Repeal "Protection of Dolphins Act" (failed)

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In the first attempt to remove an existing environmental resolution, the United Nations defeated a repeal of the Protection of Dolphins Act by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. The resolution coincided with a diskspace problem that briefly caused the NationStates server to crash, prompting fears that a substantial number of votes would be deleted and that the vote may have to be delayed or extended. The incident's impact on the vote, however, appears to have been minimal.

In the course of its progression to the General Assembly floor, the repeal was tied to an effort to strike out two resolutions regarding the protection of wildlife in favor of a more comprehensive bill to track and protect all endangered animal species. That effort eventually came to fruition as the UNCoESB, which reached the floor just after the repeal's defeat.

Resolution History

Following the June 2005 passage of the Protection of Dolphins Act, Omigodtheykilledkenny (which opposed the measure) told its citizens that since the UN lacked a police force and could not enforce its own dictates, the federal government, "to be on the safe side," had to institute the Dolphin Protection Enforcement Squad (DoPES) to bring the nation's vessels into compliance. DoPES proved costly, ineffective, superfluous, at times entirely unnecessary -- and extremely unpopular, and calls for its abolition increased as its agents appeared ill-trained and unready to deal with the inimitable Sea Captain McAllister's fanatical and suicidal quest to bag the legendary "Great White Dolphin." As highly intelligent dolphins began to harass Omigodtheykilledkenny ships on the high seas in retaliation for McAllister's zeal, the nation's sailors, in accordance with UN mandates, were powerless to respond. With the public clamoring for a "war on dolphins," the Fernanda Administration felt it had no choice but to propose a repeal of the dolphin-protection act.

Omigodtheykilledkenny liberals later accused the government of having created DoPES to hoodwink the public into supporting a repeal at the UN. No hard evidence has arisen to support the claim, though eyebrows were raised over the publication of what became known as the Frowning Street Memo, the notes of a cabinet meeting at which UN Ambassador Jack Riley reportedly argued that "a crisis over international waters may well convince the public that a repeal is in order."

Proposal Campaign

The first attempt to bring a repeal to vote occurred in mid-July, and though it won over 100 delegate approvals, it fell short of the 6 percent needed for quorum. An ensuing August attempt to repeal the act caught the eye of Venerable Libertarians, which became a steadfast supporter of a repeal on the grounds that the UN needed only a single resolution to protect all endangered wildlife, rather than separate resolutions for every animal species the international body deemed worthy of special protection. Yelda and its UN puppet Yeldan UN Mission also signed on as supporters, and the repeal quickly reached quorum, earning over 330 approvals before it finally reached the floor at the end of the month.

UN Debate

The official discussion thread for the repeal logged over 270 replies from 80 nations, the official thread for the UNCoESB receiving only 149 replies by comparison.

Much of the floor debate dwelled upon the author's decision to include national sovereignty grounds in its argument for repeal. As the act only banned dolphin abuse over international waters, the argument proved weak and failed to convince the skeptics. Though the resolution offered several other supporting arguments, many nations who supported a repeal did not vote for it because of the national sovereignty clause. Even some "Feeder" region delegates, most of whom voted against the dolphin-protection act, opposed the measure, which nonetheless did receive the support of influential regions such as the Pacific and Gatesville.

Resolution Text

Repeal "Protection of Dolphins Act"
A resolution to repeal a previously passed resolution.

Category: Repeal Resolution: #106 Proposed By: Omigodtheykilledkenny

Description: UN Resolution #106: Protection of Dolphins Act (Category: Environmental; Industry Affected: All Businesses) shall be struck out and rendered null and void.

Argument: WHEREAS, the U.N. Protection of Dolphins Act constitutes an encroachment on national sovereignty, in that it claims jurisdiction over international waters -– restricting the rights of nations who have a presence in said waters, violating treaties and trade pacts between nations respecting said waters, and placing special restrictions on any future such treaties; and

WHEREAS, many member states' economies are heavily reliant on fishing and related industries, and this act severely damages their national economies; and

WHEREAS, it is decidedly outside the jurisdiction of the United Nations to place such precise restrictions on international trade and commerce; and

WHEREAS, dolphins are not an endangered species requiring special protection; and

WHEREAS, the sale and consumption of dolphin meat is prevalent in many cultures, and the Protection of Dolphins Act is culturally insensitive in that regard; and

WHEREAS, the Protection of Dolphins Act does little to advance the central purpose of the United Nations, namely, the promotion of human rights; and

WHEREAS, the provision in the Protection of Dolphins Act, calling specifically for the prevention of "dolphin abuse, in any way that (member states) see fit, provided that no dolphin shall ever be preferred over human lives," is insufficient for the protection of human lives and livelihood:


Votes For: 4,606
Votes Against: 8,893
Defeated: Aug 28 2005

Gameplay Impacts

The resolution would have had no impact on the way NationStates was played. The forum poll, however, was interesting in that it was likely the most accurate one since the forum starting polling the ambassadors. Though the forum vote was much closer than the actual UN vote, delegates carry more than one vote, and more delegates opposed the measure than supported it. Forum results, however, were affected by the fact that an earlier version of the poll did not include the standard "Yes/No/Abstain" options, and indeed was more concerned with the ambassadors' feelings on clubbing baby dolphins, the rack on the ambassador from Thessadoria and getting drunk at the Strangers' Bar than with the resolution at vote. It was later altered by moderators to a more traditional poll.


Nations participating in the UN forum debate were (eventually) asked to disclose their vote: yes, no, or abstain; the results of this survey are presented above. On the UN forum, 81 nations voted for the resolution, 83 against, and 2 nations abstained. The abstentions are not included in calculating the percentage of votes. Due to the change in the poll options after the first few hours, some votes may have been lost.

While just 34% of the votes cast in the "official" UN vote were in favor, 49% of the forum voters said "yes," making for a seemingly poor representation of the official UN vote. Previous comparisons between the UN forum and overall UN vote have indicated that the UN forum tends to vote more conservatively, and given that a repeal would remove a resolution, the trend shown here is consistent with prior comparisons.

Additional Materials

Omigodtheykilledkenny and the United Nations
Administration and Policies: Department of State | Mission to the United Nations | Voting Record | Creative Solutions Agency | Kennypoll
Mission Staff: Susa Batko-Yovino | Jenny Chiang | Sammy Faisano | Alex Tehrani | Jessie McArthur | George Brown | Jack Riley | Surly the Repealinator
Sponsored Legislation: Repeal "Protection of Dolphins Act" | Repeal "Fossil Fuel Reduction Act" | Repeal "Gay Rights" | Abortion Legality Convention | Unconventional Arms Accord | Prohibition of UN Military | Repeal "Mutual Recognition of Borders" | Accessible Family Planning | Repeal "SPCC Regulation Act" | Repeal "Max Barry Day"