currently held by the WA Secretariat
|01 April 2008|
|06 April 2008|
The World Assembly (WA) is a voluntary world governing body, and an intergovernmental organisation tasked with creating and enforcing a body of laws that all member states must abide by. It is also responsible for some border disputes, and for praising or admonishing individual nations and/or regions. The World Assembly is the successor to the United Nations, which was dissolved on 06 April 2008. There are currently c.28,000 nations that are member states of the body, with c.1,700 of those nations also acting as regional Delegates. The organisation is financed by assessed donations from its member states. Of all voluntary governing bodies that exist, the WA is one of the largest, international, and powerful.
The World Assembly was created on 01 April 2008 immediately prior to the dissolution of the United Nations; legislation officially creating the body was passed on 06 April. When creating the new organisation it was decided that, though all members of the UN would automatically be considered members of the WA, the body of laws that had been curated since the founding of the UN six years previously would be cleared and that member states would be free to establish, or re-establish, new or previously existing laws. This decision was met with vocal opposition at the time and membership in the body dipped significantly. Though no concessions were given to opponents, membership gradually began to climb again once a period of adjustment to the new body had passed.
The WA is divided into two chambers: the General Assembly, which is responsible for the body of laws created and enacted by the WA, and the Security Council, which regulates the behaviour and actions of individual member states and/or their regions through, for the most part, non-binding resolutions. A number of WA agencies - sometimes referred to as Committees - also operate, and their establishment and functions are regulated by the General Assembly; such examples include the General Accounting Office, the World Assembly Adoption Authority, and the World Health Authority. Another noteworthy WA agency is the Compliance Commission, which ensures all laws passed by the organisation are enforced in member states.
The WA is led by a Secretary-General, a position that is currently held in commission by the World Assembly Secretariat (referred to as the Secretariat), the civil service that staffs all chambers and agencies; this should not be confused with the the General Assembly Secretariat (referred to as the GA Secretariat), however, which is a part of the Secretariat, but only acts as the General Assembly's rules committee - currently six member states serve on that committee.
At some point during the night of 31 March and 01 April 2008, a major natural disaster occurred at the United Nations Headquarters in sovereign UN territory. While no casualties were reported at that time, significant and irreparable damage to the infrastructure of the building, as well as the surrounding terrain, rendered the area unsafe and uninhabitable. In response to the assessment of the situation by the UN leaders, the nation of Maxtopia proposed that a replacement international governing body be formed and that UN be disestablished.
Initial responses to the Maxtopian delegation's proposal were muted with some cautious support, as many representatives initially understood the proposed measure to be temporary only until the UN Headquarters could be salvaged and re-fit to be suitable for purpose. However as the debate continued - in temporary lodgings procured for the continuation of UN business - it became increasingly clear to the delegations present that the Maxtopian proposal intended for the replacement body, the World Assembly, to not only be permanent in nature, but to also wipe clean the books of international law and, in the words of one sympathetic Ambassador, "start fresh".
Ambassadors that initially treated the proposal with cautious support or indifference began to vocally criticise and oppose the Maxtopian proposal, with some delegations actually resigning their nation from the international organisation in protest. Within a relatively quick timeframe, however, the proposal did make it to the floor as a resolution to be considered. Debate during the vote was later documented to be "vicious" and "passionate", with many opponents expressing condemnation that the hitherto good work of the body in creating and curating international law would all have been for nothing. As voting continued over the next number of days, it became clear that the Maxtopian proposal to abolish the United Nations and its laws was gathering widespread support from smaller and independent-minded nations and delegations.
The United Nations was formally abolished on 6 April 2008 with almost 84% of member states voting in favour of the resolution. The World Assembly was officially established upon the votes end, though it was confirmed that its official 'creation date' was 1 April 2008, and that all member states that were members of the UN were now members of this new body. It was further clarified that the vote undertaken to establish the World Assembly would be considered the first vote in, and resolution of, the WA itself.
On 27 May 2009, a year on from the organisation's creation, the Secretariat announced that following a review of internal rules, member states of the World Assembly would be free to pass non-binding resolutions expressing favour, or lack thereof, on other nations and regions, including those who were not members of the organisation itself. These non-binding resolutions, referred to by the Secretariat as Resolutions to Commend or Condemn, almost immediately caused consternation among more established and traditionalist delegations. It also attracted criticism from non-member states of the World Assembly, accusing the body of interfering in nations that do not involve themselves in the voluntary organisation.
After a significant number of delegations protested that such resolutions would be a significant deviation from the law-making expertise and tradition the body had, the Secretariat announced on 8 June that it would be creating a second chamber, the Security Council, that would be tasked with the debates and enactment of the Resolutions to Commend or Condemn. The original chamber would be renamed the General Assembly. It was clarified at the time of this announcement that member states of the World Assembly would be members of, and entitled to votes in, both chambers.
