This article belongs to the lore of Esquarium.

Gelyevich Gulf Commission

GelGulfCom.png
Logo of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission
AbbreviationCGG
Formation1993
TypeRegional/Intergovernmental organization
HeadquartersLicho, Namor
Location
Region served
Gulf of Gelyevich
Membership
 Katranjiev
 Luziyca
 Namor
 Kheratia
Official language
French
Champenia Samga Dawa Yijun
Staff
4,500
Volunteers
3,500

The Gelyevich Gulf Commission (French: Commission du golfe de Gelyevich) is an intergovernmental organization created in 1993 after the normalization of Namo-Luziycan relations to oversee the Gulf of Gelyevich in central Borea. It is intended to arbitrate disputes between its members and encourage the development of the Gulf's resources while protecting the environment of the Gulf of Gelyevich.

History

Background

Oil spill in the Gulf of Gelyevich during Third Namo-Luziycan War, 1971

During the course of the Third Namo-Luziycan War in 1971, the Gulf of Gelyevich was a scene of heavy fighting. Natural gas and oil rigs on both sides were frequently attacked, causing widespread environmental damage to the Gulf of Gelyevich. The resultant environmental damage all but crippled the once profitable fisheries and harmed oil production in the Gulf, thereby forcing Luziycan companies to import petroleum and natural gas from Ankoren and Jabar. Skirmishes following the war in the 1970s and 1980s also hindered efforts to establish such an organization, especially as attacks on oil rigs owned by both Namor and Luziyca reduced production in the Gulf.

In 1983, outgoing Katranjian Prime Minister Blazhe Hristov proposed the creation of an organization to "arbitrate territorial disputes, protect the environment, and encourage economic development." However, the suggestion was received coldly by both the Luziycan and Namorese governments due to lingering tensions.

But as relations between the two sides improved in the late 1980s, interest in an organization governing activities within the Gulf started to rise, with some proponents in both sides arguing that the establishment of such an organization could lead to Namo-Luziycan detente.

Creation

With the normalization of Namo-Luziycan relations in 1990, a major obstacle in the development of detente was over the development of natural resources in the Gulf of Gelyevich. However, it was agreed by both Luziycan President Alexio Stavropoulos and Namorese President-General Lan Xuân Hường to jointly develop the Gulf during a Namorese state visit in Bethlehem.

This paved the way for the creation of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission, as both sides realized the benefits of having bodies to help negotiate the "finer details" of economic development in the Gulf. Thus, they revisited the suggestion of Blazhe Hristov to establish an "intergovernmental organization" comprising of all states bordering the Gulf of Gelyevich to regulate its activity, a la the Tynic Commission in the Tynic Sea in Nordania.

Thus, in June of 1993, President Stavropoulos, President-General Lan, Prime Minister Karavelov, and Kheratian Supreme Leader Chigu Od Sargei met in Lizhov, Katranjiev (present-day Riro, Namor) to establish the Gulf of Gelyevich Commission. The conference was deliberately sited in Lizhov, which was historically a fishing town, to symbolize the importance of an agreement concerning the Gulf and how to manage the Gulf's resources in a sustainable manner.

The issue of economic development of the Gulf, combined with the need to manage the resources to prevent damage to the environment as had been seen in the aftermath of the Third Namo-Luziycan War were major topics during the summit. While there were some debates over the exact structure, they were able to produce the Lizhov Accords establishing the Gelyevich Gulf Commission.

After approval by both the Luziycan Congress and the Namorese Central Council, as well as other legislative bodies, the Commission began operations in Lizhov on September 28th, 1993. The first order of business was to choose a secretary-general to lead the organization, and to begin establishing the internal organization of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission. As the first regulations were put into place to govern economic activities within the Gulf of Gelyevich, there was some initial resistance to the establishment of the organization, especially among local fishermen who criticized the "extra bureaucracy" imposed on them, and arguing the environmental regulations were not necessary.

Mishnev proposed establishing branch offices in member states in "major fishing towns" to help improve communication with residents, and ensure that fishermen and other residents will have a "stronger connection" to the Gelyevich Gulf Commission. However, Secretary-General Kliment Todorov was concerned that if the Commission established branch offices outside of Lizhov, the Commission would require more funding and resources to operate them.

