HOPE ONE FORMS SPHERE CONSULTIVE AND ADVISORY COUNCIL
At a joint press conference announced only hours ago, representatives of all major powers currently in the Sphere (designated Hope 1 by the Federation) have announced that a Secret Emergency Summit meeting had been called following the recent Kharian-Johvani conflict. The Summit brought together representatives from the United Federation of Planets, the Johvani Democratic Cooperative, the Romulan Star Empire, the Cardassian Union and the Kharian Empire. In their press release the representatives announced the formation of a Sphere Consultive and Advisory Council, a body that will allow the governments of the various powers to communicate formally regarding relations within the sphere, as well as negotiate items of contention in the area.
Additionally the Council has been authorized by the various governments to conduct research into the technology and workings of the sphere. Due to past hostilities, the research will be conducted by private corporations, with contract terms determined and negotiated by the council. The contracts will be funded by the United Federation of Planets, as it holds legal sovereignty over the area. However, all information except that the UFP deems vital to Sphere security will be released to the Johvani Democratic Cooperative, and a wide variety of data will be routinely declassified and distributed to the various member governments of the Council. The representatives declined to comment on whether private corporations would be given control of key sphere systems such as the Sphere doors or sun shields.
Experts have speculated that this move signals a resignation by the various governments of claims to universal jurisdiction over the sphere and its contents. However, the majority of the representatives at the conference declined to comment on this, and the JDC representative explicitly denied that it could be interpreted as such.
The Federation representative, Ambassador Rachel Mawksly, was secretly brought all the way from the Alpha Quadrant by fast courier to participate in these negotiations. She hailed the agreement as a precursor to a new era of peace and cooperation in the sphere. "Now that we have a venue for discussion of problems I'm confident that all items of contention can be worked out in a way that is beneficial to all parties." She also gave a good deal of credit to Ambassador Du Lac, former CO of Sentinel Station, the Federation Outpost in the area. "Ambassador Du Lac laid the ground-work for what we were able to achieve here today, and I know she will be overjoyed to learn of this agreement."
The Cardassian representative, Ambassador Kota Magar also saw the agreement as issuing in a new balance within the sphere. "The Cardassian people look forward to a both mutually beneficial and harmonious co-existence with the other powers." The Romulan, Johvani and Kharian representatives were not available for comment. Speculation is rife that Johvani Prime Minister Sorr was forced to that table by the recent wave of protests sparked by his attack on the Kharian ship KIN'VAELYN, an attack that resulted in the destruction of the Johvani Defense Fleet. Sorr negotiated in secret, and brought the Summit agreement to the Johvani Senate immediately before the press conference, where they approved his decision with a good deal of fanfare. Experts have opined that Sorr's position, although weakened by the recent unrest, was shored-up by his decision to broker a peace-deal. They point to the recent bill he pushed through the Senate, which authorized the rebuilding and modernization of the Johvani Defense Fleet, as proof that Sorr's grip on power is still firm.
As the new Sphere Consultive Council begins to create contracts to investigate the sphere and its technology, private corporations have begun preparing to bid on these contracts. In particular there is speculation that Copernicus Corporation and Bio-Gen Ltd.; the two major corporations with a significant presence in the sphere, may end up vying for the lucrative contracts. Bio-Gen Delta CEO Angelina Sharapova announced "Today we have been presented with the opportunity to bid on lucrative contracts within the Sphere itself. In an attempt to keep non-human interest from a monopoly on such contracts, Bio-Gen Delta Quadrant will take part in the procedure. It is our expressed hope to further the development of Genetic solutions to human problems by participating in this unique opportunity." It is unknown if Bio-Gen is referring only to contracts regarding Builder genetic engineering technology, or if this move heralds a shift of the focus of the company. Copernicus Corportation representatives could not be reached for comment.
Federation News Service