40. Peculiarities in diplomatic practice

14 Aug

Peculiarities in diplomatic practice

1. A recurring feature that characterises many diplomatic efforts is the professional skill that must be demonstrated by diplomatic agents in carrying out actions that require the most exquisite courtesy.

2. It is evident that the practice of contemporary diplomacy cannot be confined only to this traditionally effective method. The diplomat, as part of his responsibilities as executor of the State’s foreign policy should be trained, among other important activities, to analyse, evaluate and also act accordingly, given the opportunities, risks and antagonisms that often interact in the dynamics of international politics.

3. In this regard, a large number of countries that are part of the international community have been perfecting their relevant legislation, and related bodies, under which they have institutionalised diplomatic functions. They have established a hierarchical structure in different positions, grades or categories which the officer, after preparation, climbs up the system through promotion.

4. Some governments appoint special officials versed in diplomatic law to their Foreign Ministries, Some are also posted to their embassies in different countries where they provide special assistance to the ambassadors, particularly at times of diplomatic negotiations.

5. Some countries place special importance on the value of these experts in diplomatic law and actually discourage them from leaving the service of the State for careers in the private sector.

6. While diplomacy was considered initially as a series of actions in one direction, it now tends to be awarded great importance to the dual aspect of the diplomatic function, namely, the relationship of the head of the permanent diplomatic mission with his own government and his dealings with the host government. Thus, in his dual role, he must convince not only his government, but also the host government as well.

7. Actually, his most difficult task is to convince himself that his action is correct. This confirms the validity of the essential requirement for the exercise of diplomacy when the diplomat’s bargaining power should prove to be effective.

8. In discharging its responsibilities, the diplomatic mission should refrain from offending the government and the institutions of the receiving State. In essence, the role of the mission is to promote peace and harmony, and this requires it to maintain a serene restraint at all times and to quickly smooth out any difficulties which may arise. But it must always act with firmness in defending the interests of the sending State without any display of arrogance or improper behaviour by its diplomats.

9. It is essential that the diplomat has a special provision for human relationships, enabling him to be well received even during a difficult period. Diplomatic actions are marked by the personality of the diplomats and high State officials. Consequently, a diplomat’s action must project that he is well educated person, cultured, with the appropriate good manners, capable, and with full mastery of the principles, rules and procedures governing diplomatic functions, and extensive knowledge of international relations. He must also be equipped also with the skill, tact and restraint required for conducting any diplomatic exercise.

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