspiration from an older proposal of Powerhungry Chipmunks. It came in the wake of Repeal "The 40 Hour Workweek", and was a blocker to stop any replacement of this resolution. Pyandran later noted that there was no concerted effort to replace it anyway, but still felt his proposal was worthwhile. It was the first Advancement of Industry resolution to pass, and emphasised the importance of granting individuals freedom in negotiating their contracts, specifically concerning working time. Heavily contested by those who felt it endorsed or even forced capitalism, or that it would reduce workers' rights, it managed to scrape through by a slim margin at plenary vote.
Clothing Supply Pact
- Main article(s): Clothing Supply Pact
The first substantive resolution by Gruenberg to fail, Clothing Supply Pact followed directly after Individual Working Freedoms. It was an attempt to establish a UN-wide free trade zone in textiles and related products. Its controversy and failure seemed to stem not simply from a rejection of capitalist or neoliberal philosophy, however, with some feeling it overrode national sovereignty. Pyandran was scornful of his detractors, bizarrely feeling that many had clearly misread or misinterpreted the proposal as some form of welfare measure.
Fair Sentencing Act
- Main article(s): Fair Sentencing Act
As with the UN Educational Aid Act, the Fair Sentencing Act was based on a proposal by Moltan Bausch: he had attempted on several occasions to get the proposal to quorum, failing by only a few approvals. Revamped by Pyandran and Jiffjeff, the Act was Pyandran's third (Gruenberg's fourth) blocker resolution, with a broad area of effect. Originally designed as a proposal to prevent the UN from banning the death penalty, it ended up granting nations the right to determine sentences for all crimes in their jurisdiction. It passed reasonably comfortably, its debate still being relatively heated, and featuring the now obligatory sight of Pyandran spewing profanity at those bringing what he saw as menial or ridiculous objections to discussion. A motion to repeal it went to vote in December 2006, but failed.
Repeal "Hearing Impaired Aid Act"
- Main article(s): Repeal "Hearing Impaired Aid Act"
Following the passage of Hearing Impaired Aid Act, Pyandran immediately set to work drafting a repeal, and with wide backing attempted to get it to quorum. However, despite extensive telegram campaigning on repeated submissions, including collaborative efforts with Omigodtheykilledkenny, the repeal fell a few approvals short each time, once needing only one more when it was deleted. After returning to work on the Fair Sentencing Act, he redoubled his efforts, and succeeded in queueing the repeal. Despite the difficulties getting it to quorum, it encountered no real opposition from the General Assembly, passing by over 80% of the vote, only narrowly behind Repeal "DVD Region Removal" as the most successful repeal of all time. This turned out to be the final legislative act by Gruenberg.
Gruenberger Office of UN Affairs
The Gruenberger Office of UN Affairs was established in 2002, although Gruenberg was not to enter the UN for another three years. Its first Director was Moltan Bausch, who was succeeded by Rono Pyandran; the current head is Biggles McXiminez. The Office was initially set up to investigate the possibility of Gruenberg joining the United Nations; its role was then expanded, encompassing drafting legislation, overseeing compliance, and maintaining communications between Gruenberg, the United Nations, and other member nations; since resignation its duties have been cut back to limited diplomatic functions. The National Office is located in Flurthwel; at the UN Headquarters, Gruenberg's office complex is located on the 3rd basement level, which it still maintains.
As Gruenberg's presence at the UN increased, so did its staffing requirements. Initially there were just three representatives, plus assorted anciliary staff, secretaries and security personnel: Zlott Woltzten, Moltan Bausch, and Lori Jiffjeff. When the former left, Bausch drafted in his old friend Nuck Chorris as Deputy Ambassador; he was later replaced by Biggles McXiminez. Shortly following Bausch's dismissal, Jiffjeff staffed the Office alone, before a comprehensive raft of replacements arrived.
Princess Jianna Woltzten became Ambassador and Rittel Wenkein, a senior Viziery official, Deputy Ambassador, whilst Rono Pyandran acted as the main representative of national policy. Advisors included Lurs Lennto, Pendle Korbitz and Iffne Hevan, with the former being replaced by Kirby Duggan at a later stage. Almost all of the staff were retasked following resignation, with the office now being staffed solely by McXiminez and someone known only as "Bucket Guy" - it's better that way, trust me.
Gruenberg generally pursued the "Bausch Doctrine" of borderline non-compliance with legislation it opposed, although it was never credibly accused of active non-compliance. The three basic points of this approach were:
- All optional clauses, where possible, are ignored.
- All necessary projects are given minimal funding, staffing and support.
- All ill-defined terms are exploited ("loophole wanking").
It should be noted, of course, that the Bausch Doctrine was not an absolute, and enthusiastic support for productive resolutions always overrode it: for example, Gruenberg allowed The Microcredit Bazaar to establish several chapters in its territory.
Since resignation, Gruenberg has discontinued a number of programs and repealed many laws required by UN law; it has continued to cooperate with some committees and agencies, however, and indicated that some resolutions will continue to be treated as relevant international law.
- For various reasons, Gruenberg's UN membership has in fact been slightly variable, with membership periodically transferred to puppets, owing to gameplay commitments and other OOC factors. This is not something that is ICly acknowledged, and Gruenberg has always RPed as a UN member.
- Discussion of legality of Repeal "Right to Divorce"