Council of Funding Nations

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The Council of Funding Nations (henceforth refered to as CFN) is an interesting case of an international organization because of its apparent legal nature and the flexibility it provides X-COM to deal with the alien menace. A brief analysis will be provided regarding its apparent workings.

Membership of the CFN

The available literature regarding the Council states that it was composed of 'representatives from the worlds most economically powerful countries gathered secretly in Geneva' (X-COM:UFO Defense introduction), while later it is referred that 'the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) holds a clandestine summit in Geneva, Switzerland' (from X-COM:Interceptor). This discrepancy between sources poses a problem to the nature of the CFN regarding its membership criteria, which is explained on the notes below:

CountryUNSC MembershipCFN MembershipG8+5 MembershipNational GDP rank2007 Population
United StatesPermanentYesYes1st3rd
United KingdomPermanentYesYes4th22nd
RussiaPermanentYesYes16th9th
FrancePermanentYesYes5th19th
ChinaPermanentYesPlus 56th1st
GermanyW. EuropeanYesYes3rd14th
JapanAsianYesYes2nd10th
IndiaAsianYesPlus 512th2nd
BrazilLatin AmericanYesPlus 515th5th
ItalyW. EuropeanYesYes7th23rd
AustraliaW. EuropeanYesNo13th53rd
EgyptAfrican/ArabYesNo41st16th
South AfricaAfricanYesPlus 529th26th
SpainW. EuropeanYesNo8th28th
NigeriaAfricanYesNo52nd8th
CanadaW. EuropeanYesYes9th36th
MexicoLatin AmericanNoPlus 510th11th
PolandE. EuropeanNoNo24th33rd
IndonesiaAsianNoNo25th4th
South KoreaAsianNoNo11th25th
ArgentinaLatin AmericanNoNo34th30th
AlgeriaAfrican/ArabNoNo48th35th
PakistanAsianNoNo47th6th

Issues relating from current membership

  • There are only 15 members on the UNSC (5 permanent + 10 elected), which poses a problem since there are 16 nations on the CFN.
  • The G8 is made of the 8 biggest economic powers (US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Italy and Russia. The Plus 5 are the 5 largest emerging economies (China, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and India). The G8+5 was formed in 2005.
  • The elected members come from geographical blocs: Africa (3 members); Latin America and the Caribbean (2 members); Western Europe and Others (2 members); Eastern Europe (1 member); Asia (2 members). 1 member comes also from an Arab country, either from Africa or Asia.
  • Comparing to the table above, there are major differences: Eastern Europe isn't represented; Western Europe and Others has 3 additional slots (Germany, Spain, Australia, Canada and Italy); Latin America is missing 1 member.
  • It can be argued that the Eastern European slot was given away to the Western European and Others bloc because it is a leftover of the Cold War and there are other countries in the W. Europe and Others bloc more important in terms of GDP/population than Poland.
  • The non-inclusion of Mexico on the CFN is the most difficult to explain, since it signifies that Latin American lost a seat to W. Europe and Others. One valid reason to explain it could be that Canada was chosen instead since it jointly operates the North America Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) with the U.S.
  • Finally the inclusion of Australia on the CFN (occupying the extra 16th slot) can be explained for geographic reasons (to include Oceania, since it does not have its own bloc).
  • The choice of Nigeria to occupy one of the Africa slots can be explained by the fact that it was the country elected at the time, since Algeria was ranked above it in GDP.
  • Other possibilities to occupy positions at the CFN are Indonesia (due to its large population), South Korea, Argentina and Pakistan (large population plus owner of nuclear weapons).

Rights and Duties of CFN membership

Rights

1 Exclusive access to the spoils of operational missions at agreed, stable prices. X-COM may not auction the proceeds to the highest market bidder. Instead, proceeds are allocated to each nation in strict rotation. In the allocation of artefacts, each country's funding level determines both the precedence of allocation and the quantity of artefacts received. Once allocated the funding nations are free to trade or sell items to other CFN members, but not to other nations or the market.
2 A possible clause on the charter reserves to the CFN the right to act as a cartel and sell any collectively agreed surplus to the wider world, splitting the proceeds according to funding contributions.
3 All funding nations, equally, receive all information gleaned from the project, including technologies. Nations are free to exploit this technology for internal use, but not to sell information or technology.
4 Any manufactured goods sold are be subject to a royalty payable to the CFN and disbursed according to funding contributions.
5 Lastly, all nations receive preferential protective treatment from X-COM forces, governed by a detailed technical appendix to the charter known as the Security Commitment Objectives - Resource Engagement (SCORE). SCORE also defines precise criteria to evaluate X-COM's progress.

