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Leadership, Mentoring, Coaching and Motivation


Diplomacy and diplomatic functions

~ PhD Associate Professor Oana Iucu (Faculty of Bussines and Administration)

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Key words: Diplomacy, diplomatic functions, diplomatic mission, diplomatic visits

!" #$%&%'()&*+%(*,-" ,." ,..*'*%/0" 1,&2" Diplomacy in the 20th century introduc-
and other types of State visits es new principles and methods. Diplomatic
activity widened its range considerably and it
Due to development of contemporary grew in the political field, especially through
means of communication, chiefs of State and the introduction of new components. Aside
of Governments, as well as international af- from intense bilateral negotiations, multilat-
fairs ministries added to their contacts and eral negotiations become highly important in
began involving in activities that were once international conferences and organizations.
linked to diplomats skills exclusively; at the Community diplomacy will also gain a sig-
same time, these practices rob Governments nificant place .
and chiefs of State of the precious cover con- Diplomacy ceased to be clerical or be-
stituted by diplomats who work in secret, long to international organizations only.
with greater spirit liberty and who can be Diplomacy with a top secret, confidential
oriented and disavowed when conclusions character, with verbal notes and artful writ-
do not meet everyones views. ing, with excessive importance shown to
No. 11 ~ 2010
130 Leadership, Mentoring, Coaching and Motivation

protocol ceased to exist. The new type of trustees were generically called diplomatic
diplomacy required true understanding of agents and later diplomatic representations
economic and financial data, besides a clear or missions.
vision on political issues. This new diploma- Accordingly, the diplomatic mission is
cy estranged from the old one owing to the a State organ, belonging to the sending State.
idea of equality and to faith in diplomacy One of the most significant contributions of
through conferences and experts. the Vienna Convention as regards diplomatic
relations is the importance given to the dip-
After World War II, new conditions
lomatic mission institution, considering it
and new diplomatic practices came into
an independent entity. Enjoying immunities
sight, while the role of chiefs of State and
and distinctive privileges, the mission offers
Governments increased. Fading sovereign
cohesion and organic unity in the actions of
subjectivity and diminishing secrecy brought
its members.
diplomacy closer to real problems of peoples,
but didnt deplete it of its specific features. The diplomatic mission constitutes the
Along with public debate of treaties, discrete main instrument in founding and maintain-
and small negotiations still take place, thus ing diplomatic relations and as such it con-
defending secrecy of discussions and of high- tributes overtly and directly to collaboration
ly important information. between States. Wishing to establish relations
Various problems that emerge in the with other countries, all States independently
sphere of international relations cannot be of their size, economic power or political re-
totally solved by the chief of State or by in- gime institute a greater or a smaller number
ternational affairs ministries, since they cant of diplomatic missions1.
approach nor directly treat international
political, economical or juridical matters The diplomatic mission performs func-
between States. Meetings at congresses or bi- tions corresponding to its goals, contributing
lateral contacts between chiefs of State assure to mutual understanding and close relations
the approach of a limited number of prob- between two States, as well as to promoting
lems and under no circumstances can they friendly multilateral cooperation between
replace constant activity, claimed by main- them. The sending State must give its diplo-
taining and developing relations between matic mission instructions that do not exceed
States. In addition, the element of continuity its functions, otherwise diplomats risk to be
in relations between States must be assured, declared as undesirable. Also, the sending
required by the fact that establishing and in- State must show due respect to diplomatic
representatives activities, related to their
tensifying collaboration and friendship rela-
tions are the result of an ongoing activity.
Hereby, the necessity to institute and 1
Alexandru Burian, Introduction in Diplomatic
maintain State representations abroad,
Practice and International Procedure, Cartier ju-
whose task is to negotiate and act in the name ridic Publishing House, Chisinau, 2000, p. 14.
of their State and help solve numerous and 2
Gheorghe Iacob, Introduction in Diplomacy,
intricate mundane problems. At first, these Foundation Axis Publishing House, Iasi, 1997, p. 344.

No. 11 ~ 2010
Leadership, Mentoring, Coaching and Motivation 131
According to article 3 of the 1961 Vienna Functions of diplomacy are organically
Convention3, the functions of a diplomatic interlinked and segregation could lead to a
mission are as follows: distorted image of the diplomatic institution5.
1) Representing the sending State in
the receiving State; 1) Representation it is the function
2) Protecting in the receiving State the which permanent missions performed more
interests of the sending State and of visibly since their establishment as organs of
its nationals, within the limits per- external relations of States. The representa-
mitted by international law; tion function means that diplomatic agents
3) Negotiating with the Government of participate to events in public life, standing
the receiving State; for the sending State, i.e. the approval at-
4) Ascertaining by all lawful means titude which it assumes with respect to sig-
conditions and developments in the nificant moments in the public life of the
receiving State, and reporting there- country of residence. The diplomatic mission
on to the Government of the sending doesnt represent the chief of State nor the
State; Government, but the sending State as subject
5) Promoting friendly relations be- of international law. This is why it is neces-
tween the sending State and the re- sary to make a clear distinction between the
ceiving State, and developing their function of representation of a diplomatic
economic, cultural and scientific mission and the juridical act of representa-
relations. tion in international law. International rep-
The second paragraph of article 3 in resentation of States is a juridical rapport on
the Vienna Convention also shows the right whose ground a State grants another State
of a diplomatic mission to perform consular the right to fulfill juridical actions towards a
functions4. third State. Subsequently, in the case of inter-
Showing States practices and dominant national representation we can identify three
subjects of international law. It is not the case
opinions in their doctrines, the depiction of
of diplomatic mission, which is not a subject
the diplomatic missions functions crystal-
of international law, but an organ that helps
lizes, in the field of positive law, the process
maintaining and developing relations be-
of progressive development of diplomatic
tween two States as subjects of the diplomatic
institutions nowadays. Consequently, an es-
sential function of any diplomatic mission is
promoting friendly relations and collabora-
2) Negotiation similar to representa-
tion between the two States at economical,
tion, it is one of the functions that permanent
cultural and scientific levels.
diplomatic missions performed since their
3 establishment. Negotiation means examin-
The Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations,
adopted on April, 18th 1961 and ratified by Ro- ing a problem of common interest in order to
mania according to Decree no. 556 from July, 4th solve it.
1968, published in the Official Bulletin, part I, no.
89/1968. 5
Gheorghe Iacob, Introduction in Diplomacy,
Idem, part I, no. 89. Foundation Axis Publishing House, Iasi, 1997, p. 344.

