Ad hoc diplomacy
1. In the field of diplomatic representation there are certain periods set aside by a State for the precise task or addressing a particular issue. This is generally handled by a “special mission.”
2. In order to recognise its particular character, the actions corresponding to such missions tend to be framed in the field of ad hoc diplomacy. This is considered the oldest form of diplomacy and is utilized for casual, temporary and specific issues. For example, it is applied to peacefully resolve certain conflicts, to resolve an issue of common interest and also to negotiate peace.
3. While today sending a special mission is always subject to the agreement approving the receiving State, the responsibilities of the mission should be subject to the mutual agreement of the States concerned. Special missions are not governed by rules pertaining to the establishment of embassies and permanent missions or the establishment of diplomatic relations, as pointed out provisions of the Convention of New York on Special Missions, 1969.
4. However, this international legal instrument does not regulate all forms of execution of ad hoc diplomacy. Its scope is limited to special missions in bilateral diplomacy, excluding all other forms such as limited temporary delegations in multilateral relations. The said Convention does not regulate the composition of special missions, but it is not uncommon for a president or a foreign minister to lead a special mission. This fact is recognised that Convention.
5. At the head of the special mission is usually a high government official or a diplomat in office. He may perform this work with the office of the special mission itself, or be designated temporarily by one of the categories corresponding to heads of special missions, such as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary on Special Mission or the Ambassador at Large. If the special mission is for a limited period, he may be appointed as Ambassador-Head of this mission.
6. It is always advantageous if the head of the special mission is known in the receiving State, and particularly if he has worked as a senior diplomat in that State. If the head of the special mission is at the level of a president, (or ex-president, prime minister or foreign minister, it might be also useful if he has close ties with the Head of State and the foreign minister of the receiving State.
7. Please note finally that members of special missions should have, in principle, the nationality of the sending State. Both nationals of the receiving State, such as third States shall not be part of those missions without going through an agreement to that effect. They may instead be part of these officials of permanent missions accredited to the receiving state.
8. The receiving country may refuse to accept an assignment where the number of members is excessive, and object, just as the inclusion of any person in it, without having to explain its decision. Remember that unless otherwise agreed, members of these missions are prevented from exercising in the receiving state business or professional activities for their own profit. In this regard, the receiving State is empowered to declare persona non grata to any member of staff of the special mission.
Copyright © 2012 by Odeen Ishmael