The compromise was that member states would provide 3/4s of funding for "additional branch offices," including wages of the staff operating the offices, but in exchange, the Gelyevich Gulf Commission would be able to operate branch offices to be closer to fishermen and other residents in coastal cities on the Gulf.

Strengthening of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission

Over the next few years, the Gelyevich Gulf Commission became more entrenched, with the first observer state, Lecia being admitted in 1994. As well, the current classification system being implemented in 1996 to manage species within the Gulf of Gelyevich, as well as ruling that invasive species were not to be considered part of the quota system. Secretary-General Kliment Todorov resigned following a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer, and was succeeded by Tayang Ile Jing that year.

During Ile Jing's administration, the permanent headquarters of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission in Lizhov, Katranjiev was finally opened on January 2, 1997, with the site being designated extraterritorial as per the Lizhov Accords. In April of that year, due to the growing adoption of the world wide web, the Gelyevich Gulf Commission recognized the potential benefits of operating a website to provide information and services, thereby opening their website, which provided services in Western Argilian, Luziycan, Mirakian, Namorese, and Tsorigtol.

As the 20th century closed, the Gelyevich Gulf Commission became slightly more accepted among coastal residents, although there were some misgivings among much of the older generations, especially in Luziyca. However, the institutions created began strengthening diplomatic relations between the member states of the Gulf of Gelyevich, especially between Namor and Luziyca.

In 2001, Ile Jing's term expired, and he was succeeded by Namorese Secretary-General Ban Hate. During his administration, fears among Luziycans and rightist Katranjians were spread that Ban would impose stricter regulations that would harm the economies of the Gulf, with some claiming that Ban Hate was going to make the Gelyevich Gulf Commission a "Namorese puppet organization." Despite these fears, Ban Hate proved to be a "neutral administrator," so while he strengthened environmental protections, he always made sure that the regulations would not adversely affect fishermen and other coastal residents if need be.

In 2006, Ban Hate's term expired, and was replaced by Luziycan Secretary-General Sofronio Zacharias. While many leftists feared that Zacharias would turn the Commission into a Luziycan puppet organization, like how many rightists feared that Ban would do for Namor, Zacharias pledged that he would not give Luziyca "a privileged status" within the Gelyevich Gulf Commission. Zacharias generally continued along the same policies that his predecessor had made, but in 2010, he made a controversial suggestion to "integrate the Gulf economies into a singular economic bloc like the Esquarian Community." This, combined with his plan to shutter most of the branch offices outside the major port cities in the Gulf of Gelyevich, sparked a lot of backlash, and by the time Zacharia's term expired, he was considered to be the most unpopular Secretary-General.

Contemporary era

Secretary-General Kipra Svetkov, 2011

With one full cycle completed, Zacharias was succeed as Secretary-General of the Gelyevich Gulf Council by Kipra Svetkov from Katranjiev in 2011. Svetkov's term started out by her promise to "preserve the sovereignty of member-states" while ensuring that the Gelyevich Gulf Commission protects "both the economic development and the environment of the Gulf." Svetkov abandoned many of the proposed closures and layoffs, but in settlements with populations fewer than 5,000 people, branch offices were closed under the grounds that the information can be effectively communicated through its website, while with the increasing ability to own automobiles, it would be much easier for people to head to the nearest branch office.

However, as Svetkov was getting used to her duties as Secretary-General, the approval of a petition by the southern duchies of Katranjiev for an independence referendum came as a shock to the Gelyevich Gulf Commission. Overnight, Kipra Svetkov was thrust into a major role, as the Gelyevich Gulf Commission was headquartered in Lizhov. While Svetkov advocated for "increased autonomy or the status quo" in the referendum, she realized that there would need to be a "Plan B" in case of separatist victory for the duchy of Iztokov, where Lizhov was located. Thus, there was speculation over whether the headquarters of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission would relocate, either to elsewhere in Katranjiev or to a different country, or whether it would stay in an independent Riro.

