Grand Unified Micronational
|Grand Unified Micronational|
|Headquarters||Quorum of Delegates of the Grand Unified Micronational (Skype)|
|Recognised languages||Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, Romanian, Dutch.|
|Membership||19 full member nations, 5 provisional members, 2 observing members|
|Supreme Tribune||Ciprian I|
|Secretary of the Advancement Council||Edward Jacobs|
|– Foundation||5 January 2009|
|– Original constitution ratified||14 April 2009|
|- Attempted reform||22 August 2010|
|- Attempted dissolution||20 September 2010|
|- Restoration||14 August 2011|
|- Constitution amended to current version||19 February 2012|
|Online Application Form|
The Grand Unified Micronational, commonly abbrieviated as the GUM, is an intermicronational organisation with the aim of helping diplomatic relations between micronations, with a general focus on its own member states. Based around the MicroWiki Community and founded in January 2009, the GUM held an almost hegemonic sway over the community (especially under Robert Lethler's terms as Chairman) from the summer of 2009 until it declined in the summer of 2010.
After the departure of Robert Lethler on 30 July 2010, the organisation became inactive. Acting Chair James Puchowski's attempts to revitalise the GUM were unsucessful, as were negotiations for a merger with the Organisation of Active Micronations, which rejected every proposal offered. Puchowski declared the GUM dissolved on 20 September 2010, and although for several months this was not widely protested, in August 2011 the GUM was brought back to activity after it was discovered that Puchowski's term had expired by the time of the "dissolution" and so the GUM had de jure never been disestablished. Its regular discussion of current micronational topics and the fortnightly meetings held every second Sunday in a Skype chatroom make it one of the most active intermicronational organisations currently in existence, and the only remaining major intermicronational organisation in the MicroWiki Community after the dissolution of the OAM in December 2011 and IMTO in April 2012.
Grand Unified Micronational was founded in January 2009 by Tsar Royalé Jacob Tierney of Scientopia (now Renasia). The constitutionally recognised founding member states of Grand Unified Micronational are the Kingdom of Camuria, the Democratic People’s Republic of Erusia, Scientopia, the Republic of Petorio, Stigistan, Tozland and the Federal Republic of St.Charlie. Following investigations by the organisation, the Kingdom of Camuria was suspended from membership in late February 2009 (see the GUM Analysis of Camurian Falsehoods). During Black March (2009), the Grand Unified Micronational dealt with peace negotiations in the Meissner-Antifan War between Scientopia and the Empire of New Europe.
The Charter of the Grand Unified Micronational, written by Robert Lethler, was officially adopted on 19 April. May 2009 saw the collapse of the Union of Socialist Micronational Republics, after which the Union's membership was passed onto the Democratic People’s Republic of Erusia. Erusia's "Cold War" with New Europe helped the GUM in its rise to supreme influence over the MicroWiki community, as it helped with negotiations between the two most powerful nations of that time. When war eventually broke out between those two nations in July 2009, the organisation was heavily involved in peace talks - the Treaty of Universal Non-Aggression, which acted as a peace treaty ending this conflict, became a document which the GUM encouraged its members to sign.
The GUM was also involved in mediation between disputes over Antarctic claims. In the Siple War, the organisation originally backed Finismund and Flandrensis, but later adopted a neutral view of the conflict - further Antarctic disagreements were seen in the Poaching Conflict and in the Rhodesian War, the latter of which helped to cement the GUM's hold on the MicroWiki Sector by resulting in the dissolution of the UNMCN, the only remaining competition for the GUM as a UN-style body in the community.
The winter of 2009 and the spring of 2010 saw many older micronations fall into inactivity and many new micronations join the community, destablising the status quo and slightly decreasing the influence of the Grand Unified Micronational - this was not helped by the rise of the Organisation of Active Micronations. The GUM was still greatly respected by older micronationalists, however, and played a vital role in negotiating for the referendum which ended the Austenasian Civil War fought between March and May 2010. Diplomatic conflict and tension in the community rapidly grew during the summer of 2010 (caused by new micronations such as Starland and Rajputistan, and the rise of the Intermicronational Conservative Alliance) which the GUM was not able to effectively deal with.