- Main Article: World Assembly Secretariat
The World Assembly Secretariat is headed by the WA Secretary-General, occupancy of which is currently held in commission by the Secretariat as a whole. Comprising of civil servants from around the world, the Secretariat oversees the day-to-day running of the World Assembly, its chambers, its agencies, and the execution and implementation of any decisions made by those bodies.
The Secretariat acts as the final arbiter in any internal disputes between member states, including having the power to suspend and/or expel member states who continuously act in disregard of the body's rules. While individual delegations are responsible for the drafting and submission of pieces of legislation, the Secretariat may be called upon to determine the legality of such proposals - in the General Assembly this responsibility is under the purview of General Assembly Secretariat, a sub-committee of the Secretariat that acts as that chamber's rules committee; unlike the Secretariat as a whole, the General Assembly Secretariat is made up of six member states selected by the Secretariat.
Generally seen as reliably impartial, the Secretariat has in the past attracted some criticism by members of the World Assembly for often delaying on rules and/or legality challenges. Other criticisms have included claims that the Secretariat are often too narrow-minded in rules interpretation, and that their decisions often suggest they are out of touch with member states of the World Assembly.
- Main Article: General Assembly
The General Assembly (GA) is the main deliberatively body of the World Assembly. It meets in a continuous session at the WA Headquarters building, located in sovereign and inviolable WA territory. The GA has no designated President or leader, though the Secretariat are the enforcers of decorum when necessary. A sub-committee of the Secretariat, the GA Secretariat, is also present in this chamber and are considered the arbiters of the legality of proposals made by delegations. Six member states currently sit on the GA Secretariat; original appointments were made by the Secretariat and all subsequent vacancies are filled by a vote of the GA Secretariat themselves.
The GA is made up of fifteen different committees, through which delegations propose and debate different resolutions. Proposed resolutions that make it to the floor to vote, however, are voted upon by the entire World Assembly.
Each resolution at vote is allocated ninety-six hours to achieve a simple majority of votes cast in favour to become a binding resolution. Resolutions that do not meet this threshold are not considered passed. Occasionally resolutions may meet the threshold of a majority of votes cast in favour, however the GA Secretariat may decide to discard the vote's results if they find the resolution in question falls foul of legality rules and conventions.
- Main Article: Security Council
The Security Council (SC) is charged with spreading interregional peace and goodwill, as well as the resolution of contested regional border disputes. Like the GA, it also meets in a continuous session at WA Headquarters, and as with the GA, all member states of the World Assembly are also members of this Council. Since its creation, however, a number of notable members of the World Assembly have mounted very public boycotts of the Security Council refusing to take part in its sessions and vote on their proposed resolutions.
Resolutions made by the SC can come in three forms, two of which, Commend and Condemn, are non-binding and are instead statements of praise or displeasure of a nation or region by the World Assembly. The third, Liberations, are binding resolutions of the Security Council pertaining to regional border dispute arbitration.
As with the General Assembly, the SC has no designated leader of the body, with the Secretariat acting as presiding officers. The Security Council does not have a dedicated rules committee like the General Assembly has with the GA Secretariat; instead the Secretariat themselves decide when proposals are illegal.
- Main Article: World Assembly Agencies
Agencies, committees, and other organisations may be created by the General Assembly via resolutions in order to execute the particulars of a given piece of legislation. All WA agencies are staffed by the Secretariat, with its civil servants drawn internationally from a diverse range of backgrounds. Some of the better known agencies of the World Assembly include the World Health Authority, the WA Scientific Programme, and the International Humanitarian Aid Coordination Committee.
The GA may, by passage of a resolution, vote to disband agencies or organisations, however skeleton staff of the agencies may remain to execute policies set forth by other extant resolutions.
Membership in the World Assembly is entirely optional and, indeed, most nations in existence do not maintain membership in the body. As there is a high turnover in nations being admitted to, and being expelled or resigning from, the World Assembly, it is impossible to give an accurate number of nations in the body at any one time; June 2018 estimates, however, put it around 27,900 nations.
There are two tiers of membership in the World Assembly - regular member state status, and regional delegate status; the usage of regional delegates means that each region is also represented in the World Assembly, not just individual nations. Each member state has one vote in each the General Assembly and the Security Council. Regional delegates, however, have a voting power of [number of member states in their region endorsing/supporting them] + [their own one vote].
In practice, this means that individual nations in regions can decide to endorse or support the nation designated, by internal regional means, as their regional delegate. This endorsement or support, however, tends to be completely option for member states and there is no World Assembly-mandated requirement that a member state should endorse or support their regional delegate. Nations that do choose to endorse their regional delegate still maintain their own separate vote, however the nation that is the regional delegate gains an extra vote for every nation that does decide to endorse or support them.
This tiered membership, combined with the voting power afforded to the regional delegates, has attracted significant controversy and opposition over the years; the most common complaint about the system is that regions that have a large population of WA member-states have an inflated vote count which is therefore unfair on smaller regions. Various reforms have been presented by member states to the Secretariat, though to date no suggestion has gained traction with the WA leadership.