Harmonious Covenant of Ochran
|Type||Regional intergovernmental organisation|
• Imperial tradition
• International recognition
• Constitution of the Cultivators
The Harmonious Covenant, formally known as and collectively called the Wise Cultivators of Harmony, is a quasi-governmental international meritocratic league of nations based in Ochran. The Covenant has many constituent orders of merit, the most important of which is the Council of Prosperity, which governs international trade and some maritime law as well as acting as the primary executive body of the Covenant. Each member nation sends a delegation of five to fifteen outstanding individuals who sit for an exam prepared by the Academic Council, though who score highly each year are made eligible to sit on the Council of Prosperity depending on the balance of seats already held by each nation and seniority system, much of this tabulation of scores is kept secret.
While the Order of Wise Cultivators has long acted as a cultural authority and important middleman in international affairs, its role as economic authority was only recently created as a response to the powerful Mutulese trade empire of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As its regulatory powers have expanded, many nationalist and devolutionary factions have decried the bureaucratic federalism that the organization promotes. Different movements proposing secession or dissolution of the Covenant have been defeated in every member state, but opposition has continued to grow.
Early imperial traditions
The early manifestation of the international norms which ultimately propagated the Covenant occurred in the imperial court of the Tsurushiman Emperor. The "Tennō" was an important fixture in pre-Bayarid Central Ochran since he was a relatively permanent fixture in the constantly changing political landscape of the warring states. In order to develop their legitimacy, warlords from Ochran would send large gifts to the Emperor who would then invite their dignitaries to his court. The Tsurushiman court, safe from the volatility of the mainland, became the de facto international treaty organization and kingdoms would often appeal to the Emperor to settle trade disputes or even to declare a winner in a war. The Emperor retained this important, privileged status even as he lost control of his homeland to the Shoguns; eventually the Emperor was not longer allowed to represent his own government and the Shogun appointed a delegate to officially represent Tsurushima.
During the upheavals of the 14th century, however, Tsurushima became less and less secure. Uluujol became the premier imperial court of Ochran and the tributary system transitioned to Osh. <ELESAVID MONARCH> was immediately faced with the difficult decision on how to respond to three large gifts sent to him from Tsurushima: one from the Emperor, one from the Otomo Clan, and another from the upstart Kakita Clan. To resolve the conflict, <ELESAVID MONARCH> administered a written test to determine which of the delegates were the superior statesman. This system of testing delegates would evolve into the modern meritocratic approach to international representation.
Reactions to colonialism
The burgeoning trade empires of Belisaria and Oxidentale transformed the Covenant from a diplomatic panel into a formidable policy institution. It was the Prosperity Council, also called the Continental Panel on Commerce and Trade, that negotiated the transition of international ports from mercantilist comptoirs to independently managed transit authorities. The Continental Panel on Human Rights was instrumental in the decolonization of Kahei and Benaajab, representing the new unified front of Ochran.
The covenant was not free from the social and political upheavals of the Daitoa Republic. The educational reforms in Daitoa, which for the first time truly opened up the universities to the lower classes, allowed socialism and labor-friendly policies to infiltrate the covenant's councils and panels. Importantly, the covenant's accreditation institution, which defines the course of education required by delegation-eligible individuals, both issued scholarships and required a class-blind approach to selection committees. In Benaajab especially, the reforms shocked higher education into the modern world as caste requirements, both spoken and unspoken, were shed quickly to avoid embarrassment at the delegation exams.
The covenant is made up of a series of councils and supporting commissariats, which are all technically equal, but are typically organized into an order of precedence. The de facto supreme council is the Prosperity Council, which controls funding for all other covenant organizations. All delegates are admitted to the covenant, but are not guaranteed seats on any council, leading to the commissariats being staffed by a mix failed delegate applicants and additional support personnel.
|Prosperity Council||16||Continental Panel on Commerce and Trade
Panel on the Covenant Treasury
|Cultural Council||38||Continental Panel on the Arts
Continental Panel on Natural Preservation
Panel on Decolonization
Panel on the Revolution
Panel on Titles, Styles, and Honors
|Academic Council||76||Continental Panel on Education
Continental Panel on the Accreditation of Delegations
Panel on Copyright
|Vespanian Council||184||Continental Panel on International Waters
Panel on Joint Force Operations
|Short and formal names||Capital||Population||Prosperity Council Members|
|Uluujol - Enlightened Khaganate of Uluujol||Osh||84,607,593||5|
|Benaajab - Enlightened Kingdom of Benaajab||Rangpur||93,541,968||1|
|Pulau Keramat - Enlightened Confederacy of Pulau Keremat||Kopiona Poi||80,452,600||3|
|Chagadalai - Enlightened Republic of Chagadalai||Jetsun||21,865,632||2|
|Taizhou - Great and Illustrious Meng Hegemony||Nucen (Northern)
|Tsurushima - Enlightened Republic of Tsurushima||Asahina||126,672,000||5|
Admission of Delegations
Delegations are quinquennial groups of individuals that hold degrees from covenant accredited institutions of learning. Because the process of accreditation is controlled by existing members of the covenant, almost all delegations have been explicitly sponsored by a member state. The most notable exception to this rule was during the 1920 civil conflict in Chagdalai, during which Muunokhoi Khan sent a delegation of qualified loyalists who were not sponsored by his government. The delegation was accepted, but none of the delegates held a senior post in any commissariat or were awarded council seats.
Delegation membership is typically controlled by the member state's government, since the individuals will be tasked with representing the state, but there is considerable personal responsibility outside the role as diplomat. Joining a delegation is always five-year minimum commitment, but it can be extended or commuted by a council ruling; typically each council hosts a subcommittee on personnel to manage these contracts. Only a few individuals from all of the delegations will actually earn seats on a council, which leaves the majority of the contract terms to be fulfilled working in the commissariats. This effectively allows all of the member states to select their own corpus of representatives, but does not allow them to actually select their own ambassador. Member states will often have a senior government official attached to a delegation who will serve in a commissariat and advise the sitting council members.
As a delegate, living expenses are paid by the covenant and, depending on the importance of their research, scholars may also continue working part-time at their parent universities. Since having large delegations and gaining council seats is so important--both as a matter of national pride and diplomatic influence--member states will typically offer their delegates a generous stipend linked to their performance on the civil service exams. Benaajab's member of the Prosperity Council, for example, receives 100,000 き as a stipend in addition to their living quarters and meals being paid for by the covenant.
Civil service exams
Seats on any of the several councils are not guaranteed to member states based on any metric of proportionality or equality. Instead, all delegates are required to take the civil service exams which are written, scored, and tabulated by the Select Committee on the Promotion of the Scholarly Ideology. The committee uses both a quantitative and qualitative approach to determining which delegates will be granted seats on a council. For the most important seats, those on the Prosperity Council, the committee works under the assumption that representation from each nation is itself of scholastic value and therefore nations seldom go without membership. When a nation has drawn the ire of the covenant as a whole, however, they might be punished by getting no seats for a term. The most common reason a member state might be excluded is that it has not improved on Academic Council directives, which is often the case for Benaajab's religiously administrated schools.