After the departure of Robert Lethler and the collapse of Erusia and the then-incarnation of Sandus at the end of July 2010, the organisation fell into inactivity, with numerous bureaucratic issues also formed by Lethler's departure. A possible merge with the Organisation of Active Micronations was unsuccessfully proposed (the OAM rejecting all terms offered), and Acting Chairman James Puchowski started on 22 August a reform that was intended to bring the GUM back to activity in mid-September 2010. However, no action was taken during the month other than the disbanding of the Councils, and James Puchowski announced on 20 September 2010 that he had dissolved the organisation.
Due to the state of inactivity that the GUM had been in, this dissolution was neither questioned nor opposed at the time. However, during February 2011 it was openly questioned whether or not the Chair had the power to unanimously dissolve the organisation, and in August of that year it was discovered that Puchowski's term had expired by the time of the alleged dissolution, meaning that that GUM was de jure merely dormant, not disestablished. A number of national leaders, under the leadership of Jacob Tierney and Will Sörgel, gathered together and re-established the GUM at 20:48 on 14 August 2011.
Acting leaders were quickly elected - Tierney as Acting Chair, Sörgel as Acting Vice-Chair, and Crown Prince Jonathan as Supreme Judge. It was decided that the GUM should have a month of consolidation and gradual regrowth before publicly announcing its rebirth to the community, both in order to protect some of its current members (one delegate was also an official in the OAM, and it was decided to wait for him to lose that office in the next OAM elections to protect him from reprisals) and to ensure that the GUM would emerge consolidated and united and be ready to deal with whatever came its way. The "former" members which were not aware of the rebirth of the organisation were either informed, suspended, or expelled from the GUM (but with no restrictions on re-applying), and nations which had never been part of the GUM before (such as Tiana and Dorzhabad) were welcomed into the organisation. The initial plan to publicly relaunch when ready was disrupted by TASPAC, which released news of the GUM's re-establishment in response to a dossier written by the recently-returned Robert Lethler against Aldrich Lucas, which Lethler had presented to the GUM before publicly releasing. News of the imminent release of the dossier was leaked to TASPAC by Joseph Puglisi, the response of which caused the Yablokogate diplomatic crisis, resulting in Tiana and Stodænna leaving the GUM and being expelled from TASPAC. The results of constitutional leadership elections were announced on 13 September, with all acting leaders retaining their positions.
Between the "rebirth" of the GUM and the end of 2011, it sent a physical representative to Occupy LSX to express support for the ideological aims of the Occupy movement, achieved a goal of enouraging three quaters of its members to become signatory to the Treaty of Universal Peace, a treaty aiming to make wars of aggression illegal under intermicronational law, and shifted away from the idea of a community equivalent of the United Nations to an organisation that would exist primarily for the benefit of its own members. New leadership elections were successfully held in December 2011, and under the Chairpersonship of the then Crown Prince Jonathan of Austenasia the organisation successfully implemented a program of constitutional reform, with a number of amendments and additions codifying conventions and removing needless bureacratic or defunct features of the Constitution being officially adopted on 19 February 2012. Crown Prince Jonathan's successor, Bradley of Dullahan, became the first Chairman to be removed by a vote of confidence when the Quorum passed one on 22 April in response to his disregard for the entrenchment of the Constitution and his lack of knowledge of GUM proceedings and conventions. Bradley was replaced with Will Sörgel as Acting Chair until June, when Crown Prince Jonathan was re-elected. The Crown Prince chaired the first (and, to date, only) face-to-face physically in-person Quorum in the history of the organisation on 15 July 2012 in the aftermath of the 2012 Polination Conference, with Austenasian, St.Charlian, Renasian, Sandum and Juclandian delegations present (Jamie Sutherland having been appointed a provisional Juclandian delegate).
Later that year the GUM organised the 24 Hour Quorum, the first event of its kind, which ran from 14-15 August and was attended by micronationalists from the whole community and beyond. Five or more people were kept online and talking for 24 hours, and some of those partaking were sponsored, leading to money (US $128, over £80) being donated to various charities.
