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League of Nations, Liga de las Naciones, Société des Nations, Liga das Nações, 国际联盟, عصبة الأمم, देशों की लीग, Лига Наций

Wordmark of the League of Nations
Abbreviation LoN
Predecessor United Nations
Formation September 26th 2008
Type Intergovernmental Organization
Legal status Active
Headquarters DD1983 RZA Flag Civil.svg Cape Town, Good Hope
Region served Global
Official languages English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic
Secretary General Juan José Gómez Camacho (United States of Mexico)
Deputy Secretary General Yasin Haji Mohamoud (Republic of Somaliland)
General Assembly President Ivan Šimonović (Republic of Croatia)
Economic and Social Council President Jack Woodward (Commonwealth of Victoria)
Main organ High Council, General Assembly


The League of Nations (abbreviated as LoN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, nuclear disarmament, human rights, and world peace. The LoN was founded in September 2008 to replace the United Nations, which was disbanded after World War III. Its name originates from the original League of Nations (now just called the "Old League of Nations") which lasted from 1919 to 1946. Despite having similar goals to these older organizations, the structure and methods used by the new League of Nations are markedly different.

Flag of the League of Nations

History

Origins and Initiative

In the face of the increasing formation of new blocs, alliances, and rising tensions in some corners of the world, John Howard, the ANZC Prime Minister in 2007, presented his concept of a revived worldwide UN-like organization to a selected handful of members of Parliament. The idea was treated as a secret since a spontaneous proclamation of such an idea might have led to distrust and tensions - especially between the rival ANZC and SAC blocs caused by the presence of the vestigial "American Provincial Government" in Canberra and South American anger over piracy, terrorism, and hijackings from Florida, East Texas and West Texas. It was instead decided to secretly invite the SAC leaders to personally discuss this matter and carefully prepare an agreement acceptable to both sides.

Through diverse diplomatic channels, and with the discrete help of the Portuguese Government in the Azores, an acceptable path to a public proclamation was found by November 2007. The arrangement was that the ANZC Head of State, General Governor Sir Aaron Tusking, and the SAC General Secretary would publicly proclaim the invitation of the founding of a new UN-like organization in their New Year addresses to the respective international groupings. Until then, the plan was to be kept secret.

Provisional League Council

In order to prepare the foundation and to work out a charter and possible organizational structure a “Provisional League Council” was installed comprising representatives from ANZC and the SAC and the Portuguese Government – and also including former US President George Bush.

As the main point of debate between ANZC and SAC - the future location of the talks - nearly ended the whole League creation process - they held a first meeting in February 2008 in the royal residence at Nukuʻalofa, Tonga, following the kind invitation of King George Tupou V. The meeting went on for nearly a week as several times the talks were nearly canceled as the ANZC and SAC showed partly diametrical positions. But, thanks to the mediation of the king and especially the High Commissioner of French Polynesia – as the French quickly took the neutral, mediation role in the discussion - this was overcome.

Heavily discussed points touched on primary issues like the sharing of power in the League High Council and minor topics like the translation guidelines and working languages.

So the first meeting and two further ones – held in March in Pape'ete and again in April in Nukuʻalofa - finally proved successful in delivering the organizational structure of the League of Nations and the foundation charter.

Name Selection

The initial proposal of the PM to simply name the organization the NUN (New United Nations) was turned down by the SAC leadership, as they did not believe their people would somehow trust an organization that would have the same name as the one that was not able to avoid a nuclear threat and the destruction of Doomsday within its 39-year existence.

A compromise was to revive the 1920's League of Nations name. This was accepted by the ANZC because of their steady support of this institution in 1920s and 30's. The obvious objection - that the first League, too, had failed to prevent a world war - came up but was quickly disregarded. The name was more acceptable than the UN name, and that was what mattered.

Foundation

The foundation ceremony for the LoN was held on September 26th 2008 in Nukuˇalofa, Tonga, during the 25th anniversary of the devastating Doomsday event. This date was first proclaimed in the SAC and ANZC New year addresses on January 1st 2008. It is also public day of mourning in many survivor nations, now often also marked by celebrations of the new LoN and its ideals.

