The First Babel Conference was a historic meeting between representatives of United Earth, the Confederacy of Vulcan, the Andorian Empire, the United Planets of Tellar, and Alpha Centauri, as well as a number of observing races and cultures. The meeting brought about the creation of the United Federation of Planets with the signing of the Articles of Federation in the Candlestick Auditorium in San Francisco, Earth, on 12th August 2161 (reference stardate 0/8706.06). (ENT episode: "Zero Hour"; ENT novel: Last Full Measure; ST novel: Articles of the Federation; FASA RPG module: Star Fleet Intelligence Manual: Agent's Orientation Sourcebook)
The Rigellians were involved in negotiations for the founding of the Federation, at the First Babel Conference. The Tellarites bullied the Rigellians, while the Andorians laid claim to some of the Rigel territories, despite never having even been within 10 parsecs of them. The Rigellians were terrified of Andorian aggression, but remained neutral on the issue of UFP membership. They requested 10 billion credits from Earth in exchange for a pro-incorporation vote, which the Earth ambassador Humphrey Stannis felt to be blackmail. The Rigellian ambassador later revised this down to 8 billion credits, to cover their administrative costs of joining. However, according to the Rigellians, crude threats of Andorian reprisals forced their signature to the Articles, and the Rigellians became, by some counts, a founding member of the United Federation of Planets. (ST reference: Spaceflight Chronology; TOS novel: The Final Reflection)
- In the continuity of the Spaceflight Chronology, which was followed by The Final Reflection, these Rigellians were founding members of the UFP, along with Alpha Centaurans, though this was later contradicted by Star Trek: Enterprise, which left these two races out. The FASA RPG normally follows the SFC time-line, but in this instance explicitly made the Rigellians non-signatory. It may be that the Rigellians signed shortly afterwards, and so may or may not be considered a founding member.
An Orion delegation stood with the Rigellian delegation, as interested parties but non-signatories, where they made good impressions as members of older, wiser races. The Federation delegates debated whether the Orions should be allowed to join, weighing the potential wealth of their financial system against their practice of slavery. Fearing that the arrangement would diminish their corporate empire, the Botchok Planetary Congress then offered to have the Colonies join the Federation as full-status members for a "fair and equitable" compensation fee of 10 trillion credits, infuriating the five signatories who thought it a request for a bribe or a demand for tribute (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Federation). Members offered to help the Orions reform themselves and join their new currency-free economy, but this offer was rejected as the Orions predicted that they would be better off subverting Federation ideals instead and that there would still be a demand for criminal services. (Last Unicorn RPG module: Star Trek: The Next Generation Core Game Book)