January 2013 saw controversy as Chairman Yaroslav Mar and Vice-Chairman Bradley of Dullahan were accused of conspiring with Secretary of the Security Council Haakon Lindstrom to remove Sandus and Juclandia from the GUM for political reasons. Accusations and arguments resulted in some member states leaving and the former three individuals all resigning from their positions of leadership in the organisation, with Crown Prince Jonathan becoming Acting Chair on 19 January. The organisation soon returned to normality, with former members rejoining and the GUM focusing on various projects, with the March, June and September 2013 elections going ahead as planned.
An organ of Grand Unified Micronational is described as:
|“||Any authority, select committee, council or other organised body that has been charged with addressing a specific subject matter or range of subject matters and enforcing the will of the general community with regards to those subject matters.||”|
— Article XIII of the GUM constitution
From its offices located on the internet, the GUM and its specialised councils makes decisions on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held each week. The organisation is divided into administrative bodies, or councils that manage different areas of micronational culture:
- The Quorum of Delegates (the main assembly);
- The Advancement Council (for the cultural and technological development of micronations);
- The Supreme Tribune (the primary judicial organ)
A Chairperson acts as the executive leader of the GUM while a Supreme Judge enforces the rules of the organisation. After its creation, the GUM established (with the help of various member states) a Constitution, which was signed and ratified 18 April 2009 and revised in February 2012. The Constitution is automatically ratified by all micronations that acquire membership.
Quorum of Delegates
The Quorum of Delegates is the main assembly and supreme organ of Grand Unified Micronational. The Quorum consists of between one and three delegates from each member state. The Quorum of Delegates serves as a board for discussion between member states, and has the power to vote on major decisions made by the organisation, including election of organs and offices of the organisation, as well as membership applications. Quorum meetings are held weekly on Sunday evenings in Skype chatroom. Motions can be made at a Quorum meeting provided a majority is attained and at least five members are present at the meeting - over 50% of the member states present must vote in support for a motion to pass. All voting is directed by the Chair and one vote is given to each member state rather than to each delegate.
The Advancement Council (AC) is the organ of the Grand Unified Micronational which is charged with the promotion and development of issues of social, cultural, political, economic, scientific, technological and environmental development between member states. The Advancement Council is established by the Constitution, containing up to five member states and with an electoral term of three months. Members of the AC are elected by the Quorum of Delegates. Member states cannot be a member of the Council for three consecutive full terms, but there is no overall maximum number of terms. The Advancement Council was disestablished during the August 2010 attempted reform, but reformed by the Quorum after the restoration of GUM activity a year later.
In April 2012, the position of Secretary of the Advancement Council was created, to lead and co-ordinate its projects. A list of secretaries is as follows:
- 1 April 2012 - 8 April 2012: J.J. Hakimoto (acting)
- 8 April 2012 - 13 June 2012: Ciprian I
- 13 June 2012 - 16 September 2012: Luke Albertschine (acting until 25 August)
- 16 September 2012 - 16 December 2012: Jonathan Nobilissimus Caesar
- 16 December 2012 - 17 January 2013: Leon Simpson
- 17 January 2013 - 13 March 2013: Bradley of Dullahan (acting)
- 13 March 2013 - 13 June 2013: Ciprian I (acting until 3 April)
- 13 June 2013 - 29 June 2013: Vacant
- 29 June 2013 - 13 September 2013: Alex Whitmarsh
- 15 September 2013 - present: Edward Jacobs
The Advancement Council throughout GUM history has comprised of:
The Security Council (SC) was the organ of Grand Unified Micronational charged with the promotion and development of intermicronational peace and security. As with the Advancement Council, the SC consisted of up to five member states who were elected every three months with a ban on having a third consecutive full term. The Security Council could intervene in any issues regarding security, conflict or peace promotion between member states, but had no authority to force any nation to change their policy on any issue. The Security Council was disestablished during the August 2010 attempted reform, but reformed by the Quorum after the restoration of GUM activity a year later. It was again disestablished on 31 March 2013, in response to a lack of traditional micronational conflicts for it to respond to.
