21. Diplomatic relations and sovereignty

16 Mar

Diplomatic relations and sovereignty

1. International law imposes no legal obligation on a State to establish or to maintain diplomatic relations with another State. It is up to each State to assess its interests and to decide if it will establish diplomatic relations with another. This decision usually depends essentially on its needs, its capacity for openness to nations outside of its geographical proximity, and its own productive and commercial activity.

2. International agencies and inter-country meetings help to broaden the notion of diplomatic relations, provide original channels of communication between governments, and accept the participation of forces and entities other than States. Currently, the universal extension of the European concept of state, involves the widespread classical model of diplomatic relations. Traditionally, states were the only ones authorised to establish such relationships, but now its scope has expanded and can be exercised equally by international organisations and recognised “liberation movements.”

3. The establishment of diplomatic relations is by mutual consent and is based on mutual interest and on the principle of legal equality of States. The states involved must accord recognition to each other and accept each other’s right to sovereignty and self-determination.

4. The establishment of diplomatic relations is formalised by an agreement by which the States appoint plenipotentiaries to sign the relevant joint agreement comprising the determination of both countries to strengthen ties of friendship and developing cooperation on the principle of legal equality of States, mutual respect, sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs. This document will be published in both countries. This essential bond of friendship provides, among other relevant actions, negotiations (at various levels) and promotes cooperation. Similarly, the establishment of diplomatic relations is essential to obtain the corresponding international support on the various occasions when nations it.

5. The establishment of diplomatic relations involving the exchange of resident diplomatic missions. However, the law of legation does not necessarily determine that this is a primary requirement and it is optional in this regard. In deciding to establish resident diplomatic missions, States have to take into account the desirability of such exchange orders based on their economic, political, legal, cultural, science and technological needs. However, whatever decision is taken will affect the principle of reciprocity.

6. An alternative method of setting up a permanent diplomatic mission is the establishment of linkages that are agreed between States through a concurrent chief of mission, usually with the rank of ambassador. The head of mission who is accredited to two or more States, in the same region, is based in a State considered suitable for the sending State’s interests. If a State does not have a resident mission in another country, relationships are usually developed and maintained through contacts of their respective representatives at the UN.

7. Without doubt, the cessation of diplomatic relations is often more serious than the failure to establish them. Usually the rupture of diplomatic relations is bilateral, although there is also a collective mode in this context. The cessation of diplomatic relations shall be final when the if a country has ceased to exist as a sovereign state. It will be temporary due to the overthrow of government to which a sending State has an accredited Head of Mission and does not recognise the new government. In such a situation, the sending State will withdraw its diplomatic mission. With the agreement of the governments involved, in case of termination or suspension of relations between two countries a friendly country of both can handle the interests of State that has withdrawn its mission. Strictly speaking, the cessation of diplomatic relations does not determine necessarily the breaking of consular relations.

 © by Odeen Ishmael

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