Organization

Basic Principles and Competences

The way to the now well-established organizational structure and power-sharing in the various institutions was planted with obstacles, and more than a few times the negotiations were very close to being canceled and failing. Especially, the South American Confederation insisted on gaining large influence – throwing in on their population being the highest in the organized, "democratic" world provoked heavy opposition by mainly the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand and the associated territories. This immediately brought the Europeans – namely the Portuguese, the French and the Nordic Union - into the mediation responsibility as the third, neutral, factor in the power game.

An intensely contested topic was the initial ANZC intention to establish a “one vote” principle (one vote per country) in all decisions of the league - but it quickly became clear that this would not be feasible. Mainly, this was due to the obvious ANZC and SAC predominance and the latter one insisting on a power sharing scheme. After intense debates and a joint French-Portuguese-Canadian-Tongan mediation initiative, a satisfying solution was found.

Resulting from this, the "New" League of Nations was modelled on principles belonging to both the "Old" League of Nations and United Nations, including some special elements to address specific interests and issues.

The primary task as assigned by the Charter of the League is to secure worldwide peace by all appropriate means (sanctions, peacekeeping missions, etc. if needed) and the co-ordination of humanitarian aid worldwide. The most crucial point is to prevent any nuclear warfare from happening again. To achieve this the LoN is assigned the mandate to collect and destroy all nuclear weapons, though it is recognized that in this, their actions will likely be futile.

Headquarters and Secretary General

The location of the League Headquarters was also a heavily contested issue in the preparing meetings. With both Montevideo and Canberra not acceptable by either side, the solution was to continue the tradition of neutral countries hosting International Organizations by establishing the official headquarters jointly in Nukuʻalofa, Tonga and Pape'ete, Tahiti, the locations of the three Preliminary Council Meetings.

As with both organizations before it, the LoN's main representative and administrative head is the Secretary General. He represents the League officially, presides in Council Meetings, and is head of the administration and all diplomatic missions. Unlike his predecessors, the Secretary General is only elected for a three-year term and can not be re-elected.

As the ANZC and the SAC wanted the position to be filled in by someone of their choice, the topic was resolved in the last minute of the third Committee Meeting in Tonga. Finally, both sides accepted the European compromise that for the first ten years (until 2018) neither ANZC nor SAC politicians would be allowed to become Secretary General of the League. So the Committee assigned the Tongan King, George Tupou V to be named the Secretary General of the League of Nations for the first three-year term in honor of his key role diplomatic in the foundation negotiations.

By 2010 it was already clear that Tonga could not serve as "the world's capital" any longer. Delegates from nations in Africa and western Asia in particular criticized the great difficulty of travel there, and the growth of the LoN specialized agencies was already putting a strain on the very small city of Nukuʻalofa. In the middle of that year, the League relocated to Nouméa, New Caledonia, another Pacific island, but one larger and less remote. This was also understood as a temporary site.

George Tupou filled out the remainder of his term as secretary-general even after the move to New Caledonia. He was followed up by the High Commissioner of French Polynesia, Cedric Wairafea, in 2011, who was replaced as Commissioner by Edouard Fritch. Cedric's term expired on November 18th, 2014.

In 2014, the demonstrable stability of South Africa and the new republic of Good Hope in particular made it appear attractive as a permanent site for the headquarters. The city is located between the world's contemporary great powers; it is a major trade hub and an emerging global city; it is accessible to a large portion of the world's nations. Some Pacific-facing nations, notably Siberia, opposed the move, but they were outvoted in the General Assembly. The League moved to Good Hope in 2015, using a number of facilities around the city until a permanent site could be built. The Hall of Peace was inaugurated in 2017, and construction continued on the rest of the complex for several more years.

League of Nations High Council

Map of the League of Nations High Commissions

The highest institution of the League of Nations is the “High Council”. In its role, it is similar to the old UN Security Council. As described, the ANZC's intention to avoid this two-class system proved not at all agreeable to the SAC. So, there is a well-balanced system of approvals, vetoes, and unanimous votes in place.

