Declarations - The New Kid On The World Assembly Block
A Brand New Resolution Type Brings Fresh Ideas to the Security Council
Written by @Sincluda
A few months ago, a brand new category was created for the Security Council: Declarations. What might these newfangled resolutions do? Absolutely nothing. Yep, that’s right, Declarations don’t mechanically do anything. They are meant for the Security Council to declare anything - from statements on the nuclear apocalypse to hippopotamuses.
For this article, the EBC interviewed Minister of World Assembly Affairs Greater Cesnica, World Assembly Delegate Prim, and Security Council author Giovanniland.
On June 24th, NationStates Game Moderator Sedgistan announced the creation of Declarations. On July 8th, the addition went live. Before Declarations were even officially available as a proposal, the Security Council forum was flooded with many Declaration drafts. The first one passed was “Advancement Of Anti-Fascist Action.” A few of them spurred a good deal of debate in Europeia, with conflicting viewpoints common on proposed Declarations. Evidently, there was much to be discussed about this new category - what would we see, and what would we support?
The latter was answered well by Europeia’s World Assembly Guiding Ideological Tenets, published a few months after the update. To answer the former, the passed Declarations are listed below in chronological order:
- Advancement Of Anti-Fascist Action - SCR#358
- Recognition Of The General Assembly - SCR#359
- Declaration on Hippopotamuses - SCR#361
- Statement On The Nuclear Apocalypse - SCR#369
- Declaration On Crabs Of The Apocalypse - SCR#370
What can be seen here is 1 Declaration on Fascism, 3 about other gameplay mechanics (General Assembly and N-Day), and 1 joke Declaration. It’s a limited data pool, but it would make sense to assume that most Declarations would focus on Gameplay, in line with how the Security Council tends to operate. Greater Cesnica agrees with this, and said in his interview; “I think that Declarations will most likely be used to make statements that reflect specific trends and shifts in the Gameplay scene.” Prim instead draws some conclusions from “Declaration on Hippopotamuses”, stating that he believes “declarations will probably be increasingly used by social players for more joke resolutions and tongue-in-cheek commentary on current events.” Our final interviewee, Giovanniland, expects more variety. “We've seen declarations pass about gameplay, the WA, and minigames (N-Day) already, with a cards-themed one also attempted but defeated at vote: it all depends on how well a certain community is represented in the SC.”
But what do our interviewees think Declarations should be used for? Prim prefers a more serious approach, saying “I think Declarations would be best used for establishing broad-based "values and goals" for the WA that don't necessarily have policy or regulative aspects to them, like in the GA,” but still accepts the need for “non-serious or non-gameplay declarations.” Recognizing other aspects of NationStates may also be a good way to use Declarations. This is what Giovanniland thinks. “Just like the other resolution categories of the SC, I'm in favor of recognizing all communities that NS may have. So, whether it is gameplay, roleplay, issues, cards, other minigames, the WA itself, and any others.” Europeia should also be concerned about her stake in Declarations. After all, they are very serious agenda promoters! This is the belief of Greater Cesnica, who says that they “would like to see Declarations being used to highlight interregional events and activities, as well as more specifically to advance the regional interests of Europeia and her Allies.”
Naturally, there was some pushback against the addition of Declarations, mainly due to their nonbinding, effectless nature. Still, they were added, and the opposition was not too vocal. The question, however, remains. Were Declarations a good addition? “I believe they were,” says Greater Cesnica. “This is because I feel that the Security Council was sorely lacking a means to issue non-binding statements, which definitely conflicted with the vocal nature of the Security Council and the regions/players that are most prevalent within it. Declarations ultimately provide a means to reflect the current tides and trends within the Gameplay scene, which is a positive in my eyes.” Prim echoes these statements: “I think with some of the gameplay aspects of NS slowing down and R/D getting a bit dull, the normal SC options (Liberations, Commends, Condemns) were probably getting a little strained for new ideas… It allowed… for more flexibility in Gameplay statements apart from just a regular commend or condemn.” Rounding out the responses, Giovanniland also agrees with the addition. “Yes. I believe it is nice to have a codified resolution type to express an opinion on something that can't be legislated on by the GA (due to metagaming rules).”
Declarations, while months old, are still relatively new to the Security Council. With the 9 overall Declarations that have made it to vote, and 5 that have passed and made their way to the record books, they already have left a permanent imprint on NationStates. Where they may go isn’t a question with a surefire answer, but one thing’s for certain - Declarations are here to stay, and here to make an impact.