In April 2012, the position of Secretary of the Security Council was created, to lead and co-ordinate its projects. A list of secretaries is as follows:
- 8 April 2012 - 13 June 2012: Jonathan Nobilissimus Caesar
- 13 June 2012 - 25 June 2012: Vacant
- 25 June 2012 - 13 September 2012: Lucas Campos
- 13 September 2012 - 16 December 2012: Vacant
- 16 December 2012 - 18 January 2013: Håkon Lindström
- 18 January 2013 - 21 January 2013: Vacant
- 21 January 2013 - 13 March 2013: Yurt Kyong-yon
The Security Council throughout GUM history comprised of:
The Council worked closely with the Quorum of Delegates to achieve its aims and intervened in many diplomatic issues dealt with by the GUM such as the Meissner-Antifan, New Euro-Erusian, and Rhodesian Wars. In all these cases, Erusia was part of the Security Council. The Security Council was disestablished during the August 2010 attempted reform, but reformed by the Quorum with the re-establishment of the GUM in August 2011. On 25 October 2011, the Security Council launched an initiative to have three quarters of all GUM full members signatory to the Treaty of Universal Peace by 13 December - this goal was achieved on 1 November. At present, the GUM encourages all new member states to become signatory.
The Chair of the Quorum of Delegates is the executive leader and general representative of the Grand Unified Micronational. Their role in the organisation is parallel to that of a Secretary General. The term of Chair is three months, and they are elected alongside the Vice-Chair, Security Council, Advancement Council, and Supreme Tribune. The Chair is charged with the general administration of the GUM, and has duties and powers such as directing voting and meetings of the Quorum, and approving membership applications. The Chair also has the power to unilaterally suspend any member, although any such decision can be vetoed by the Quorum. The first unofficial chair was the founder of the GUM, Jacob Tierney, although the official inaugural holder of the office was Kalvin Koolidge of the Republic of Petorio.
As the main external representative of the GUM, the Chair promotes the public image of the GUM and is responsible for representing it in bi- and multilateral discussions. Chairmen since the foundation of the GUM have been actively involved in the processes of conflict mitigation and intermicronational mediation, frequently leading diplomatic teams in peace talks. The current Chairman is Quentin I of Wyvern, serving his first term.
In the interests of fairness, the Chairperson of the Quorum is always expected to be largely politically independent in order to ensure that they demonstrate no bias in the exercising of their powers. For this reason, candidates for the Chairship during an election are usually experienced diplomats who have made a name for themselves and earned the trust and respect of the Quorum as a whole, although any Delegate has the right to stand.
Though they continue to represent their nation to the GUM, Chairpersons are expected to put the interests of the institution before that of their own nation. In debates at Quorum the Chair usually speaks to represent their personal and professional opinion, rather than that of their nation, though they may note - and clearly distinguish - both opinions. Generally, the Chairperson will always be the last member of the Quorum to cast their vote on a specific issue, in order to ensure that they are not allowing their politics or national allegiance to influence other members.
The Grand Unified Micronational Justice Commission is the organisation's intermicronational judicial organ. The Justice Commission has the power to try member states and other parties which it considers could have violated intermicronational law. The commission is constitutionally obliged to remain unbiased and independent in all its decisions. The Constitution of the Grand Unified Micronational requires it to:
|“||be fair and unbiased; be constitutional; be in accordance with the core ethics of the institution; be enforceable and proportionate to the situation.||”|
—Article LXXX of the GUM constitution
Nevertheless, before August 2010, Robert Lethler was often seen as the man "controlling the proceedings of the Supreme Tribune", sometimes with the collaboration of the Supreme Judges, who were often forced to follow him due to the absence of a legal convention.
The Chair of the Presidium of the Supreme Tribune (commonly known as the Supreme Judge) is the elected head of the Justice Commission. The position is elected along with the council members and the Chair. To date, the commission has brought New Scientopia to trial over negligent disclosure of information regarding New Europe, offered possible trial to the Kingdom of Camuria, introduced the illegalisation of hacking, compiled a list of intermicronational legal terms with clear definitions, and declared official opinions regarding events such as the Rhodesian War. Since the return of the organisation from dormancy, the main duty of the Supreme Judge has been simply to interpret the Constitution and to offer rulings and advice on GUM regulations and conventions.