No. 11 ~ 2010
Leadership, Mentoring, Coaching and Motivation
From this point of view, negotia- Hereby the information and observa-
tion cannot be limited to discussions in the tion function. By performing this function,
process of sealing international accords. the diplomatic mission provides the sending
Currently, they represent an important field State data obtained by lawful means, regard-
in the activity of a diplomatic mission, per- ing domestic life and international politics in
forming the negotiation function when con- the country of residence. The diplomatic mis-
ducting discussions with competent organs sion must perform its functions using official
of the receiving State on problems of mutual and officious contacts, mass media and local
concern: defending the interests of the send- journals, literary and scientific publications.
ing States citizens on the territory of the re- Concerning this aspect, under section (d)
ceiving State, solving litigations, obtaining from article 3, the 1961 Vienna Convention
advantages and preventing any political and stresses the lawful character that any infor-
economical measures that would handicap mation source used by the diplomatic mis-
one State or the other etc.6 sion must have.
Negotiations can be official (initiated
formally in the name of two States) or offi-
4) Diplomatic protection. There is a
cious (probe contacts that do not commit the
close connection between representation, ne-
States in any way). Official negotiations are
gotiation and protection functions. By per-
direct (between the chief of the diplomatic
forming the latter, the diplomatic mission
mission and the chief of State) or indirect (be-
achieves protection of interests that the send-
tween the chief of the diplomatic mission and
ing State and the personnel under its author-
the international affairs ministry or the sub-
ity might have in the country of residence.
ordinates of the latter).
Actually, when the diplomatic mission repre-
Negotiation is often considered a mix-
sents its State and negotiates with authorities
ture of scientific and artistic methods, since
in the receiving State, then it acts in the name
the diplomat must have knowledge, experi-
of specific interests, in order to accredit and
ence and talent to be a good negotiator. Study
promote these interests.
of history, in general, and history of diplo-
matic relations, in particular, are very useful The defense function as recognized by
in developing the mastery of negotiation.7 international law allows the diplomatic mis-
sion to offer diplomatic protection to citizens
3) Information. Promoting friendly of the sending State, who are or live in the
relations, neighborliness and cooperation receiving State. Interventions at a diplomatic
between States depends on mutual under- level can eliminate prejudicial pursuit, repair
standing of States economical, social and po- prejudice suffered by these citizens and try
litical realities. by lawful means to defend them against un-
lawfulness they could be subjected to8.

Dumitru Mazilu, Treaty Regarding Negotiaion
Theory and Practice, Lumina Lex Publishing Ho-
use, Bucharest, 2002, p. 460. Gheorghe Iacob, Introduction in Diplomacy,
Idem, p. 460. Foundation Axis Publishing House, Iasi, 1997, p. 345.

No. 11 ~ 2010
Leadership, Mentoring, Coaching and Motivation 133
5) International cooperation. The aim cooperation agreements in various domains,
of the diplomatic mission is expressed by a can take measures to perform them or inten-
central function that polarizes the attitude of sify by various means material and spiritual
all other functions in the direction of the oth- changes between the respective peoples.
er goal: promoting friendly relations and co-
operation between the sending State and the 6) Consular functions. Performing con-
receiving State. Hence, diplomatic missions sular attributions by the diplomatic mission
fulfill an essential role when investing in the is a recent date practice. It developed as the
bilateral relation virtues that transform it in role of consular institution became more im-
the primary positive element in the process portant, thanks to growth in commercial re-
of placing international relations on moral, lations and tourism. The Vienna Convention
fairness and lawful principles. stipulates in the second paragraph of arti-
If we imagine international relations as cle 3 the following: Nothing in the present
an immense network, the bilateral relation Convention shall be construed as preventing
constitutes the basic rapport of this structure, the performance of consular functions by a
while the dominating climate of this bilater- diplomatic mission. In doctrine, this stipu-
al rapport, cultivated according to requests lation can mean that the sending State may
of neighborliness, friendship, cooperation, establish an embassy, a consular division,
mutual understanding and respect between without permission of the receiving State.
peoples, can be disseminated in the whole This conclusion is drawn from the principle
structure of international relations causing of States sovereignty and mutual consent
their positive development. In the economic fundamental principle of diplomatic and
field, the diplomatic mission can negotiate consular relations .


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134 Leadership, Mentoring, Coaching and Motivation

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No. 11 ~ 2010