History of the United Nations
There has been a long history of United Nations resolutions, starting in the late part of 2002. The commentary of the resolutions from start to finish is stored here, and look at its sister page, UN Timeline, for the raw chronology of resolutions.
The United Nations was formed on Nov 13 2002 by Maxtopia. In order to test the new procedures for voting on UN resolutions, a test resolution, Fight the Axis of Evil, was proposed and voted upon by three nations prior to the official starting date of the UN. This resolution is considered the first United Nations resolution. It took over a month before the next (and only other 2002) resolution reached the UN floor. There were no formal guidelines for resolution submission nor formats at this time, and for that reason, the resolution "Scientific Freedom", which does not obey today's proposal rules, to be passed. hower it has now been repealed.
The new year opened with a torrent of new ideas to help found the basis of the new UN, which only had two resolutions so far. Much potential was put forward and approved, but many of the initiatives proposed in these early days had to be removed due to technical reasons following the move to Jolt later in the year.
The second quarter of 2003 saw one resolution (Required Basic Healthcare) have a replacement made for it whilst it was still in effect. With an effectively obselete resolution still being legally enforced, it would probably be safe to conclude it was around this time when people were thinking of ways to remove it; a line of thought that could have been the brainchild behind the introduction of repeals.
Most notably in the Third Quarter of 2003 is the first emergence of official UN Debates over resolutions. Also, the first resolution to pass in the 90-percentile occurred in this period -- Outlaw Pedophilia.
2003 closed around the controversy of two joke resolutions. Though the first Hippo resolution was deleted for being misclassified, after some moderator debate the second resolution was allowed to reach the UN floor, where it failed by one of the largest margins of any resolution. The outrage on the part of many nations resulted in a stronger moderator position forbidding joke resolutions.
The first two queued proposals of the 2004 year concentrated on the sanctity of internet surfing. As many considered these to be simply more joke proposals such as HIPPOS ARE BIG, both the Internet Advertising Pop-ups and the Freedom From SPAM Act failed to become resolutions. As another replacement-type resolution came to pass with the "Definition of 'Fair Trial'", it was no surprise that by the end of the year, a new type of resolution was to be implemented - repeals.
During this time period, UN discussions were characterized by double posts due to issues with the old NationStates server. Problems with the server made it difficult to conduct business on the old server, but a number of the discussions were transfered over to Jolt, thus providing records of many of the discussions from this time. A number of UN resolutions were voted down, while Female Genital Mutilation passed by a record majority of 92%.
The NationStates United Nations under went some significant changes in the third quarter of 2004. First, the server that was used to host the forum debates for NationStates was switched to Jolt. The transition took several weeks, during which time, several UN resolutions reached the UN floor for voting at a time when there was no centeralized debate location. Second, the UN Secretariat went through the old adopted resolutions and deleted a number of early resolutions because they violated UN rules. Proposals submitted to the UN were now subject to the high standards left in the Enodian Protocols, meaning more illegal proposals were deleted before they had the chance to reach quorum while in the proposal queue. Though some proposals still reached quorum, the decide to remove the Olympic Games proposal after it had reached the resolution queue, reinforced the idea that a proposal is only a resolution once it actually was put before the UN for a vote.
Towards the end of the third quarter of 2004, the UN Secretariat enacted changes to the UN procedures (i.e. the moderators changed the game) to allow repeals. Though many nations attempted to repeal just about every existing resolution, it wasn't until late October that a proposed repeal achieved quorum and reached the UN Floor. The official United Nations repeal was a motion to remove the Fight the Axis of Evil resolution from the books, and this motion was carried by a supermajority. Two months later the next repeal that reached the UN Floor failed. The vast majority of the 2004 repeals were justified on the opinion that the resolutions they seeked to repeal were flawed, but many UN members disagreed with this sort of reasoning thus accounting for the lack of success of many of the proposed repeals of this time.
