27. Essential use of diplomatic language

4 Apr

Essential use of diplomatic language

1. The diplomatic communication is a privileged mode of work which is often complex, but which provides liaison in international dialogue between the States. While communications between the states are in constant development, they require the full enforcement of rules and procedures established for such actions, according to the nature and importance of the matters to be discussed and agreed upon. Unlike other communication systems, the diplomatic network is not neutral, since they further the interests, of wills, powers and rivalries, and for the conciliation of vital interests.

2. In essence, the diplomatic language is called a cautious form of expression that gives the opportunity to stay, to some extent, below the exacerbation of statements that can generate “hostility.” The exercise of diplomacy has created expressions and idioms which are essential to communicate with propriety not only in this task, but also in the diverse international settings.

3. The essential use in certain oral and written presentations of presidents, foreign ministers, diplomatic agents, referred to as the professional language of diplomacy, is the only instrument that allows, through cautious gradation, to make a serious warning to counterparts without using threatening words, in accordance with the rules of international coexistence. The language allows for properly handling conflict situations or critical foreign policy, even in conciliatory terms, and without being considered as provocation or rudeness.

4. Therefore, statesmen, foreign ministers, diplomats and international civil servants have adopted a series of conventional phrases that, however amiable they may seem, convey a message that their counterparts clearly understand. Thus, when one of those other high officials informs that his government “cannot remain indifferent” to certain international controversy, it is clear he means that, without doubt, his government will intervene in this dispute. If his letter or speech uses phrases such as “my government is concerned,” then it is obvious to everyone that his government intends to adopt a strong push in a particular case.

5. If it says “in that case my government would be inclined to carefully reconsider its position” it means that friendship is about to break down. When it says “my government feels obliged to express reservations with regard to . . ,” it actually can be translated to mean that “my government will not allow . . .” The term “in that case my government will be forced to consider its own interests” or “to declare itself free of compromises,” indicates that there will be a deterioration in relations.

6. If a foreign government warns that a certain action on its part would be considered “as an unfriendly act,” the government to which the statement is directed must interpret the words as a tacit threat to measures of retaliation recognised by the international community.

7. In this regard, saying that “it compelled to decline all responsibility for the consequences” means that it about to provoke an incident that would lead to enforceable actions. And if asked, even in terms of the most exquisite courtesy, for a response, for example, “before six in the evening,” such communication is considered an ultimatum.

8. While a professional diplomat will be very careful and selective in his diplomatic language, any careless language used by one who is inexperienced or ignorant of these forms of diplomatic communication, my exacerbate the gravity of a situation greater than it really is. Thus, diplomacy requires the application of intelligence and tact in the conduct of official relations between states.

© by Odeen Ishmael


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