As Remembrance Day approaches, the New Weddington Isles remembers and commemorates the Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses of Weddington Castle when it was converted to a Red Cross Hospital in World War One, along with the wounded servicemen whom they tended to.
As the winter is over Down Under and spring is here, the New Weddington Expedition Team (aka “The New Weddington Wanderers”), are finally coming out of hibernation…
We are delighted to announce that the next project will be the climbing of Mount Kosciusko – the highest peak in Australia – via the Charlotte Pass main range. Adverse weather and Covid 19 border restrictions have hampered planning but we are now ready to go on 4th December 2021.
This will be undertaken as a joint venture with the Principality of Sealand, who have been generous in their support of this, and whose nobles have already raised the flag at the highest peaks of 3 of the 7 world’s continents - scaling Everest, Kilimanjaro and Elbrus. Kosciusko will be their fourth.
Both the Sealand and The New Weddington Isles flags will be flown in separate ceremonies at the summit.
Prince Michael of Sealand sent his best wishes for the climb to Lord Watitune (also a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Sealand), stating “I look forward to seeing the flag flying. Good luck with your challenge and stay safe.”
Today, October 24, is the annual United Nations Day, marking the creation of the UN in 1945 and its Charter binding member states to maintain international peace and security, uphold international law, achieve "higher standards of living" for their citizens, address "economic, social, health, and related problems", and promote "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion."
Whilst the UN is currently focussed on macronations, the New Weddington Isles believe the above mandate is equally applicable to micronations and enshrines the UN Declaration of Human Rights in its Constitution. We also believe that micronations have a role to play in UN initiatives such as supporting refugees and disaster victims through UNICEF, and applying pressure on macronations regarding environmental issues and human rights abuses.
Furthermore, we believe that in an increasingly fragmented world, where technology is making real-world country boundaries less effective and micro-communities are emerging, that micronations will be in a unique position to further engage with a body such as the UN.
For this reason UN Day is one of our National Public Holidays. We wish micronations everywhere all the best in hour myriad endeavours; whilst our different states vary dramatically in purpose and governance; we believe this to be a strength not a weakness.
See below for the 2021 UN Day address by the UN Secretary-General – aimed at macronations but pertinent to micronations.
Best wishes to our micronational friends!
As Canberra starts to ease its Covid restrictions, here at the New Weddington Isles’ Prime Consul ex aliena we are making use of the remaining lockdown time to document key elements of our micronation which were previously referenced ad hoc in old Facebook posts and documents, and unpublished folders on our computer network.
Having previously added a full listing of our State Collection of Artefacts to our website; the Department of Arts, Culture and Sports has now been split into the Department of Arts and Culture and the Department of Sports. To mark this we have now added a section detailing our National Symbols (animals, heraldic beasts, flowers, Anthems etc). This is online at: http://www.newweddington.co.uk/national-symbols.html
During lockdown here in Canberra (the current host city for the New Weddington Isles’ Prime Consul 'ex aliena'), we have been making use of the time to catalogue our State Collection of Artefacts.
These historical and ceremonial artefacts - along with modern items - will be preserved and expanded, to be used for ceremonial and educational purposes as seen fit by the Lord of the Manor.
You can read about our Collection here (thank you to our Department of Arts and Culture for their efforts on this).
Lord Watitune, John Brookes will be doing a talk and Q&A next week in the presentation hall at the Melbourne TheMHS Conference in Australia (on how artists can be part of recovery for those living with physical & mental disability and a virtual scheme that the New Weddington Isles' Arts & Culture department is establishing for this). This follows on from a launch event in Perth last year.
As you can see from the photos below, John's Biography covers his role as lord Watitune of the New Weddington Isles. The first photo is Lord Watitune testing out the online platform that will be used for the presentation to ensure his New Weddington Isles t-shirt is visible on camera!
The annual TheMHS Conference is held in a different city around Australia and New Zealand each year and attracts approximately 1,000 delegates annually. Due to COVID it's a "Virtual" conference. Registrations are closed but if any micronations wish to know more of this venture please contact us for more details.
CIVICUS to engage with UN Human Rights Council on equal participation for all entities in public and political affairs
The non-governmental civil society body CIVICUS – of which the New Weddington Isles is an Associate Member - will be engaging with the Council on themes of equal participation for all entities in public and political affairs and the resolution on cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights.
CIVICUS will also engage in the panel discussion on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests; the debate with the Working Group on arbitrary detentions; and the debate with the Working Group on enforced disappearances.
The 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council runs from 13 September to 8 October 2021.