When on April 30th, 2014, the results were released for the Duchy of Iztokov, Kipra Svetkov approached the Gulf Council, requesting that "when Riro obtains her independence, that Riro be admitted automatically as a full member," concerned that if Riro did not join the Gelyevich Gulf Commission as either an observer state or a member state, they would have to relocate from Licho to a different city, which would "cost a lot of resources, time, and hinder the effectiveness of the work done at the Gelyevich Gulf Commission." In addition, she noted that with the fact that the headquarters were only seventeen years old, it would be "wasteful to build a new headquarters when we have a large office complex that is of a sufficient size to do our jobs effectively."

After a month of negotiations, Riro obtained independence on May 30, 2014. With the independence of Riro, and its subsequent accession to the Gelyevich Gulf Commission that same day, the headquarters were to stay in the newly-independent state, under the same status that it had enjoyed prior to Riro's independence.

Riro was allowed to not pay membership dues for the first year, as well receiving 2/3rds of Katranjiev's 2014 national quota for fisheries. As well, all revenues in Riroese waters were to go to Riro, but if Katranjian oil rigs were bordering Riro, the revenues were split 50-50 pending a "permanent solution" in late 2014 to resolve the matter.

As well, Secretary-General Kipra Svetkov sought to ensure that in case of a future secession campaign leading to "successful nationhood" via legal means, that a permanent solution would be implemented, instead of the ad hoc system which had been in place up until then. Thus, in July of 2014, the Gulf Council began deliberating a new process to admit new member states into the Gulf Commission, and how to address issues regarding territorial waters, oil revenues, and so on and so forth. Over the next few months, the Svetkov Plan began to take shape.

On October 22, 2014, the Svetkov Plan was finally completed and tabled to the Gulf Council. Among its provisions, it suggested:

  • Member states that legally secede from current member states via means outlined in their constitution are to be considered automatic members of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission
  • For the first calendar year, they are to be exempt from membership dues
  • Within the resource sectors of new member states, all hydocarbon projects entirely sited within the waters shall exclusively belong to the new state: otherwise, the proceeds shall be split 50-50 with the state it seceded from
    • If said deposit borders another member state, the proceeds of the agreement allocated to the nation that had been seceded shall be split 50-50, unless a new agreement supersedes that
  • Fishing quotas shall be based off a formula, where the population of the seceding entities are divided by the combined population of the state it is seceding from, plus itself, and then multiplying the sum by the current quota

After weeks of deliberation, on November 10th, 2014, the Svetkov Plan was approved and implemented, thereby ensuring that the Gelyevich Gulf Commission had a consistent process to admit new member states created out of existing member states.

With the completion of the Svetkov Plan, Kipra Svetkov started to focus on other issues with regard to the Gulf of Gelyevich, namely with the increased development of underwater habitats, whether for scientific research, like the Charybdis near Limani, or for tourist purposes, such as the proposed (TBC). Thus, in January of 2015, she implemented regulations regarding future construction of underwater habitats in the Gulf, stating that "scientific research should be the main objective of any future underwater habitats within the Gulf," and that "tourist habitats" should only be accepted if at least 4/5ths of the facility is devoted to scientific research.

In 2016, Svetkov's term expired, and was succeeded by Samga Dawa Yijun. While Samga attempted to continue the policies made by her predecessor, growing tensions between Namor and Luziyca in the political sphere has led to strains within the organization, reaching a boiling point in 2018 when Namor cut the presidential hotline between Namo and Bethlehem. However, the Gelyevich Gulf Commission has been able to survive the growing tensions, with increasing cooperation to clean up the Gulf to "reduce pollution levels to 25% of 1990 levels by 2021."

Areas of responsibility

As per the Lizhov Accords, the Gelyevich Commission has been assigned the following areas of responsibility:

Development of oil and natural gas

An oil rig near Licho, 2006

While states have the right to all profits in their exclusive sectors as defined in the third article of the High Seas Treaty (prior to the creation of the Whaling Treaty), the Gelyevich Gulf Commission has the right to prohibit drilling of hydrocarbon deposits in member's own sectors under the following conditions if it has the potential to harm the environment, but grandfathering all existing operational facilities that have operated in the Gulf on or prior to January 1st, 1992, though they must be upgraded and maintained to comply with environmental regulations.