A list of Supreme Judges since the organisation's founding is as follows:
- ~February 2009 - 13 April 2009: Robert Lethler of Erusia (de facto)
- 13 April 2009 - 13 July 2009: Jamie Sutherland of Francisville
- 13 July 2009 - 13 October 2009: Robert Lethler of Erusia
- 13 October 2009 - 13 January 2010: Jamie Sutherland of Francisville
- 13 January 2010 - 14 June 2010: Kaiser Wilhelm I of New Europe
- 14 June 2010 - 13 July 2010: Vacant
- 13 July 2010 - 13 September 2010: HI&MH Crown Prince Consort Jonathan of Austenasia
- 13 September 2010 - 14 August 2011: Vacant
- 14 August 2011 - 13 December 2011: HIH Crown Prince Jonathan of Austenasia
- 13 December 2011 - 13 March 2012: Kaiser Wilhelm I of New Europe
- 13 March 2012 - 13 June 2012: Jacob Tierney of Renasia
- 13 June 2012 - 13 September 2012: HM Ciprian I of Juclandia
- 13 September 2012 - 19 January 2013: HIH Crown Prince Jonathan of Austenasia
- 20 January 2013 - 13 March 2013: Alex Whitmarsh of the USLSSR (acting)
- 13 March 2013 - 13 September 2013: Quentin I of Wyvern
- 13 September 2013 - 27 October 2013: Jacob Tierney of Renasia
- 27 October 2013 - present: HM Ciprian I of Juclandia
The GUM, in both its present and past incarnations, has been subject to criticism from several micronationalists. In more recent times, criticism has come from such people as Gordon Freeman and Heinrich Schneider, mostly about the policies on professionalism held by the GUM. They argue that micronations being constrained or condemned for being non-serious or unprofessional is against their idea of micronationalism being whatever its creators want, pointing to such famous micronations as the Republic of Molossia, one of the most famous and respected micronations in the world, having non-serious characteristics, such as describing themselves as a 'dictatorial banana-republic' and waging war against the defunct state of East Germany since 2 November 1983.
This criticism has been refuted by GUM members on multiple occasions, using examples of GUM member states Juclandia counting toys as citizens and Wyvern waging an annual "fireworks war" against the Netherlands - they counter the example of Molossia by pointing out that despite its tongue-in-cheek domestic features it is known for acting very professionally in regards to its interactions with other nations. The GUM attempts to encourage formality in intermicronational relations (something which has been supported by most members of the MicroWiki community several times), and has criticised instances when a member state acts in an uncharacteristically informal manner, such as when King Håkon of Zealandia announced an alleged "coup" by posting a short video in which he pretended to be a character with a comical voice and fake dreadlocks, and then refused to impart further information on the event. There is no record of the GUM having ever attempted to directly interfere in a nation's domestic affairs, but the organisation does encourage foreign affairs and diplomacy to be conducted in an appropriately formal fashion and expects member states to act relatively professionally on the intermicronational stage.
Full members may contribute to discussions and debates, vote in Quorum sessions, and stand for election to any of the leadership positions or Councils. After a series of membership caps, it was ultimately decided that no more than twenty full members may be seated at one time. The membership cap was entirely abolished by the Quorum of Delegates during the October 13 2013 Quorum.
