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"The Sokovia Accords. Approved by 117 countries, it states that the Avengers shall no longer be a private organization. Instead, they'll operate under the supervision of a United Nations panel, only when and if that panel deems it necessary."
Thaddeus Ross to the Avengers[src]

The Sokovia Accords are a set of legal documents designed to regulate the activities of enhanced individuals, specifically those who work for either government agencies such as S.H.I.E.L.D. or for private organizations such as the Avengers.

Established by the United Nations and ratified by 117 nations, the accords serve as a "middle point" between the Avengers' desire to secure world peace and the international community's concern over the repercussions of the Avengers' actions.

History

Approaching the Avengers

"For the past four years, you've operated with unlimited power and no supervision. That's an arrangement the governments of the world can no longer tolerate."
Thaddeus Ross to the Avengers[src]
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Thaddeus Ross talks with the Avengers

In 2016, a devastating terrorist attack in Lagos, Nigeria resulted in the deaths of twenty-six people, eleven of the victims being relief workers from the African nation of Wakanda. The attack, which was deemed a public relations disaster, prompted the international community to call on the United Nations to create a system of accountability.

One month after the attack, Thaddeus Ross - who had been recently appointed Secretary of State by President Matthew Ellis - approached the Avengers and stated that public opinion was increasingly divided, with some viewing them as heroes and others viewing them as dangerous vigilantes or worse, living weapons of mass destruction.

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The Avengers debate on the Sokovia Accords

Ross presented archive footage from New York, Washington D.C., Sokovia and Lagos, all showing destruction and civilians fleeing for their lives to justify governmental oversight for the Avengers, telling them that they have to retire if they did not comply, before leaving to allow them to discuss it among themselves.[1]

Impact on S.H.I.E.L.D.

GlennTalbot-BarChat-SokoviaAccords

General Glenn Talbot discusses the Accords

"I'm here because the President sent me. The Sokovia Accords are the law of the land now and he's concerned you might have some undocumented "assets" working for you."
Glenn Talbot to Phil Coulson[src]

Since the end of the HYDRA Uprising the US intelligence agency S.H.I.E.L.D. officially didn't exist anymore. However, it continued to secretly operate as the black ops division of President Matthew Ellis's administration. When the Accords were ratified by the US Government, the President sent Brigadier General Glenn Talbot to speak with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Director Phil Coulson about registering all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s "undocumented enhanced assets", mainly the Inhuman operatives, because that was required by the Accords. Talbot and Coulson had a discussion about the rightfulness of the Accords themselves, compared to the Index of Superhumans once used by S.H.I.E.L.D. and eventually regretted. [2] However, Talbot revealed to the President the location of the Playground. Under the leadership of a new director, Jeffrey Mace, S.H.I.E.L.D. accepted the Accords, therefore becoming legal again.[3]

Questioning Effectivity

Quake Article

The vigilante Quake makes headlines

According to a newspaper clipping several months after the defeat of Hive, Quake's vigilantism made some people question the effectivity of the Accords in actual implementation of the measures.[4]

Unintended Consequences

"If it weren't for those Accords, Vision would have been right here."
"I remember your signature on those papers, Colonel."
"That's right. And I'm pretty sure I paid for that."
James Rhodes and Thaddeus Ross[src]
The Watchdogs, with the help of Senator Ellen Nadeer, got the list from the Accords of several Inhumans around the world and their locations. They caused blackouts in major cities around the world, and one of the Watchdogs presented himself as an Inhuman to the world in order to incite anti-Inhuman bigotry, claiming that more blackouts would occur if the registration of Inhumans did not stop. Other Watchdog members used the blackout in order to kill 17 registered Inhumans.[5]

In 2018, the Infinity War came upon Earth when the Black Order arrived in search of the Time and Mind Stones, which they intended to collect for their adoptive father Thanos, who intended to wipe out half of all life in the universe. After Iron Man disappeared in the aftermath of the Attack on Greenwich Village and Vision was almost killed by Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight, it became clear to James Rhodes that the Accords had seriously weakened the Avengers. After the fugitive Avengers arrived after rescuing Vision, Thaddeus Ross ordered Rhodes to arrest them even though, as Rogers pointed out, the remaining Avengers needed all the help they could get. Rhodes, already regretting his support for the Accords and alienated by Ross's warped priorities, ended the call and went with the fugitives to Wakanda, knowing he would be court-martialled.[6]

Regulations

"How does this registration thing work? You put us on a list then what?"
"Well, we collect fingerprints, DNA samples. We run a power analysis to categorize your threat level which is also used to determine health risks."
"Fine, I'll register, sign me up."
Lincoln Campbell and Glenn Talbot[src]
The currently known regulations established by the Sokovia Accords include:
  • Any enhanced individuals who agree to sign must register with the United Nations and provide biometric data such as fingerprints and DNA samples.
    • Those with secret identities must reveal their legal names and true identities to the United Nations.
    • Those with innate powers must submit to a power analysis, which will categorize their threat level and determine potential health risks.
    • Those with innate powers must also wear tracking bracelets at all times.
  • Any enhanced individuals who sign are prohibited from taking action in any country other than their own, unless they are first given clearance by either that country's government or by a United Nations subcommittee.
    • Governments are forbidden from deploying enhanced individuals outside of their own national borders, unless those individuals are given clearance as described above. The same rule also applies to non-government organizations that operate on a global scale (including S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers).
  • Any enhanced individuals who do not sign will not be allowed to take part in any police, military, or espionage activities, or to otherwise participate in any national or international conflict, even in their own country.
    • As a corollary, they will not be allowed to participate in any active missions undertaken by private or governmental law enforcement/military/intelligence organizations (such as S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers).
  • Any enhanced individuals who use their powers to break the law (including those who take part in extralegal vigilante activities), or are otherwise deemed to be a threat to the safety of the general public, may be detained indefinitely without trial.
    • If an enhanced individual violates the Accords, or obstructs the actions of those enforcing the Accords, they may likewise be arrested and detained indefinitely without trial.
  • The use of technology to bestow individuals with innate superhuman capabilities is strictly regulated, as is the use and distribution of highly advanced technology (such as Asgardian and Chitauri weaponry).
    • The creation of self-aware artificial intelligences is completely prohibited.
  • The Avengers will no longer be a private organization and will operate under the supervision of the United Nations.

For the purposes of the Accords, an "enhanced individual" is defined as any person, human or otherwise, with superhuman capabilities. This includes individuals whose powers are an innate function of their biology as well as individuals who utilize highly advanced technology to grant themselves superhuman capabilities. However, individuals with advanced prostheses do not seem to be considered "enhanced", even if their prostheses give them capabilities beyond those of ordinary humans. 

All members of the Avengers are subject to the same conditions as enhanced individuals, even if they are not enhanced themselves: Black Widow was required to sign so she could continue serving on the Avengers, and Hawkeye was incarcerated on the Raft after violating the Accords.

Key Players

Ratifying Nations

Supporters

Opponents

Appearances

Appearances for Sokovia Accords

In chronological order:

Gallery

Trivia

  • The Sokovia Accords are a version of the Superhuman Registration Act from the Civil War comic series. The Act is a piece of legislation that required all enhanced individuals to reveal their secret identities and disclose their powers for regulation.

References

External Links