The Council itself – to avoid the “veto power” problem of the United Nations - is based on the “High Commissions” Rule, which establishes that the Council is to consist of formally one representative of each of the High Commissions with equal votes, that is rotated every two years. The regions were subject of much debate and scrutiny but ultimately thirteen were established, though only twelve are currently active. A second problem that resulted out of the Eastern African High Commission being suspended was that the number of High Commissions being twelve would result in possible six - six votes. Finally the number of council members was set at fourteen (only thirteen until the Eastern African High Commission is reestablished), with the Secretary General being assigned the presidency in Council sessions and given the decisive vote in the event of a draw occurring.

Furthermore, the UN standard of abstention from voting was excluded by making the casting of a vote mandatory. These, along with the Secretary General being given more influence, are the major differences from what the UN organization consisted of before the events of Doomsday.

The Council representatives, however, do all retain absolute vetoes over the questions of applications for membership, and the removal or suspension of it as well, though the Secretary General may strike down a veto of this nature, holding no veto power themselves.

The High Commissions

  • High Commission for South America: Montevideo, Oriental Republic of Uruguay Flag of Uruguay.svg
  • High Commission for the Caribbean, the Gulf and Central America: Veracruz, United Mexican States Flag of Mexico.svg
  • High Commission for Oceania: Nouméa, Republic of the French Southern Territories FrenchTerritories.PNG
  • High Commission for the North-Eastern Pacific: Victoria, Commonwealth of Victoria DD1983 Victoria Civil.svg
  • High Commission for the Western Atlantic: St. John's, Canadian Remainder Provinces Flag of Canada.svg
  • High Commission for Europe: Gothenburg, Kingdom of Sweden Flag of Sweden.svg
  • High Commission for Southern and Eastern Africa:* Cape Town, Republic of Good Hope DD1983 RZA Flag Civil.svg
  • High Commission for Western Africa: Accra, Republic of Ghana Flag of Ghana.svg
  • High Commission for South-East Asia: Singapore, Republic of Singapore Flag of Singapore.svg
  • High Commission for the Mediterranean and Black Seas: Alexandria, Arab Republic of Egypt Flag of Egypt.svg
  • High Commission for Eastern and Northern Asia: Busan, Union of Korean Peoples DD1983 Korea Civil Flag.svg
  • High Commission for the Middle East and Southern Asia: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman Flag of Oman.svg
  • * The High Commission for Eastern Africa is currently suspended and merged with the High Commission for Southern Africa due to unrest in the region in general and in Madagascar in particular. The merger is temporary, but will continue until further notice is given. Considerations are underway for the relocation of the High Commission.

The General Assembly

The Hall of Peace, Cape Town

The other governing body of the League, in addition to the High Council, is the League of Nations General Assembly. This assembly holds meeting at least three times a year, with one of these sessions being held on September 26th in memorial of the events of Doomsday. The Assembly is composed of a representative from each member state of the League. It has the right to propose resolutions, just like the High Council. Compared to the United Nations, the power of the assembly is significantly higher in the League. The General Secretary is elected by the assembly’s non-HC members and directly responsible to the Assembly thus de facto providing a Council vote to the body.

The Assembly has the power, with Council approval, to both expel, admit and suspend members to the League. However, this is the sole matter where the Council retains its absolute veto power from the United Nations, which has led to many deserving nations to be blocked from the League.

Checks and Balances

The rights for resolution initiative are shared evenly by the High Council and the General Assembly. There are no limitations in this initiative, apart from those decisions directly affecting the sovereignty of one of the current Council representatives. These can only be decided by the High Council itself.

Both institutions have vetoes against the other, but with varying degrees. The Assembly can suspend all decisions made by the Council with a normal majority vote. This veto can only be overridden by a unanimous vote of all twelve Council members or a "six plus one" vote (a Council majority plus the Secretary General's vote).

In the other direction, the Council veto against Assembly decisions on most matters can be overridden by a second vote, with three-quarters of the Assembly voting to overrule it. For Peacekeeping missions, this amount jumps to 90%.

The third power in this complicated system is the Secretary General, who has a "passive decision vote" in most situations. In the Council decisions resulting in a six - six draw, their voice gives the final decision. Also in the Council veto "six plus one" (see above) and in all unsolved situations they have the final vote which has to be accepted and is final.

Finally, all decisions must be reviewed once by the General Assembly in the Annual Meeting if the Secretary General and one-third of the members of either the Council or the Assembly petition it.

However, none of these cases apply to those of new membership, or matters having to do with expulsion or suspension, where the members of the High Council retain absolute vetoes over new applications.

An independent International Court is to be set up later, when a larger number of member states are admitted into the League of Nations.

Application Process

In the League of Nations, like in the United Nations prior to Doomsday, applications must go through the High Council and be approved by a majority of its members, after which they will be passed on to the General Assembly for a vote.

Unlike normal operations, this is the once instance where the High Council has retained its vetoes, at the demands of Canada, the ANZC, and the Siberians, as all had some potential applicants occupying parts of their claimed territory and felt that any successful application on the part of these nations would constitute a de facto recognition of their infringement upon their sovereignty.

In practice, these vetoes have been extended by the powers on the council towards those with territorial disputes with their allies, such as Canadian and Nordic Union activities with Greece and other ADC members as well as ANZC moves among Pacific nations.

As with the United Nations, this extends to expulsion, too - the members carry vetoes on this subject as well. This matter has not come up yet, though the General Assembly, with the approval of the High Council, has suspended several nations, and voted to decline the applications of others on its own on several occasions.

Specialized Agencies

Specialized Agencies of the League of Nations

The following organizations or former United Nations specialized agencies were put under the authority of the League of Nations after its formation. Several were previously independent or secretariat organs were integrated in the League of Nations Specialized Agencies.

Member States & Regional Groupings

Similar to its predecessor, the United Nations, the League of Nations operates Regional Groupings. The groupings were utilized to determine the permanent members of the League of Nations High Council, distribute membership by region on the various general assembly committees, selection of the Secretary-General and President of the General Assembly rotates through by regional groupings, and additional non-permanent seats on the High Council are assigned by the regional grouping.

Africa

Asia

Europe

North America

Oceania

South America

Observer States

These countries will become “stand-by members” with officially ‘’’observer status’’’:

Non-Members

These countries have either been expressively excluded from League Membership by any means until further notice for a variety of reasons, e.g., sparking a war, brutal dictatorship government or unsolved territorial disputes, or declined joining:

Vexillology

The flag used by the first League of Nations between 1939 and 1941.

The flag adopted by the new LoN

Flag of the WCRB as LoN Agency (2009)

Official wordmark

In 2008, the WRCB Heraldic Office - quickly nicknamed "the Flag Heroes" by the ANZC press, who deeply questioned the sense and use of such an institution - was founded after an intense debate in the ANZC Parliament. Their goal was simple, design a flag for the new League of Nations that was iconic, easy to replicate, and easy to identify.

After a few heated debates they found a compromise for a first design: The background colour was chosen as to be a deep ocean blue, rather than the brighter UN blue. This was decided due to the new world being more maritime focussed and many nations reliance on the oceans and coasts for international connection and survival.

The design for a central symbol began with a white variant of the original League of nations Pentagon. This was flipped upside-down to reflect the power shift to the Southern Hemisphere and the idea of turning the old world order "on its head". Then, to create a unique symbol (and avoid unwanted associations with occult symbolism), the star was increased to seven points and the pentagon made into a heptagon. The number seven carries connotations of completeness and unity in many traditions. It is common to divide the world into seven continents, and the scheme of "seven seas" can be applied to the world's oceans.

The WCRB Heraldic Office Describe the emblem thusly:

'The Emblem of the newly formed League of Nations will be prescribe the name The Stars in the Shield in its official duty. The symbol comprised of two stars, One blue with a smaller one, white, inset within the first facing down on the field. The first star, blue is the representation of the old world where the white represents the new world post doomsday hopefully shining bright in the blue void. The stars shall be encircled by a downturned heptagon, The Shield, represent the League of Nations proper and its mission to protect the hope of the new world and to preserve the memory of old.'

The Wordmark of the League uses all eight of the official languages: English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, and Hindi. They are placed to the right of the Stars in the Shield emblem. Eight versions of the wordmark exist, each displaying the language of the intended audience larger than the others.

The Stars in the Shield are a versatile symbol that lends itself to different applications. Colored red, it became the flag of the World Census and Reclamation Bureau after it became a League agency. Other specialized agencies have also adopted heptagonal symbols.

See also

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