In the event that deposits straddle member states' exclusive sectors, the Commission has an obligation to ensure that all revenues are distributed in a fair and equitable arrangement between member states based on a variety of factors, mainly over how much of the deposit is in another member state, and who is developing the deposit, and then developing an arrangement suitable for that particular deposit. Disputes over the amount owed after such an agreement is made are dealt with through the Arbitration Tribunal.

Fisheries

The Lizhov Accords has declared that within the legal definition made in the treaty, exclusive sectors as defined in the third article of the High Seas Treaty will not apply to the fisheries within the Gulf of Gelyevich.

The two main quotas are the national quotas (French: quotas nationaux), and species quotas (French: quota d'espèces), applicable to all countries fishing within the Gulf of Gelyevich.

Species quotas

Species quotas (French: quota d'espèces) are the maximum amount of fish of any particular species that can legally be caught in the Gulf of Gelyevich. If any country reaches the "species quota," then any further catches of that species by any state, regardless of its status, would result in a fine of (a certain amount) for each tonne of fish above the species quota.

Since 1996, there is a classification system to monitor the species quotas.

  • Class A are for species that are critically endangered or extinct in the wild. Any Class A fish must be released if caught
  • Class B are for species which are endangered. While small-scale fishery is permitted of Class B species, the quota is set at no more than one percent of the current biomass of the species within the Gulf, measured every year
  • Class C are for species which are vulnerable. Quotas for Class C fish are to be set at no more than three percent of the current biomass, measured every year
  • Class D are for species classed as near-threatened and those dependent on conservation efforts. Quotas for Class D fish are set to be no more than five percent of the current biomass, measured every year
  • Class E are for species classed as least concern. Quotas are to be set to be no more than ten percent of the current biomass, measured every year
  • Class F is reserved for invasive species. Fishing of Class F fish are not restricted, and national quotas do not apply to Class F fish.

National quotas

National quotas (French: quotas nationaux) are allocated to member states of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission restricting the maximum amount of native fish that can be caught in a given year. Should a member state go over their national quota, they will be fined (a certain amount) for each tonne of fish above the quota. National quotas are allocated based on the overall biomass of native fish, and the percentage of the populations surrounding the gulf, but also considering the need for foreign ships to also fish.

As of January 2018, the national quotas as assigned by the Gelyevich Gulf Commission are as follows for species within the Gulf of Gelyevich:

Nation Maximum tonnage of fish Percentage
 Katranjiev TBC 3.1%
 Luziyca TBC 27.4%
 Namor TBC 56.6%
 Kheratia TBC 4.9%
Observers TBC 6.0%
Non members TBC 2.0%

Environmental regulations in the Gulf region

As a result of decades of overfishing and exploitation of the natural resources present in the Gulf of Gelyevich, combined with (some other projects that probably harmed the environment), the Gelyevich Gulf Commission has been assigned the right to implement regulations to "promote the sustainable development of the Gulf" in order to ensure that the Gulf's potential is not exhausted too quickly.

Thus, since the creation of the Gulf Commission, policies have been put in place to prohibit all dumping of radioactive waste into the Gulf of Gelyevich, as well as bans on dumping of fishing nets and medical waste. These apply, whether intentional or unintentional, to all member states, and clean-up efforts for these wastes that end up in the Gulf must begin within 48 hours.

Heavy restrictions are made on other forms of marine dumping, with all "intentional dumping" without prior authorization from the Gelyevich Gulf Commission (i.e. for scientific research on ocean currents) resulting in a hefty fine of (tbc) per kilogram dumped. At the same time, measures have been taken to reduce "unintentional dumping" of non-prohibited waste into the Gulf, such as education programs targeted towards recreational users of beaches near the Gulf.

As well, it is prohibited for invasive species to be released in the Gulf for any reason.

Arbitration

As the ideal goal of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission is to include all states sharing maritime borders with the Gulf of Gelyevich, the Gulf Commission has an Arbitration Tribunal to arbitrate territorial disputes regarding nation's exclusive sectors/resource sectors within the legal boundaries of the Gulf.

