In the statement, Gaius Soergel Publicola lambasts the GUM Quorum of Delegates’s decision to reject the Sandum application as a result of “irrational and baseless” concerns over Sandus’s status as a signatory to the Denton Protocol. He argued that the GUM Charter “already possesses provisions which would make the Denton Protocol irrelevant in the organisation and to any possible Sandum delegation,” citing the provision in III.2.b of the Charter. He briefly discussed the history and exigency of the protocol before turning to discuss the decision itself, arguing it was “inconsistent with the provisions of the GUM Charter and the principles of the organisation itself.”
The Sôgmô raised the differential treatment of the Wyvernian and Sandum applications and how, despite Wyvern’s history of racist and Islamophobic hatred, “turning a blind-eye to their radical far-right politics in the name of objectivism,” the Quorum shooed in Wyvern while Sandus was rejected.
Soergel Publicola added that “[this] decision will necessitate a re-examination of our relationships with [the states which were Sandum allies yet voted against the Sandum application,” narrowing out the Empire of Austenasia. “The time has come, instead, to re-examine our relationship with the Empire of Austenasia,” the Sôgmô stated.
He also added that Sandus should reinvigorate its commitment to l’Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie, a Francophone intermicronational organisation which has a better record than the GUM. “[The] member-states of the organisation reflect in their actions our foreign objectives for professionalism,” Soergel Publicola argued. The concern with micronational professionalism was a key driving force for Sandus’s desire to become a GUM member, which was initially hailed in multilateral discussions last month with Austenasian Emperor Jonathan Augustus and Überstadti King Adam I.
Good evening, Comrade Citizens.
As Sôgmô, I must regrettably inform you that our application for full membership to the Grand Unified Micronational has been denied, following a vote in the organisation’s Quorum of Delegates.
Sandus has not been voted into the status of provisional membership necessary for the application to full membership, which we applied for as a result of the unanimous and democratic decision of the Council of the State of Sandus. The vote was a result of concerns raised over our adherence to the Denton Protocol, an intermicronational agreement which seeks to extend diplomatic decorum and protections to transgender micronationalists. The GUM Charter, however, already possesses provisions which would make the Denton Protocol irrelevant in the organisation and to any possible Sandum delegation; in other words, the concerns were irrational and baseless. Specifically Article III, Chapter 2, sub-section b is a provision which, in the history of the organisation, has necessitated respect for other micronationalists’ styles of address. Sandus has repeatedly abided by this convention when asked to do so, especially towards those who have fought against the Denton Protocol. It is this same provision upon which Sandus has historically built its foreign policy initiative which developed historically into the Denton Protocol in the summer of 2014.
The Denton Protocol was first drafted at a time when some micronationalists — including Bradley of Dullahan from Wyvern, a nation whose application was accepted today — refused to address transgender micronationalists by their preferred names and pronouns. It was, and still is, the ardent belief of the Sandum State that this contravened diplomatic decorum which necessitated respect between diplomats: decorum which stands at the heart of the GUM’s own provisions towards respecting another person’s style of address. Instead, many of these arguments against this display of respect and human dignity were based on irrational arguments which instead sought to provoke and undermine the lives of micronationalists these detrimental efforts would affect. The micronationalists at the helm of this informal movement narrowly applied the provisions of generally agreed upon notions of decorum, used them for their own benefit, and yet refused that same respect to others on the basis of their gender identity and gender expression — citing instead their social conservative politics. The Denton Protocol was the forthright and principled response to these micronationalists who, in the case of Sandus, asked that Sandus respectfully follow their styles of address yet refused to do the same with transgender micronationalists. As a highly philosophical and principled nation, this was unacceptable to the State of Sandus. We therefore sought to rectify this discrepancy through a diplomatic coalition of states.
In response, Sandus and Zealandia drafted the controversial document which precipitated diplomatic upheaval in July and August 2014. Sandus, however, defended its case and made it clear, through its communicable reality, that the Denton Protocol was an extension of already established diplomatic convention: just as some had requested that Sandus not use the “M.” prefix, so too we requested that they respect the sincere requests of transgender micronationalists to the same effect. Despite extensive demonisation and negative backlash, Sandus’s interests and actions were based on sincerely-held beliefs about intermicronational diplomacy and diplomatic ethics and decorum. To this end, Sandus finally concluded several bilateral diplomatic agreements with multiple parties by mid-August 2014. It is our intention to preserve and to maintain these diplomatic agreements, regardless of the outcome of the GUM vote.
As Sôgmô and former Chairperson of the GUM, I believe the result of this vote to be inconsistent with the provisions of the GUM Charter and the principles of the organisation itself. The Charter stipulates that the organisation will not interfere in the domestic and foreign policies of its member-states, citing Article II, sub-section b, point ii and Article III, Chapter 3, sub-section b, points i-ii. Indeed the Quorum of the organisation had reaffirmed that principle with a rather literal reading only minutes earlier when it voted to approve the application of the Kingdom of Wyvern, a micronation which has often expressed irrational racism and Islamophobia. The Chair and others argued specifically that the organisation should seek to work with other micronations without regard to their domestic politics and to respect the inviolability of their sovereignty. Not so for Sandus. Only minutes later, Sandus was voted down by a vote with four oppositions, three supports, and two abstentions for objections raised concerning the Denton Protocol and Sandus’s sovereign foreign policy.
Despite my private concerns with our application, mostly as a result of concerns arising from the Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift, it was my opinion that Sandus should seek membership as quickly and forthrightly as possible as a result of the unanimous decision of our direct democratic Council. After all, it has seldom been in the history of the Council or our republican constitution when a poll so conceived has resulted in a unanimous decision such as this. Instead, the democratic hopes of the Sandum People have instead been thrashed and cut short by the Quorum of Delegates. We in Sandus had in fact hoped to be a beacon for democracy in the organisation once more and to raise the standards of micronational professionalism. Unfortunately, that is no longer an option with this decision by the GUM Quorum.
It is unfortunate, furthermore, considering those who abstained and opposed our application. Among them are states which Sandus has known for a long time and have been Sandum allies. This decision will necessitate a re-examination of our relationships with these other states, especially those states which fervently defended the application of the Kingdom of Wyvern — turning a blind-eye to their radical far-right politics in the name of objectivism — and yet voted down the Sandum application.
One of those states is the Empire of Austenasia, a micronation which Sandus has considered a close friend and ally since 2009 when Austenasia joined the Grand Unified Micronational. It is our dismay that the Emperor himself, as the delegate for the Empire to the GUM, decided to abstain from the vote and not to defend Sandus’s application. While the Empire’s vote is not necessarily an opposition, it is not an action that would have been believable under the former “Troika” association of Austenasia, Renasia, and Sandus. In recent weeks, Sandus and Austenasia, with Überstadt as a neutral arbitrating party, has sought to rectify the divide between both nations since the departure of Renasia. Indeed, it was our hope that a new troika friendship would form and that a renewed, cooperative close friendship would strengthen following Sandus’s admission into the GUM. That is, however, no longer expedient nor proper.
The time has come, instead, to re-examine our relationship with the Empire of Austenasia. In discussions between King Adam, Emperor Jonathan, and me, I have fervently raised the issue of the distancing friendship between Sandus and Austenasia — a distance which has now been further exacerbated to the extreme by this vote and the Austenasian delegation’s lack of willingness to defend the Sandum application. This is not behaviour befitting a friend.
The decline in the Sandum-Austenasian relationship has reached an all-time low. I urge Emperor Jonathan to consider carefully their program of side-lining the interests of and no less hurting a once-close friend, lest the divide cause a prolonged diplomatic conflict which will certainly negatively affect us both.
In addition, I announce publicly and unequivocally that I am not in favour of and will strongly oppose any effort to reapply to the Grand Unified Micronational. Sandus is in fact already aligned and strong friends with members of l’Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie. Though as native Anglophones we have a large language barrier to cross, the OMF has made a strong mission and history to achieve the same objectives as the GUM. Indeed, Sandus and its Francophone allies in the organisation have already achieved much more than the GUM, and the member-states of the organisation reflect in their actions our foreign objectives for professionalism. Though the GUM and the OMF are not mutually exclusive, this decision will have the result of aligning Sandus more with our Francophone allies throughout the world — especially at the expense of the hopes we had for our GUM membership. Our relationships with some of our closer neighbours will undoubtedly falter.
Finally, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to Bee Rodgers Albina (peregrina), Facilitator of the Council, for her dutiful support of the Sandum application and her faithfulness to the Sandum State. She is, as both a citizen and a friend, a strong and fervent defender of the Sandum Philosophy — and we appreciate her work and her defence of Sandum policies which, though before her time, protect her today. I would also like to thank the Chair, Shane Cahill, for his level-headed discussion with me following the vote. Though we may not agree politically, I appreciate his forthright stance to speak truthfully yet also with respect to his duties as Chair. Finally, I think my constant adviser and close friend Adam von Friedeck, Secretary of the Party, for his level-headed examination of the diplomatic situation, his willingness to enter “emergency mode” soon after news of the decision broke, and his faithful allegiance to the State of Sandus.
This is a sad and distressing day for the State of Sandus and for the Sandum People. As always, however, we shall respond to these events in a principled manner, being faithful and diligent to our convictions yet remaining dialectically flexible. As has always been historically true, we are always strongest and show the greatest resolve during stressful times.
Today and the days to come shall be no different.
Gaius Soergel Publicola
Sôgmô of the State of Sandus
Kremlum Sandus, Sandus