- Free State of Renasia (Founder; Vice Chair)
- Federal Republic of St.Charlie (Founding Member)
- Kingdom of Wyvern (Chair of the Quorum; Advancement Council)
- Kingdom of Juclandia (Chair of the Presidium of the Supreme Tribune (Supreme Judge))
- Ashukov Federation (Advancement Council)
- Kingdom of Florenia (Advancement Council)
- Tsardom of Nolland (Advancement Council)
- Empyre of Slin (Advancement Council)
- Empire of Adammia
- Empire of Austenasia
- Theodorist Regional Dominion of Burnham and its Land
- Federated Republics of Eragia
- Commonwealth of Hobartstown and Victoria
- Union of Libereco
- Empire of New Europe
- State of Sandus
- Union of South London Soviet Socialist Republics
- Technocratic Empire of Würdigeland
- Democratic People's Republic of Yurtyzstan
Provisional membership may be granted to those micronations which fail to be admitted as full members, or which do not wish to immediately apply for such status. Provisional members may contribute to discussions and debates, but may not stand for election. The Chairperson decides at the start of each Quorum whether or not provisional members will be permitted to vote during the session. Provisional members wait at least two weeks before applying for full membership, if there is a vacancy. To prevent prospective overcrowding of membership, as of 17 March 2013 the maximum number of provisional members permitted at any one time is ten.
- Independent Republic of Brogenia
- New Lacedaemonia
- Biarchy of Peribius
- Principality of Sabovia
- Diarchy of Volfa
Observers are nations which are permitted access to Quorum minutes on request, and may propose matters to be discussed in a Quorum, but do not have the right to observe or attend a live Quorum meeting. Observers are however permitted to speak in the GUM Lounge, a Skype chatroom created on 1 January 2012 alongside the status of observer - this is in order to stop Quorum meetings being overwhelmed by large numbers of members. Should a vacancy arise in the ranks of full or provisional members, it is expected that an observer would be chosen to fill it should they wish. On 8 July 2012, a new system was implemented whereby observer nations must confirm their continued wish to stay in the GUM every two months, in order to ensure that observer nations wish to actively partake in GUM business as far as is possible and not simply hold the status of observer in a titular fashion.
- Currently none
Permanent observership was originally a status given to three nations which were members of the GUM at its "dissolution" in September 2010 but did not take part in its "rebirth" in August 2011, and had stated that they may consider resuming full membership at some point in the future - St.Charlie, Bokonton, and Francisville. Permanent observers have the same rights as observers, while also being permitted to view Quorum sessions and contribute to discussions, but cannot vote or stand for election. It was decided on 1 April 2012 to abolish this membership status, as it was seen as giving preferential treatment to former members - the three permanent observers were transitioned into "regular" observer states and a ban was applied on creating any new permanent observers, de facto abolishing the status. On 8 July later that year, the status was revived along with the reform to observer status, with permanent observers being micronations with a close historical association to the GUM that would otherwise be observer nations but are not required to periodically reaffirm their desire to stay in the organisation.
- 'Reinhardt's Corner: did the Army kill the IMTO?', The St.Charlian Observer, 12 April 2011]
- 'GUM talk page exchange between Gordon Freeman and Robert Lethler', 16 November 2009
- 'GUM criticised for voting procedures', A1 News Service, 27 July 2010
- 'GUM under fire as Anderson admits leaking logs', A1 News Service, 31 August 2012
- 'A Grand Conspiracy', MicroWiki Forum, 8th September 2011
- 'Micronationalism is serious business', A1 News Service, 5 September 2011
- 'A Grand Conspiracy' Post 27893, MicroWiki Forum, 7 September 2011
- 'Lonely Planet' Explores Micronations, National Public Radio, 1 November 2006
- 'Suits and ties.', MicroWiki Forum, 16-31 May 2011
- 'The Community', MicroWiki Forum, 24-29 October 2011
- 'Silliness and, frankly, plain stupidity in the community', MicroWiki Forum, 3-6 August 2011
- 'Can we make the community formal?', MicroWiki Forum, 14 October 2011
- 'Diplomatic Language and Formalities', MicroWiki Forum, 11-12 November 2011
- 'Olof Olofsson reporting', The Zealandian Gazette, 4 February 2012
| Active organizations: |
League of Secessionist States • Grand Unified Micronational • Micronational Cartography Society • European Micronational Culture Organisation
| Linguistic organizations |
Micronational Monarchies Organization • Organización de Micronaciones Unidas
| Inactive/extinct organizations: |
League of Micronations • Fifth World Council • Lusophone Commonwealth • United Micronations • Grand Alliance • High Union of Nations • British Commonwealth of Micronations • Live Nations • North American Micronational Culture Organization • Organisation of Active Micronations