achamila press : An Article Publish By H. E. Dr. Lawson Victor Tom, The Kingdom of New Atlantis Diplomatic Representative To Nigeria.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY!
The world order shifted from nomadic existence through antiquity, medieval times into the modern era of today. Each period has required norms, rules and regulations within the State and Interstate. In its various connotations and shades, State parties have utilized skillsets available, appropriate in these challenging areas. Despite the checkered world history, balancing of power have resulted in a more progressive human existence. There has been a need to continuously monitor internal and external conflicts which are of an existential nature, more so with the entry of nuclear power. The traditional State realism has generally toned down to a neo-liberalism within wider humanity with communism on decline. The cold war deterrent, post-world war two with the fall of communism has widened the doors of state parties to neo-liberalism opportunities. With the improvement of modernity comes more stringent norms, rules and regulations in statecraft with its newer communications and technology networks, professional negotiations skillsets and diversified diplomatic avenues applicable. This has resulted in a much more stable world order following world war two. Illiberal states arise every so often challenging the evolving and constantly changing world order and need to be checked through multifaceted, multilateral negotiations, sanctions and strategic deterrents to conform, as has been undertaken in the free world, advocating peace. Diplomacy underpins good governance at state and interstate levels.
The significance of State and Interstate diplomacy cannot be underscored. This paper discusses the significance of evolving diplomacy with a brief review of the historical roots, progressing to its current status as an important tool in supporting good governance. The significant role of diplomacy at state and its potentials at interstate levels are discussed.
Historically, the geopolitical diplomatic-messenger representatives in antiquity evolved into the orator type. Tactful and protocol-consistent diplomatic. Their political leaders, utilized such for strategic-realism maneuverings. The seeds of diplomatic services were being laid formally. The subsequent failure of the League of Nations under President Woodrow Wilson’s 14-point plans eventually led to the two world wars within a period of two decades, resulting in massive war casualties of death, injuries and disabilities on all the warring factions adding into the equation, nuclear capabilities of possible massive annihilation.
The significance of Statecraft discussion, negotiation and the importance of modern-day diplomacy cannot be underscored despite newer technologies and methodologies in communication with resolution of interstate strife.
Diplomacy and its functions:
In the current state of art, the convention on diplomatic relations meaningfully codifies the roles of diplomats and diplomatic posts. The modern diplomat plays a significant role in the conduct of state business at Interstate and state levels. Ground breaking knowledge of international relations as an educated observer, abled communicator, negotiator and abled state advocate of his or her foreign policies at international levels are skill-sets mandated. As a distinguished state envoy, ensuring collegiality, respect, tact and demonstrate ability to negotiate socio-economic, trade, cultural issues, addressing global environmental concerns remain essentialities in this arena at various international platforms where multilateral and bilateral relations are pursued for progression. The diplomate is the States representative at such meetings. The proceedings of such meetings are communicated to their ministry of Foreign Affairs for information and executive decision and applications at State level. Exchange of notes and reports are a very important part of these exercises, inclusive of the positions taken up by other state parties inclusive of third-party interactions.
Additionally, outstanding diplomates can be selected to lead subgroups in the UN divisions: Peacekeeping leadership, Chairs of Human Rights and various judicial roles in Criminal Justice system have been recognized.
In addition, diplomates form alliances with other states to strengthen local and regional necessities, providing a collective audible voice in matters such as Climate advocacy. These alliances are usually consolidated in the full meetings but a lot of preliminary discussions take place in the corridors of meeting house.
Regional level diplomacy cannot be underscored as the wide pacific experiences demonstrate. The two-way flow of information (Global-interstate-state) assists the Diplomatic services in multifaceted and layered state development.
The role of the diplomat at State level is cut out clearly with intelligence from the embassies flowing to the government executive, directors in the ministry of foreign affairs for developing, updating and realigning foreign policies. Based on these developments state policies are relayed to foreign bilateral, multilateral and more recently close polylateral international partners. The net results or gains can be subjective in some cases and/or objective in others where comparative advantages to the state takes effect. These material gains are inclusive of fiscal support, infrastructural developments, technological and technical assistance or professional expertise which have benefited the south pacific region. More recently active levels of diplomacy have resulted in early logistic support in areas of disasters relief by foreign navies and armed forces. Benefits in education and health cannot be excluded as the current pandemic of COVID-19 demonstrates need for vaccine acquisition via UNICEF.
