38. Negotiations in international relations

8 Aug

Negotiations in international relations

1. The search for a convergence of interests is the normal path of compromise and conciliation. Bargaining in the field of diplomacy is often conceived as a means to explore, confront and reconcile conflicting positions, in order to obtain a satisfactory result, or settlement acceptable to the parties involved.

2. In the process of evolving diplomacy, States tend to develop procedures for conciliation of interests and also of healing in addition to preventing conflicts and clashes. An international negotiation thus ensures the adequate and successive adaptations of the relations between States, which in some cases are realised by treaties.

3. The negotiation in the framework of diplomacy, rather than an essential function of this, is a characteristic of diplomacy itself. One of its significant roles of the diplomat in the performance of their duties is that he must be prepared to negotiation even what may seem to be matters of “minor” importance.

4. Negotiation in the field of diplomacy cannot be improvised; it requires knowledge, talent and experience, since by its very nature, it demands forethought and calculation, and must have a prospective and systematic character. Diplomatic negotiation is now the most important area of foreign policy operated by peaceful means. The international projection of a country is reflected in the quality of its diplomacy. Thus, strengthening and professionalization of the foreign service are matters of national interest.

5. For the process of negotiation, governments rely heavily on the reports of diplomatic agents to enable a consistent view on the nature of political leadership in the receiving State – an essential aspect of information required by diplomatic negotiators.

6. The expert diplomatic negotiators usually develop a comprehensive strategic plan with their timetable, which takes into account three major alternatives: to examine the largest cluster of demands; to look at the minimum demands; and to reach a point of balance of the claim for each of the parties.

7. The strategic plan, among other important aspects, includes not just the presentation and defence of their arguments, but also preparing replies to the arguments of the other party, not to mention the influence that such an exercise can bear on non-participating States who are interested in may at a later point want to question the results.

8. Before each negotiation, there must be a careful evaluation of the case of the counter-party based on its own merits. The analysis starts with the thorough and timely description and the precise objectives of the case motivating the negotiation. Calculation ahead and patience are two important virtues of a professional diplomat and these must be applied in this process.

9. The negotiators must also be aware when they negotiate with people from different cultures and ethnicities that may be very different from their own. In this regard, they must be respectful of the dignity of the counter-party, while ensuring that similar respect is shown to them.

10. Historically, from the fifteenth century Italian states had established broad and active commercial networks which gathered information required for political action. Based on this antecedent, negotiations between sovereign States should be designed as an activity that requires continuity through the use of resident missions.

11. Diplomatic negotiation today has become an essential diplomatic technique to promote national interests. Likewise, it has established itself as the first and most effective means for the peaceful resolution of international conflicts.

© by Odeen Ishmael

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