Resolution on equal participation in political and public affairs
Equal participation in political and public affairs relies on access to information and the protection and promotion of democratic freedoms. In the last two years, these preconditions have been put under severe strain by the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation has been impeded by rollbacks in democratic freedoms engendered by governmental response to the pandemic; the growing phenomenon of internet shutdowns; the impact of a growing digital divide; and elections postponed on grounds of both genuine public health concerns but also overreach of emergency powers. We encourage States to support a resolution which highlights and seeks to address these barriers to equal participation.
Crises take interrelated forms which have socio-political impacts. In response to such crises, governments across the world have increasingly imposed internet shutdowns, which have a serious impact on the rights to assembly and other civic-space related rights. Such shutdowns, often implemented hand in hand with other repressive tactics against protesters, facilitate abuses and gross human rights violations committed in the context of peaceful protests. We call on States to engage with the panel discussion on peaceful protests and raise the increasing issue of internet shutdowns.
CIVICUS, together with Article 19, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), the European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL) and World Movement for Democracy, will be holding a side event to the panel discussion to hear from those on the ground about the implications of the intersection of crises, peaceful protests and internet shutdowns.
Resolution on cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights
UN action is only possible with strong engagement from civil society on the ground, who not only provide information and analysis, but are on the front line of ensuring that human rights standards are respected by their own governments, and that violations are held to account. Until such a political cost is established, the only deterrent to States engaging in this practice remains to publicly name them. We recommend that States use the Interactive Dialogue with the Assistant Secretary General to raise specific cases of reprisals.
CIVICUS is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world. Though their office in Geneva, they support their partners and members to engage with the UN Human Rights Council, and its ancillary bodies, including the UN Universal Periodic Review, UN Special Procedures, and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. As a non-Voting member of CIVICUS, the New Weddington Isles does not have a direct access to these forums however we are given the means to participate through surveys, written submissions and feedback on draft resolutions.
A true artist and a true micronationalist, who brought the two together in the nation of Ladonia. Vocal in freedom of speech, dedicated and innovative... micronationalism is the poorer for his passing.
Ladonia was proclaimed independent on the 2nd of June, 1996, by Lars Vilks. Starting in 1980, Vilks had been creating sculptures in wood (Nimis) and concrete (Arx) in the Kullaberg Nature Reserve in the south of Sweden. The Swedish authorities spent more than a decade trying to force the sculptures to be taken down or destroyed.
In 1996, most of the legal battles had been resolved one way or another, and the sculptures still stood. So, Vilks concluded that he had achieved a permanent occupation of the land and de facto control thereof. To further protect the sculptures from threat of demolition, he proclaimed the land on which they stand as “Ladonia”, a sovereign country with a surface of 1 square km. At the time he named himself Chancellor of Ladonia and announced a government comprised of several ministers.
In 1997, when the number of citizens had grown to more than 1,000, elections were held. Ladonia became a Republican Monarchy with a president, Fernando Rodrigues (1997–2004) living in Brazil and a queen, Ywonne I (1997–2011) living in Sweden. In 2011, Queen Ywonne abdicated in abstentia, and a new Queen was elected from the Cabinet of Ministers. Queen Carolyn was proclaimed Queen of Ladonia on 2 June 2011 and reigns to this day. In 2019, the office of the President was converted into a Prime Minister changing the position from purely popularly elected, to a role nominated from within the ranks of the existing Ministers.
At the last census in January 2020, Ladonia had 22,858 registered citizens and more than 125 ministries.
Vilks died in a car crash on 3 October 2021, in Markaryd, Sweden. He was on his way home travelling in an unmarked police car with two police officers at the time their car crashed into a large truck and caught fire, killing all three occupants.
We are pleased to announce the latest activity as part of the New Weddington Isles’ Arts & Culture program. Four artworks from the Isles are currently being shown as part of the online Healing Ngunnawal Country exhibition at Belconnen Gallery in Canberra, Australia.
Healing Ngunnawal Country features works by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to honour the NAIDOC week theme ‘Heal Country’, NAIDOC in the North 2021 presents the photographic exhibition Healing Ngunnawal Country. Artists were asked to share images they have taken on Ngunnawal Country, which inspire others to pause and reflect on the beauty of this place and the part they can play in protecting it.
The Isles' artworks can be seen below, and are currently part of an online exhibition due to Covid restrictions (where you can vote for the Peoples' Choice award ;) ), in addition these works will go on show at NAIDOC in the North: Saturday 30 October, 10:30-2:30 at Exhibition Park in Canberra.
We are pleased to announce that 3 artworks from the New Weddington Isles Department of Arts have been accepted for inclusion in an upcoming exhibition - PLACE unframed - at the Belconnen Arts Gallery. The exhibition theme is to capture places or times that mean something to us.
Due to current issues of access to the remote Isles themselves, these focus on the location of our Prime Consul ex aliena in Canberra, Australia.
With the Covid lockdown here this exhibition will now be online from 19/11/21 to 30/1/22. Meantime here are the New Weddington Isles' submissions.