Duties

1 To provide operational funding for the force, which is subject to a monthly review and revised accordingly using SCORE.
2 To provide operational security by: a) denial of the force's existence; b) conceal any traces of X-COM and/or operations; c) restrict the dissimination of alien technology.
3 To military collaborate and subordinate its national forces to X-COM on any situation regarding the aliens. Also, all alien activity is considered to be in the jurisdiction of X-COM, with the exception of situations considered to be a state of national emergency. However, on that extreme case, any individual action will need to notified to the CFN.
4 To avoid any individual contact, diplomatic or otherwise, with the aliens.

Withdrawal from the CFN

In the course of the first Alien War there are countries who withdrawal from the project after signing undisclosed agreements with the alien forces. It is unknown if this eventuality was ever considered when the Council was established, but so considerations can be made regarding provisions for a possible withdrawal from the CFN, namely considering its duties.

1 The withdrawing country would still be required to maintain secrecy regarding the project.
2 Any X-COM bases located on its territory would still be allowed to function, together with the jurisdiction of X-COM regarding all alien matters.

However, the evolution of events would have created situations that the treaty was not designed to deal it, namely the defection of countries to the alien cause.

1 The withdrawing country would still have the necessity to maintain secrecy regarding the project, both to prevent being labelled as a 'traitor' by public opinion and to keep 'normal' relations between the rest of the world.
2 Shutting down any base or restricting X-COM activity could be considered as an act of war by the CFN.
3 It would be more profitable to 'sit on the fence' and watch as the war progressed. This would allow the country to access any benefits coming from cooperation of the aliens (namely technology and/or restrictions of alien activity on their territories) while at the same time keeping itself out of the conflict. The status of those countries would be similar to Spain or Sweden during WWII.

Public International Law issues regarding X-COM

Due to the nature of X-COM's objectives and means it can be deduced that the international treaty that established it and the CFN must have several clauses that conflict directly not only with the national laws but also several international treaties. Together with the necessity of preventing mass histeria and general panic if the alien presence was revealed, this must be one of the main reasons why it was chosen for X-COM to remain covert. It remains to be determined what was the formula (legal or otherwise) adopted by the CFN to protect X-COM and its members from legal prosecution by the judiciary of the world states. Any international agreement would in no doubt have to be ratified by the legislative branch of the signatory countries. Some of the issues regarding the daily operations of the force are discribed below:

  • Unsupervised use of public funding. Although it is possible for the CFN to conduct audits, X-COM has complete freedom on how it spends its funding and it seems also able to raise additional money (by whichever means) without needing the authorization of the CFN.
  • Unrestricted use of national territory/airspace. UFO interceptions and ground engagements seem to have no restrictions regarding use of force, together with flyovers of national territories.
  • Freedom of placement of bases on its national territory.

Other curiosities

  • Regarding the choice of Geneva, Switzerland for the first meeting of the Council, it is interesting to notice that Switzerland only publicly became a full member of the UN on 2002.

Membership of the CFN in 2040

Country1999 equivalentLand ContinentOcean/Sea
United StatesUnited States, Canada?North AmericaN. Atlantic, N. Pacific, Caribbean
People's Republic of AlaskaUnited States, Canada?North AmericaN. Pacific, Arctic
EurasiaRussiaEurope/AsiaN. Pacific, Arctic
Euro-SyndicateGermany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, SpainEuropeN. Atlantic, Mediterranean, North Sea
Asian CoalitionChina?, IndiaAsiaSouth China Sea, N. Pacific, Indian
ScandinaviaNoneEuropeNorth Sea, N. Atlantic, Arctic
Neo-JapanJapanAsiaSouth China Sea, N. Pacific, Sea of Japan
New Mexico CooperativeNoneNorth AmericaN. Pacific, S. Pacific, Caribbean
Brazilian UnionBrazilSouth AmericaS. Pacific, S. Atlantic, Antarctic
AustralasiaAustraliaOceania/AsiaS. Pacific, Antarctic
Egyptian CartelEgyptAfricaMediterranean, Indian
Africa CorporationNigeria?, South AfricaAfricaIndian, S. Atlantic, Antarctic
Icelandic UnionNoneEuropeNorth Sea, N. Atlantic, Arctic
Arabian BlocNoneAsia/Africa?Indian, Mediterranean
Federated KoreaNoneAsiaSea of Japan, S. China Sea?
Free ChinaChina?AsiaSea of Japan, N. Pacific
  • According to the official X-COM timeline (distributed with Interceptor) there are only 16 distinct world governments after 2027. This is the result of a worldwide political crisis, with the fall of most governments and the annexation of their territories by their stronger neighbours. Thus, there are not criteria for CFN membership other than representing a viable, internationally recognized nation-state.
  • Some countries clearly represent entire geographic areas: Brazilian Union for South America, Australasia for Australia and the islands (New Guinea, Indonesia, New Zeland, etc.); Euro-Syndicate for Europe; Egyptian Cartel for Northern Africa; Africa Corporation for Southern Africa; Eurasia for Northern Asia; Asian Coalition for Central Asia.
  • In the monthly reports of TFTD, the CFN is renamed to "Committee of Funding Organisations".