A publication of the Bureau of Foreign Affairs of the Realm of Balder.
A New Term Begins
Statsminister & Cabinet Appointments
On 15th August 2021, King North East Somerset officially opened parliament and appointed J. S. Talleyrand as Statsminister. This is J. S. Talleyrand's fourth consecutive term in the post, a record in Balder, and means that at the end of this term he will have held the position continuously for 1 year.
Opening Parliament, King NES commented that such a term of service "is to be commended." and set out his hopes and aims for his government in the coming term.
Following his appointment J.S. Talleyrand appointed Kazaman as Deputy Statsminister and Minister of War and Foreign Affairs, and Sarah Bread as Deputy Minister of Engagement and Culture. An advert for the position of Minister of World Assembly Affairs has been placed and the Government is looking for keen Citizens, Residents or WA Members in Balder to apply for the position. J. S. Talleyrand also outlined the five pillars of core policy for his new government and noted there was much to be achieved: "We have much to do, so we must get to work immediately. Because the future can't wait. We deserve it, but we must work for it."
A Pillar of NationStates Retires
On 4 September a sad day dawned for Balder; for it was the day that OnderKelkia announced his resignation as Vice Delegate and Crown Prince of Balder, a decision made as part of his wider retirement from the game. On the occasion, he made the following remarks:
It has been my honour and privilege to serve as the Vice Delegate and Crown Prince of our region since February 2019. I am therefore sorry to announce that I recently decided to retire from the position (including the ex-officio roles as President of the Lagting and Chief Justice), as well as from my separate appointment as Chief of Defence, with effect from this public announcement. This decision forms part of a wider retirement I have decided to undertake (or, in some places, to complete) from many of my most significant and time-consuming responsibilities in NationStates. In retirement, for the immediate future at least, I will continue to serve as Prince of Jomsborg, to contribute towards upholding the in-game security of our region. However, my future role will solely be focused on on-site security and I will not be involved in regional policy discussions at any level.
I first came to Balder in October 2011 when our region was created, when I was proud to be a member of our Constitutional Convention. My first Balder nation Wicker table has the third-longest residency in our region and the longest held by any gameplayer. Thanks to the efforts of several dedicated citizens, most notably our Monarch North East Somerset, and steadfast regional allies, initial attempts to subvert Balder by hostile UDL- and FRA-aligned elements were thwarted. Instead, Balder has evolved into a free democracy and ultimately a constitutional monarchy, firmly independent from external raider or defender forces intent on threatening our sovereignty.
While I have been a member of Balder for almost a decade, I have only been involved as an official in our premier governing institutions since mid-2016, when I was pleased to be entrusted with the position of Minister of Integration. I was honoured to be nominated by the Storting and appointed as Statsminister for the first time in August 2016. In total, I served as Statsminister for 10 parliamentary terms of two months, split across three distinct continuous periods (3 consecutive terms from August 2016 to February 2017, 4 consecutive terms from June 2017 to February 2018, 3 consecutive terms from August 2018 to February 2019), serving as Foreign Minister or Chief Adviser in the intervening months. As Statsminister, it was my pleasure to lead the Statsraadet in delivering on the promises that I and the MPs who supported me were elected on. Among other achievements, we made a highly successful, active start to the regional Discord server; improved outreach to on-site nations through internal naturalisation telegrams; launched and carried forward our WA Expedition; secured bilateral treaties with United Kingdom, The North Pacific and The West Pacific; contributed to building and deftly managed tensions within the GCR Sovereignty Accords; and organised an impressive and impactful intervention in the Lazarus affair (perhaps too impactful for the liking of some raiders and defenders alike).
When I became Vice Delegate and Crown Prince in early 2019, my focus moved from managing and coordinating the performance of our government to facilitating and providing the conditions essential for maintaining a secure and free region with a positive long-term outlook. Part of this role entailed practical tasks such as efficiently determining citizenship applications, reviewing on-site security developments, publishing and promoting our WA Expedition runestones, and directing military operations. However, I have also aimed to contribute to the strategic direction of our region, mainly through my advice to the Monarch, especially on diplomatic and security matters, and to a lesser extent my input into specific executive and legislative decisions, such as in designing the constitutional reforms that led to the present bicameral legislative structure. Under the Monarch’s leadership, the foundations of Balder have become stronger. Externally, we have formed new alliances (for instance with NPO and TEP), settled previous conflicts (as in our rapprochement with TSP), strengthened several pre-existing relationships (notably our alliances with TWP and TNP) and even pursued new strategic initiatives (such as Inter-Regional Chat). Internally, while progress has been slow at times, a suitable balance between measures for upholding security and freedom has been pursued with great judgement and care, contributing to an upturn in regional activity.
At a later stage in my NationStates career, it has been a pleasure to actively serve as a government official here. While I already had substantial experience of regional leadership elsewhere before I first became Statsminister in August 2016, working in Balder has enabled me to participate in roles (as an elected politician) and an area of world politics (as a GCR) in which my prior experience was relatively limited (to my pre-2010 political careers in the LKE and GB&I and my Delegacy of The Rejected Realms respectively). I hope that my contributions as Statsminister and as Crown Prince have brought benefits to the region, alongside the work of others. I am confident that a cohesive framework is in place which will allow our region to excel in the future. While my decision to retire as Crown Prince is driven by my wider wish to retire from the game more generally, I also feel that my work as Crown Prince has perhaps reached an eventual ending point and the region will be well-served in the long run by other capable leaders assuming additional, new responsibilities. I give my best wishes to the current and future leaders of Balder in guiding the region forward successfully.
Notwithstanding the retirement of such a great figure, the position of Crown Prince must be filled. In his place, the King nominated Fuzzy, Prince of Ribe, a distinguished longtime servant of Balder to serve as Crown Prince and Vice Delegate. Fuzzy's nomination is currently being voted on by the Storting, as required by regional law.
As the King has said, while we profoundly regret OnderKelkia's decision to retire we fully respect his decision and wish him a happy, well-earned retirement.
With a new term underway, one of the government's main objectives is Balder's new Roleplay. Set inbetween the years 1811 and 1821, it is a political roleplay which follows the actions and reactions of a number of player controlled nations based on a fictional map.
The government is encouraging members to get factbooks up and running and to start making decisions, and is always looking for new players to claim a spot on the map and join. Anyone interested can find more information on our forums here: balder.boards.net/board/36/hringhorni-port
Balder's Game Nights
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Balder's 2021 Battleship Tournament Scoreboard
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The winners of Balder's Skribbl game night of 4 September 2021
Balder has recently organised not one but two game nights, with more to come! Thanks to our lovely Deputy Minister of Engagement and Culture, Sarah, Balder has already hosted two games (Battleship and Skribbl) as well as an AMA with the King of Balder, NES, on the RMB.
Notifications for future game nights will be posted on our discord and the RMB. Ambassadors and foreign residents are welcome to join in. If there's a game you'd really like to play, please let us know!