Interplanetary Treaty Organisation (ITO)
published Thursday, 14 May 2009, 20:00 by ZPSHicks
The Interstellar Treaty Organisation, ITO, is an alliance of countries that wishes to further the exploration of space. To do so it provides a stable social and economical platform on Earth in order to nuture the commercial space sector. During its century long existence it has focused on expansion through the spreading of cultural and economic goods, specifically staying away from using its armed forces in anything but defense. Although diplomacy is its primary vector it maintains control over a formiddable force of hardware and personnel.
As the 21st century drew to an end, Europe was experiencing an economic boom. Its population ached for access to space, there was mounting pressure for faster, better, cheaper ways to get to orbit and the moon. The commercial aerospace industry had seen a huge increase in demand for materials brought to and from space, more and more satellites and hightech manufacturing facilities were put up.
There was a small but growing space tourism industry coming to life, with a space station already in orbit catering to a rich clientele and a similar habitat under construction on the moon.
But a sense of worry was growing, that the economic boom would not last or that human stupidity would force us to abandon all space efforts again. Something needed to be done to ensure a stable base from which the expansion into space could continue. That materialized in 2096, when a proposed alliance was ratified by western European countries and the Interplanetary Treaty Organization was created. It's goal would be the pursuit of peaceful expansion, leveraging the combined economic resources and military might of its member countries.
To keep the territories stable ITO has been hard at work knitting together the populations of all these incredibly diverse cultures. While each nation retains their sovereignty, ITO has implemented a series of standards designed to allow the freedom of movement of people, goods and services across its nations. The same basic infrastructure and education is in place across all countries, creating a common foundation between the people. ITO also provides financial aid to countries to boost their standards of living and industrialization.
They've pushed especially hard on education, with ITO-run schools and universities being particularly prevalent in South America and the Middle East. In little over a century ITO has successfully eased much of the tension in what used to be the hotspots of the world. Its number of nations grew quickly: In a series of expansions taking place over sixty years, ITO spread from its original founding countries to the current list of over eighty countries. Amongst its members are almost all European and Middle Eastern countries, large parts of Asia, Russia, the United States of America, and most countries in Africa and South America.
Especially noteworthy was the 3rd Expansion in 2121, where ITO dedicated their resources to financing the construction of Zero Point Energy reactors to all its member nations. The gift of limitless energy won many countries over that were previously thought impossible to persuade peacefully.
To this day ITO maintains direct control over all orbital traffic within its territory; no individual nations are allowed to operate aerospace vehicles without the use of ITO-trained pilots. Concern has been raised over this level of control and potential for abuse, but ITO maintains that a unified command and control structure is required to safely operate in space and ensure constant growth in the space industry. The ITO countries are responsible for almost 70% of all space-faring traffic (the remaining traffic is generated from the CoSEA territories)
ITO is organized into the following political offices, scientific endeavours, civilian programs and military structures: