First Order of Diplomacy
1. Under the influence of an ever more pressing international agenda, the execution of foreign policy is structured around progressively global issues with strategic objectives in mind. At the same time, taking into account the existence of the new world order based on the interdependence of nations, foreign policy should establish equitable international relations in terms of trade, trade regulation, and growth of investments and in adequate assistance to developing countries.
2. Diplomacy today is an expression of policy, a privileged communication network, a process of organisation of relations between States to facilitate negotiations and development cooperation.
3. A consistent foreign policy must adapt to the multilateral nature of international relations. The balance of interest requires the State to consider the actual or potential activities of its partners in establishing priorities, bearing in mind that any change in the environment can lead to a new opportunity or a threat.
4. In pursuing its foreign policy, it is essential for certain bilateral and multilateral issues are handled in exclusive “face to face” meetings between Heads of State. It is clear that, more often than before, the Heads of State or Government are playing a greater diplomatic role of the first order and are therefore personally responsible for carrying out certain negotiations that are of particular interest to the respective nations.
5. The holding of meetings of Heads of State to resolve complex policy issues is an old diplomatic practice. Generally, they sought ways to end conflicts (or disputes) and especially the wars that had wide repercussions. Over time, mutual concerns have led governments to prevent the emergence of disputes, to agree to some extent on a balance of military forces, and to reconcile their interests (and ambitions) by calling for dialogue among all countries concerned through summit meetings at the highest level of Heads of State.
6. Until relatively recent times, many issues dealt with at these summits were the exclusive responsibility of international organisations or were handled by governments through their diplomatic missions.
7. At these summits or at other meetings referred to as official visit or working visits, personal “direct diplomacy” generally occurs when Heads of State Government negotiate without intermediaries to find solutions to contemporary problems of various kinds.
8. The diplomatic missions, in the case of the summits of Heads of State, now actively participate in the preparatory planning meetings and will provide the required support during the conclaves. Upon completion of these events, the diplomatic missions have the task to follow up and push for the implementation of the action items agreed upon, especially if those items relate to actions to be taken outside of their respective States.
© by Odeen Ishmael