In addition to arbitrating territorial disputes, the tribunal also arbitrates disputes over revenue-sharing projects within the Gulf, as well as investigating whether "adverse environmental impacts on the ecosystem" have occurred due to large-scale fishing, oil spills, or due to oil and gas projects in the Gulf. As well, they arbitrate disputes between the Commission and fishermen who are accused of exceeding their individual quotas.

All awards given by the tribunal are considered to be final.

Institutions

Headquarters of the Gelyeivch Gulf Commission in Licho, Namor (then Katranjiev), 2008

All institutions of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission are located in the city of Licho, with the main offices located there. The main institutions are the Executive, comprising of the Secretary-General, the Gulf Council, and the arbitration tribunal.

The main working language of all the main institutions is French, chosen specifically as both Luziycan and Namorese would have been too controversial due to the poor state of relations between Namor and Luziyca when the Commission was established, while other languages, such as Kheratian or Katranjian did not have a major influence in Esquarium.

Despite this, branch offices will often use the local language of the area (i.e. Namorese in Namor, Luziycan in much of Luziyca, etc), in order to effectively communicate with residents in the area.

Secretaries-General

The head of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission is the secretary-general (French: secrétaire général). As envisioned in the Lizhov Accords, the Secretary-General is to rotate every five years among member states. Thus, since 2016, the current secretary-general is Samga Dawa Yijun from Kheratia.

The role of the Secretary-General of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission is to serve as both the public spokesperson for the Commission, as well as serve as the head arbitrator of the Arbitration Tribunal. As such, experts in maritime law have generally been prevalent in the selection of Secretaries-General.

Nation General Secretary Term
 Katranjiev Kliment Todorov 1993-1996
 Kheratia Tayang Ile Jing 1996-2001
 Namor Ban Hate 2001-2006
 Luziyca Sofronio Zacharias 2006-2011
 Katranjiev Kipra Svetkov 2011-2016
 Kheratia Samga Dawa Yijun 2016-present

Gulf Council

The Gulf Council (French: Conseil du Golfe) is comprised of delegates from the member states and observer states in the Gelyevich Gulf Commission, although only member states can vote in the Gulf Council. Delegates are appointed by the member governments "as though they are ambassadors to a sovereign nation," and are to serve at the governments' pleasure, as per the Lizhov Accords.

The Gulf Council's main aims are to implement regulations concerning resource development, fisheries, and environmental regulations. A simple majority is often sufficient for these issues. For certain areas, such as areas that might affect members' resource sectors, rights that member states have not ceded by joining the Gelyevich Gulf Commission, or amending the "basic law of the Gulf Commission," unanimous consent is required by the voting members of the Council.

Member states

As of January 2018, the member states of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission combined have a total population of 860,425,439 people, with 92% of the population either residing in Namor or Luziyca. Member states are subject to the Lizhov Accords, and have to pay an annual fee of (TBD) to help cover the costs of operating the Commission. Full member status are only reserved for states bordering the Gulf of Gelyevich as per the definition set out by the Lizhov Accords.

The full member-states are as follows:

Nation Population Joined
 Katranjiev 26,764,398 1993
 Luziyca 269,824,367 1993
 Namor 521,714,237 1993
 Kheratia 42,122,437 1993

Observers

Observer states have the right to send a delegate to the Gulf Council but are not allowed to vote. However, because of their status, they are not bound by most of the regulations governing the Gulf of Gelyevich but are still subject to certain environmental regulations pertaining to the Gulf. As well, they only pay half as much per year as a full member-state.

Besides observer states, there are also observer organizations, which are other intergovernmental organizations.

As of January 2018, there are (TBC) observers.

Nation Population Year of joining
 Lecia 5,282,690 1994

Former member states

These were former member states or observers in the Gelyevich Gulf Commission, but for a variety of reasons, they withdrew their membership. As of 2018, there is one former member state, Riro, which joined in 2014 after separating from Katranjiev, and left following its unification with Namor.

Nation Population Joined Withdrew (reason)
Template:Country data Riro 3,341,527 2014 2018 (united with Namor)