When the NSWiki project was started during this time period, many governments and NGOs started using NSWiki to document UN resolutions, thus increasing the continuity in UN resolutions. It was also during this time that references to prior adopted resolutions started appearing in the preambles of proposed resolutions. The International Red Cross was also revisited in two Moral Decency resolutions, starting a renewed international focus on humanitarian aid and protecting populations against natural disasters and epidemics. Also, another important body was introduced by the Resolution #83: the Pretenama Panel against the genocides.
Although repeals were first established in 2004, it was in this quarter that nations began to organize into coalitions and make use of the repeal function to replace resolutions with new revised and improved versions of the resolutions. The repeal debates began to shift away from "this resolution should be removed" campaigns to a more successful "there is an effort underway to replace the text of this resolution". The Global Library and Legalize Prostitution are two examples of resolutions that were repealed and then quickly replaced by resolutions that had stronger support. The Tsunami Warning System resolution is also notable in that it was a NationStates response to the real-life Boxing Day Tsunami and is considered a good example of how to incorporate ideas from the real world in a NationStates context.
The 100th resolution was adopted by the NationStates UN by a supermajority. The UN Secretariat removed one proposal that had reached quorum, but after a revision that proposal managed to reach the UN floor and was adopted. It was during this quarter that the Enodian Protocols were replaced by a new set of rules drafted by the Most Glorious Hack. Some of the changes included limitations on the number of authors that could be listed in a resolution and the number of committees established by a resolution.
The third quarter of 2005 was arguably the most significant in UN history. 21 resolutions reached quorum, of which only 2 failed - The Transgender Equality Act, by a very slim margin and amidst intense debate, and Repeal "Protection of Dolphins Act", the first attempt to repeal an environmental resolution.
The quarter began dominated by issues of international security. Ban Chemical Weapons passed, but was later repealed by Powerhungry Chipmunks, and then Repeal "Elimination of Bio Weapons" passed, with a comprehensive replacement intended to follow. But then came two resolutions by the newly formed National Sovereignty Organization, both inspired by National Systems of Tax: Nuclear Armaments by Flibbleites, to prevent the UN from banning nuclear weapons, and United Nations Security Act, intended to stop all weapons bans. Massive legality debates ensued, with a final ruling that permitted the UN Biological Weapons Ban to reach quorum and pass, providing it contained explicit language exempting it from UNSA: that such weaponry was 'not necessary for national defence'.
Later, Promotion of Solar Panels passed. This environmental resolution included a clause requiring UN members to stop all fossil fuel use within ten years, and was condemned by Frisbeeteria as 'the most economically catastrophic proposal ever voted on by the UN', and was hurriedly repealed by Ficticious Proportions and Love and esterel. Not all environmental resolutions were as poorly regarded as PoSA and PoSP, though, as UNCoESB passed.
Active presences included Powerhungry Chipmunks, who with Repeal "National Systems of Tax" became the first person to repeal his own resolution, and who also passed a further repeal, and The Microcredit Bazaar, often cited as one of the best resolutions the UN has passed, as well as Reformentia, the first individual to successfully repeal and replace a resolution, and Love and esterel, passing two resolutions and co-authoring the repeal of PoSP. This quarter was marked by a steady decline in UN members and also in a decrease in the level of support for UN resolutions.
The first resolution passed in the Fourth Quarter of 2005 was the repeal, proposed by Jey, of the poorly written resolution DVD Region Removal. Repeal "DVD Region Removal" was passed with the greatest margin of any repeal. Four other repeals passed in this period, including a successful re-attempt to repeal Protection of Dolphins Act, whilst one failed - a repeal attempt at Fossil Fuel Reduction Act, the replacement for Promotion of Solar Panels. Also notable, in this period a proposal - Forced Banishment Ban - failed by the record margin of 28%, though this was later to be surpassed by UN Security Act 1. Other failures included the Worldwide Media Act, intended as a replacement to DVD Region Removal, and Rights of Biological Sapients, triggering a massive and largely moronic floor debate.
