Archive | September, 2013

44. Diplomacy in the foreign service

20 Sep

Diplomacy in the foreign service

1. Foreign policy forms an essential part of national development. In this context, its diplomatic activity must be careful and appropriate to ensure, as far as possible, the effectiveness of actions in the international community.

2. The foreign service is the permanent organ of the State and is entrusted with the task of representing and running, according to the instructions and guidelines of the Foreign Ministry, the foreign policy the country. Its duty is to safeguard, protect and promote the interests of the nation in foreign States or international organisations, and at international conferences and meetings.

3. The terms “foreign service” and “diplomats” are not synonymous. The diplomatic corps is the set of accredited officials sent to a particular State by other countries for the performance of permanent bilateral diplomatic work. In contrast, the foreign service refers generally to all officers exercising diplomatic and consular work abroad, either in embassies to States, delegations (or permanent missions), international organisations, consulates and on special assignments.

4. In accordance with the requirements of this time, for the proper execution of his responsibilities, the diplomat should be a genuine representative of his nation, fully engaged in defending the fundamental interests of his country. He must be equipped with the necessary expertise, constantly updated, and should have the necessary experience in diplomatic work to facilitate the effectiveness of actions in the foreign environment.

5. While the diplomat functions as a political analyst and an agent, he should also encourage investment of foreign businesses in his State and, therefore, he should develop an understanding of the operations of international business and economics. Primarily, however, his main responsibility is to promote friendly relations and cooperation with the receiving State.

6. To ensure success in his work, the diplomat must be properly trained and must regularly update his knowledge while gathering experience in his field. This will enable him to acquire the fundamentals and skills necessary in diplomacy and thus aiding in the achievement of the plans and objectives of the foreign policy of the State with due efficiency.

 © by Odeen Ishmael


43. Importance of the Foreign Ministry

13 Sep

Importance of the Foreign Ministry

1. The Foreign Ministry is a specialised institution for the implementation of foreign policy. It also has the responsibility to help in the direction of the policy and be a key factor in its formulation.

2. For the relevance of its actions, consistent with the level and importance of its responsibility, it is essential to professionalise this Ministry. Throughout the year, the Ministry diversifies and expands the expression of the interests of the State.

3. The contemporary Foreign Ministry must develop an annual business plan with broad coverage, consistent with the permanent interests of the State. This must include the programmes, including the specific objectives, of every aspect of its responsibility and jurisdiction. With respect to the objectives, the plan must specify the means of achieving them.

4. The Ministry is the political-administrative organ of the State officially recognised by the international community for the assumption of obligations between States and with other subjects of international law. Consequently, the conclusion of any form of international commitments made under the direction, control or knowledge of Ministry concerned, must ensure the fundamental principle of unity of action outside the State.

5. One of the essential roles of the Foreign Ministry is to act as a management centre for establishing and maintaining effective relationships with other States. This essential bond of friendship provides, among other relevant actions, negotiations and the promotion of cooperation.

6. Equally essential for the Foreign Ministry is its role in getting support from friendly States in cases of applications to international agencies and other nations when international backing is of vital importance.

7. Historically, the Byzantine Empire was the first state to organise within its administration a foreign affairs department, which trained its agents in diplomatic methods. Much of this training, apparently inherited from the Venetians, was not necessarily lawful according to current standards, but the primary task of those “diplomatic agents” was to obtain information that Empire needed to maintain and strengthen its power.

8. In those times, the Empire’s requirements involved developing plans and strategies, including the use of espionage and conspiracy, to achieve the objectives of its foreign policy. The Empire’s goals obviously were not limited by conventions regulating its excesses in the ten existing international community.

9. Although such actions are proscribed in the course of the current open diplomacy, recent history records instances of diplomats (and international staff) who have been declared persona non grata, justified by accusations of espionage or interference in the internal politics of receiving States.

10. However, it is valid to qualify what is termed “correct reporting” by a diplomat in accordance with the exercise of the functions of observation and information, as defined by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations which specify lawful means for such reporting within the limits permitted by international law. This work, if done efficiently, will significantly assist the respective Foreign Ministry to make its foreign policy decisions in a transparent manner. 

 © by Odeen Ishmael