THE FOUNDATIONS FOR UNDERSTANDING PUBLIC DIPLOMACY;
In professional debates and publicist texts we can often find laic or even wrong understanding of the concept of public diplomacy. It is true that the concept in its different forms of appearance, i.e. activities, is conditioned with historical and international circumstances, but it has despite different approaches consolidated in its basic pre-assumptions. A special focus shall be given to them in continuation with an assistance of the most commonly asked general, as well as paradoxical claims, around which nowadays the understandings of modern public diplomacy are moving freely.
Public diplomacy is the opposite of secret diplomacy:
The secret diplomacy was actually overgrown by the so-called open, democratic diplomacy.
Open peace negotiations with open participation, after which there will be no more secret international agreements and the diplomacy will always operate sincerely and in front of the eyes of the general public. The foundation of such a concept represented a basic model of a democratic diplomacy, which was deriving from a fact that a diplomat (as a public servant) was subordinated to the foreign minister, foreign minister (as a member of the government) is responsible to and depends on the parliamentary majority, while the parliament represents the will of the sovereign people. In fact, the demand for an open diplomacy first meant a demand for letting the public know that the negotiations are being held (except in rare cases) and that the international agreements as a result of those are publicized.
With this, we have on one side the allowed secrecy or discretion in negotiations, needed for their functionality, while on the other side we receive the openness of diplomatic activity or rather availability of information about the diplomatic activity (publishing the results of negotiations, following the negotiations, press conferences, etc.) as a condition for democratic supervision of the public over the foreign policy and its verification in sense of parliamentary debate and ratification of the international treaties. Therefore, in principle, the basic framework for the diverse diplomatic activities, including the public one, is nowadays represented by parliamentary-democratic political systems and therefore we can talk neither of secret nor of transparent diplomacy, but rather of diplomacy, which balances the discretion and the publicity of its activities with a proper measure.
Public Diplomacy Is Public Lobbying:
The basic tasks of diplomacy, as they are defined by the international law are representation, negotiation and observation.
Diplomatic Relations can be defined as the functions of diplomatic missions such as: representing the sender state within the host state; protection of the interests of the sender state and its citizens within the receptive state; negotiations with the government of the host state, getting acquainted through all legitimate means with the conditions and course of events within the host state and reporting on it to the government of the sender state; advancement and development of friendly relations. Public diplomacy is also in modern times remaining within the defined tasks and functions, taking into the consideration the specific dimension of the public domain: so for instance a modern diplomat is publicly representing and interpreting the positions of his/her own country (media and public appearances), is reporting and commenting the atmosphere of the public opinion and the media in the host state, is cooperating with the media and opinion leaders, is making contact with important representatives of the economy, interest groups, sciences, academic institutions and more.
We think that some of these (usual) diplomatic activities could be characterized as lobbying activities. Lobbying in the proper sense of the word, i.e. as a separate set of professional tasks and activities, with the assistance of which they should in the informal institutional networks influence the decision-making process in the name of special general benefits or benefits of specific groups of people, cannot become the central and the determining segment of public diplomacy. In my next context, it would be more sensible to undertake a special treatment of the role of the so-called economic diplomacy, which works in the function of promoting the economic interests and actors of the mother state abroad.
Good Governance remains an important beacon of state socio-economic development, uplifting people out of poverty and the perpetual cycles of human crisis. Interstate and state diplomacy remain an integral tool of good governance. The significance of diplomacy is not just a state business tool but essential to collectively uplifting the quality of lives of people and how we address matters of climate change and environmental pollution at an interstate level. The significance of continuing diplomacy cannot ever be underscored.
H. E. Dr. Lawson Victor Tom,
The Kingdom of New Atlantis Ambassador to Nigeria.