Powerhungry Chipmunks, the UN's most successful legislator, passed his final two resolutions, Representation in Taxation (a replacement for his own National Systems of Tax), and finished with UN Small Business Education. Other significant resolutions included Diplomatic Immunity, by Cobdenia and Ausserland, which succeeded where Defining Diplomat Immunity had failed, and to such an extent that it won a poll for favourite resolution of 2005 by UN forum posters, as well as Global Food Distribution Act, the UN's first free trade agreement, and Rights of Neutral States, by Wolfish. The year ended with Repeal "Right to Divorce" being the first repeal to pass as the next resolution after that which it repealed - although two failed proposals did come between the two, and the withdrawal by its author, Sheknu, of a Chemical Weaponry Ban proposal. As well as Yelda and PC, successful authors in this period included Love and esterel, Gruenberg and Fonzoland, involved in three consecutive proposals.
The first resolution passed in 2006 was the proposal Artistic Freedom, proposed by Jey, which extended the freedom of expression to artists; it was passed by a supermajority, although the most successful resolution was St Edmund's Meteorological Cooperation, which became the first non-repeal to reach 80% support since Resolution #100, Natural Disaster Act. The year also began with a high number of repeals, all of which passed, including four consecutive ones - but then returned to a stretch of ten successive non-repeals.
The first quarter of 2006 was one of the most significant in UN history, having several very important resolutions pass - and fail. Especially notable was Omigodtheykilledkenny's Repeal "Gay Rights", which removed a redundant resolution and surprised many with its success - Powerhungry Chipmunks, for example, had stated that although he had considered repealing the resolution on grounds of redundancy, he had considered the task too hard. The ACCEL also gained their first UN success with Repeal "The Rights of Labor Unions", although this was later replaced by Groot Gouda. The most controversial repeal, though, was Repeal "Abortion Rights", defying conventional logic that the resolution would 'never be repealed', and generating huge debates in the UN as pro-choice members sought to replace it. This led to the Abortion Legality Convention, written by Gruenberg and taken to quorum by the National Sovereignty Organization, which blocked future UN legislation on abortion, and passed with 71% support under the banner of 'the fair compromise'. This series of repeals led to the first major consensus that the UN was becoming more 'right-wing', although many from the right themselves disagreed with this assessment.
Non-repeals included the first ever proposal of the Recreational Drug Use category to reach quorum - Recreational Drug Legalization - although this failed heavily. There was intense debate over Cluichstan's Anti-Terrorism Act, which ultimately failed by a narrow margin and led to the formation of UN DEFCON, which in turn spawned UN Demining Survey, the first attempt to pass a replacement before the repeal - though Repeal "Banning the Use of Landmines" did in fact fail. The quarter ended with a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act.
Gruenberg was the most active legislator in this period, authoring three successful resolutions and co-authoring a fourth, Repeal "Mandatory Recycling", with Jey, Yelda and Omigodtheykilledkenny also prominent.
The trend for long queues of proposals at quorum continued, with resolutions continually at vote throughout this quarter. There was also a notable increase in authors being willing to remove their own queued proposals to improve them, as three proposals were withdrawn from at their author's request: the controversial Murder and Manslaughter Laws by Adolf Barham, an earlier version of what was to become Resolution #160 Rights of the Disabled by Tarmsden, and Developed Economic Advancement, a proposal to prevent the continuing promotion of free trade within the UN, by Belarum.
Twelve resolutions passed, including four repeals, and seven - four of which were repeals - failed, including three in succession. UN Security Act 1 managed to break the record of Forced Banishment Ban for the lowest ever percentage of votes for a resolution. The first resolution of the quarter, Maritime Safety Standards Act, was also the most successful, passing with over 78% of the vote. An unprecedented five resolutions in the free trade category passed in this period, including two free trade agreements (in nuclear energy and recycled goods) and two intellectual property rights resolutions, both by Ceorana. The quarter ended with a euthanasia debate as Legalise Euthanasia was repealed, later to be replaced with Individual Self-Determination as an attempt at a Euthanasia Legality Convention was deleted.
