Challenges to diplomatic representation
1. The international prestige of the country depends increasingly on the coherence of its foreign policy and the proper attitude of its officials in the foreign service, particularly their loyalty and their ability and talent to safeguard and promote the interests of their nation.
2. It is clear that a thorough knowledge of international relations coupled with prudence and consistency also generates authority and the necessary strength to defend the interests of the state itself.
3. The new international calls for a multidisciplinary approach to address contemporary challenges where coordination problems require diplomacy and strategy underpinned by internal consensus. An effective diplomacy requires clear and precise goals, in addition to the skilful use of modern means of communication and objective perception of the current international issues.
4. The State, by the same sense of responsibility, consonant with the public trust given to it by its citizens, should be represented abroad by its “more worthy” citizens who also are required to have proper training and experience in diplomacy, and also skills essential to ensure effective management.
5. Thus, a State can project an adequate and reliable image by effectively facilitating the understanding of the idiosyncrasies, culture and levels of social development of its nationals, essential for obtaining certain foreign policy objectives in the current era of knowledge and global information.
6. Aptly, the efforts of the economic thrust and trade today form an essential part of the diplomatic activity of a considerable number of countries, especially regarding trade promotion, to channel foreign investment into the country and also to provide protection and assistance of their nationals abroad in these fields.
7. In practical terms, to perform his tasks properly, the head of a diplomatic mission should be properly informed about the state of relations between the State he represents and the receiving State (or international organisation), and the results his State intends to derive from such relationships as a whole. Regarding specific issues, the mission must at least be provided with the general instructions that will guide all its actions in each particular case.
8. A streamlined foreign policy must be implemented with a highly professional foreign service accustomed to working with a consistent sense, and in accordance with strategic guidelines set out by the government. Those persons working in the foreign service must continue to develop themselves professionally and must inculcate qualities of discipline, order and persistence.
9. The safeguarding and promoting the interests of the country abroad and also its international image and prestige are delegated responsibilities of the foreign service. Without a duly established professional diplomacy, the diplomatic staff of a foreign mission tends to be an unpredictable diversity, with obvious consequences. These include the limited ability to effectively take advantage of opportunities and to adequately address the risks posed by the new international environment.
10. Modern diplomacy must keep in mind that mankind lives in the third wave, advocated by Alvin Toffler, in which the future is built from the resources of knowledge, human intelligence and technology.
Editor’s Note: Credits to Amb. Manuel Morales Lama