Conduct of Interstellar Summit Meetings  
 

it is common for major interstellar political issues to be resolved in plenary meetings of the major powers - especially so under the Treaty of New London, which has provision for up to two per year of these.

This is a short guide to the protocols and procedures for such meetings.

Seating:

Each delegation should have only one seat at the table, except the host who would have two additional seats for the Chair and Secretary [Game note: if the host team does not have enough players present, these roles could be temporarily taken by another player].

The Chair and Secretary should sit together, so that the Chair can if necessary quickly take advice or refer to the official record .

The delegation seat should normally be taken by the head of delegation but may temporarily be occupied by another player if the head of delegation needs/wishes to leave the table;

Other delegation members should be seated away from the table behind their leader;

A seat at the end opposite the Chair should be allocated to invited experts and observers [Game note: JIM0000's chair]

There is a standard order of seating of delegations, which is in the agreed order in which they are to be hosts.

Addressing the meeting:

Only delegates currently occupying seats at the table may address the meeting;

Delegates may only address the meeting when called upon by the Chair;

Delegates should indicate that they wish to speak by raising a hand and the Chair should so far as possible call delegates to speak in the order in which they raise their hands (part of the Secretary's job would be to keep an eye on this and advise the Chair if he misses a delegation);

The exceptions to taking contributions in this order would be

  (1) if a delegate poses a question for another delegation, the Chair should ask that delegation whether it wishes to respond at that point;
   
  (2) if the "experts" need to clarify something e.g. the accepted interpretation of a Treaty, to keep discussion on track, the Chair should call upon them.

All statements and questions in the meeting should be made to the Chair, not direct to another delegation, and be appropriately phrased e.g.not "Why are you in the GFA cutting your defence spending?" but "May I ask our esteemed colleague from the GFA to explain why his government is cutting..." etc. (Good rule of thumb is that the more cordially two states detest each other the more politely they will speak of each other)

Other communications:

Preferably private communications between delegations, not forming part of the meeting, or consultations between the player currently at the table and the rest of his delegation, should be by exchange of notes;

Alternatively, they may be conducted by speaking to each other, provided that this is done very quietly and kept to the minimum necessary;

If such discussions interfere with the conduct of the meeting the Chair may order them to cease.

Order of Business.

1. Adoption of the agenda. At this point delegates may ask to

  (a) include items not on the circulated agenda. The delegation making such a request should explain why it was not possible to put the item forward sooner. Unless the meeting agrees at this point to accept a new item, it cannot be raised later in the meeting.
   
  (b) take agenda items in a different order.
   
  (c) a delegation that raised an item in the circulated agenda may indicate that it wishes it withdrawn - but it will only be withdrawn if the meeting agrees.

2. Agreement of minutes of previous meeting.

3. Discussion of agenda items, usually beginning with the Chair inviting the delegation raising an item to briefly introduce it, and ending with the Chair briefly summarising the outcome of the discussion on each item.

4. Closing statements (opportunity for each delegation to say how useful the meeting has been in fostering interstellar understanding and cooperation, thank the host for the facilities and excellent Chairing, and what time does the state banquet start?)

(Thanks to Jon Casey for this)

 

 

 
     
 
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