There was a reduction in the number of new players having proposals reach quorum, with the proposal queue dominated by more established forces, but Adolf Barham was an exception, having three proposals reach quorum, and a further, Repeal "Replanting Trees", pass. Jey was author or co-author of three successful repeals, making him the most successful legislator in this period.
A very active quarter saw 18 proposals voted on by the General Assembly, of which three failed. There were seven repeals, and the other resolutions spanned a range of categories, including the first resolutions in the new Education and Creativity and Advancement of Industry, both by Gruenberg, and the first Social Justice resolution since the previous year. Three other proposals reached quorum but were deleted.
The quarter began with a euthanasia debate, as Individual Self-Determination was passed as a replacement to Legalise Euthanasia. From then on, however, the quarter saw national sovereignty achieve many successes: three blocker resolutions were passed, on the subjects of science, education and workweeks, the latter following the repeal of The 40 Hour Workweek. A number of other proposals were felt to concentrate more on genuinely international subjects, or to make allowances for national rights. UN history was made when two repeals of the same resolution made quorum. Repeal "Definition of Marriage" (by Sir Ernest Shackleton) got to quorum, probably because of the telegram campaign for a repeal by Pro-Sovereignty Babes, which also made quorum; when the former passed, the latter was deleted.
The ACCEL UN Division reached a high-point of activity and success: Repeal "The 40 Hour Workweek" and Repeal "Support Hemp Production" both passed, whilst their efforts probably ensured victory for the repeal of Definition of Marriage; Repeal "Metric System" however failed. Other active legislators in this period were Gruenberg, with three resolutions passing and one failing, and Jey and Witchcliff with two each.
Fourth Quarter '06
Fall of 2006 brought two Furtherment of Democracy resolutions to the floor: prolific legislation sponsor Mikitivity's Freedom of Assembly easily passed, in its wake Gruenberg's Fair Sentencing Act, a controversial proposal, albeit Mild, that demanded accountability in criminal sentencing while preserving national rights to determine the same. Since this in practice would prevent the United Nations from passing restrictions or a ban on the death penalty, opponents of capital punishment naturally sought to revisit the vote. However, a Ceoranan crack at circumventing the language of FSA was declared illegal, and a repeal by Imperfectia would fail by a slim margin in December.
Another so-called "blocker" would meet its fate on the General Assembly floor, when Omigodtheykilledkenny's Unconventional Arms Accord, which included stronger language to prevent disarmament resolutions, was handily defeated in November. Iron Felix's UN Fair Wage Convention saw a better outcome, although the rowdy debate that ensued would visit a rain of defenestrations, a duel, an air raid and the destruction of the sculpture to a UN founder on the world body's headquarters. Meanwhile, Belarum's second attempt to block Free Trade resolutions was withdrawn from the floor, and a joint effort by Waterana and Ausserland to protect national marriage statutes easily passed. The first-ever Recreational Drug Use proposal, UN Drug Act, sponsored by Jey, also passed in December.
Free Trade saw a victory with Norderia's Chemical Transport Standards, while Love and esterel managed to get two more resolutions passed: Sustainable Agriculture Center (Environmental), and Mutual Recognition of Borders (Global Disarmament). Several repeals were also successful, including Felix's Repeal "Establish UNWCC", Karmicaria's Repeal "Due Process" and Kivisto's Repeal "World Heritage List" -- the debate for which turning out to be one of the more contentious in the fourth quarter, with several delegations accusing the sponsor of lying about a proposed replacement, and a feud sparking among the leadership in Kivisto's region. Karmicaria's second try at repealing Sexual Freedom failed.