The symbol of the World Congress
|Formed||1 January 4100|
The World Congress is an intergovernmental body that attempts to promote international peace and security, facilitate cooperation and friendly relations between countries, and provide a forum for discussion between governments. Officially founded on 1 January 4100, the organisation now consists of every widely-recognised sovereign state in the world.
The primary organs of the World Congress are the General Assembly and the Security Council. The General Assembly is an open forum for governments, political parties, labour unions, business groups, religious organisations and other groups to discuss matters of international concern.
The Security Council is the World Congress' official governing authority and has the power to pass binding resolutions. It is composed of a combination of permanent and non-permanent members, the latter of which are elected. Permanent members are those countries deemed to be "great powers" at the beginning of a Security Council session, all permanent members possess veto power.
The World Congress bureaucracy is led by the General-Secretary of the World Congress. The General-Secretary has various duties and powers, chiefly they are involved in directing the activities of World Congress organisations and staff in executing the instructions of the Security Council. In the General Assembly, they are formally empowered to chair discussions although this is often delegated to a deputy in practice.
The World Congress was the result of a series of meetings between world leaders in the early 41st century. The organisation formally came into existence on 1 January 4100 and the first elections to the Security Council were held in 4113.
In the six centuries it has existed, the World Congress has undergone significant changes, the most notable being the introduction of "permanent" members of the Security Council with veto power. Despite moves towards greater democracy in the 45th century, the organisation has since returned to a more streamlined structure, according to which the only elected positions are the non-permanent members of the Security Council.
The primary organs of the World Congress are the General Assembly and the Security Council. In addition to these bodies, there are a variety of other organisations and bureaucratic offices that are formally part of the structure of the World Congress including the World Congress Anti-Slavery Office and the World Congress Peacekeeping Office.
The Security Council is the World Congress' governing authority and has the power to make most decisions on matters within the scope of the organisation. It is composed of a permanent and non-permanent members. Permanent members are those countries that are identified as the most important international powers in global affairs and they are granted automatic membership of the body. Non-permanent members are elected in regional groupings at the beginning of each Security Council term. For the current term, there are four permanent members and five non-permanent members.
Permanent members are not elected and are determined by an independent team of World Congress officials who recommend the countries that they deem to among the most important and influential in international politics. Since the creation of this system, this has always been multiple countries and has generally been four. Permanent members possess veto power over all Security Council resolutions, this means that if they vote against a resolution then it will automatically fail regardless of the votes of the rest of the members.
Non-permanent members are elected at the beginning of a Security Council. Under the current system of election, there are five non-permanent members, each from a different regional group. The procedures for election differs between these seats, with the fifth seat having separate special procedures.
For the first four seats, the fifty-eight original members of the World Congress are divided into four regional groups and each seat elects a single representative. Although only countries from within the group can be elected, all fifty-eight countries are eligible to vote in all four seats.
For the fifth seat, the remaining special members of the Security Council (numbering around twenty-five) vote among themselves to elect a single country to the position. For this reason, it has been described as a "quota seat" since the original members countries of the World Congress are not entitled to vote in elections for it.
As the governing authority of the World Congress, the Security Council currently has the exclusive power to pass binding resolutions on member states. Any country may propose a resolution for the Security Council's consideration and all members may offer comment and feedback on the resolution before it is formally voted upon.
In order for a resolution to be adopted and become binding, it must receive more votes in favour than against when voting concludes on the resolution. In addition, it must not have been opposed by a permanent member (i.e. not have been vetoed). Although there is no process for formal amendment of a resolution once it has been passed, precedent dictates that later resolutions can be used to repeal the provisions of previous ones.
At the beginning of a Security Council term, members generally elect a President. The role of the President is to chair discussions and provide political leadership to aid in the pursuit of the body's objectives. Whereas the General Secretary should only moderate discussion between Security Council members, the President should actively seek to promote compromise and conflict resolution. They are responsible for ensuring that resolutions are robustly debated and properly crafted before being brought to a vote. In general, they are tasked with driving the dialogue forward within the Security Council.
In contrast to the Security Council, the General Assembly is designed to be an open forum for dialogue. Representatives of any government, political party, religious body, labour union or other social group may contribute to its discussions (at the discretion of the chair).
Unlike the Security Council, the General Assembly has no power to pass resolutions. Instead, the role of the General Assembly is to scrutinise the actions and behaviour of the Security Council through discourse. As a result, it is expected that the Security Council consults the General Assembly when considering resolutions. The General Assembly is formally chaired by the World Congress General Secretary, however for most of its discussions this is delegated to one of several Deputies.
The General-Secretary is the chief administrative officer of the World Congress and is tasked with a variety of duties and powers related to the direction of the organisation. Among other things, the General-Secretary oversees the appointment of significant officers of the World Congress, chairs discussions of the General Assembly, and manages various bureaucratic offices of the body.
Although the exact procedure for the appointment of the General-Secretary is kept private by the World Congress, it involves seeking the consent of most member states as well as various job-suitability tests. In recent centuries, various General-Secretaries have adopted the convention that the incumbent should serve for a single World Congress term before retiring. On a few occasions, a General-Secretary has served for longer than this while some have retired before the end of a full term.