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Opinion
28 Dec 2019

Diplomatic Job: A Daring Profession

Arun Ranjit
Arun Ranjit
A view of UN Headquarter in New York, USA
A view of UN Headquarter in New York, USA

Diplomacy is the skillful science of communication and strategic practice of in-managing negotiations between the nations through their bureaucratic channel, handling people for international relations.

It is fine art for deal making, system building, peace-making through which a nation seeks to secure the goals of its interest.

Diplomatic job also known as Foreign Service is regarded as a kind of bird sanctuary for elegant young men arrayed in striped pants and spending most of their time handing sugar cookies to ladies of high society. Might be because of high-flying life of the diplomats there is a popular saying by the then an American and Australian Ambassadors to the United Nations- “A diplomat’s life is made up of three ingredients: Protocol, Geritol and Alcohol.”

Foreign Service is rarely accorded one of the well-respected professions of the society. However, diplomats are often considered members of an exclusive and prestigious occupation, and a state will often give a lot of support to the high status, privileges and self-esteem of its diplomats in order to maintain its own international image.

Diplomacy profession conducts in rarefied environs, in dizzying ivory-towered heights, away from the hurly-burly of earthling life. The qualities of a diplomat are sleepless tact, unmovable calmness, and a patience that no folly, no provocation, no blunders may shake. Yes, foreign policy always travels on the shoulders of diplomacy and gets operationalized in other states.

Diplomat is regarded as a trans-national profession. It is as evolved as any of the other professions requiring as much training and specialization, advocacy and negotiation skills, analytical acuity, learning new technologies and methods of functioning, and the possession of situational and terrain awareness or the steady hand that is a prerequisite to doing a job well.

A view of UN Headquarter in New York, USA

Being involved in the diplomatic circle for over than three decades and gained experienced from the high level political and other dignitaries, this writer had experienced that from shaking hands with celebrities, diplomats and words being used by them make a great meaning. So, when a diplomat says yes he means perhaps; when he says perhaps he means no; when he says no he is no diplomat. 

Diplomacy wears its shirtsleeves rolled and treads a terra infirma today. But reverting to the high ground of public diplomacy, the potential is immense and begin to tap it in a strategized fashion.

Twenty-first-century diplomacy requires an amplification of purpose. Diplomats should be able to update themselves on each and every issue so as to cope with their work punctually, seriously.

An ambassador is the nation’s Head of State’s highest-ranking representative to a specific nation or international organization abroad. As the diplomats represent the interests and policies of the country an effective ambassador should have dynamic personality with possessing to be a strong leader, a good manager, a resilient negotiator.

Sometimes it is described as “the art of telling lies on behalf of the nation”, or “as an instrument for employing deceit and duplicity in international relations.”

The basic aim of diplomacy is to strengthen the nation it serves in relation to others by advancing the interests in its charge. So diplomacy is also called the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of states by inclining toward negotiation to achieve agreements and resolve issues between states.

Diplomacy and politics may go hand in hand. It is a nation’s voice with the world which if gone wrong can result negatively. Thus, it would be good to mention the voice of an English author, diplomat and politician of the United Kingdom Sir Henry Wotton who described “Ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.”

A diplomat should have patience to listen carefully to every piece of detail to know what really concerns the counterpart. Fluency in communication is must in the diplomacy. So a diplomat needs to be able to create an agreement in which all the parts involved feel satisfied and should be able to achieve at least most important objective through negotiation at least in a win-win policy.

No one is born with the ability to practice international diplomacy in managing a country’s relations with other states, understand and engage foreign societies, influence governments and publics, conduct difficult and consequential negotiations, anticipate threats and take advantage of opportunities.

The best diplomacy carries out foreign policy professionally, yet most countries let amateurs practice it. Despite the career diplomats there are some appointees who receive diplomatic posts thanks only to political connections. As a result, many countries’ official representatives don’t get anything that resembles proper training before they are posted abroad. Due to those appointees who are very new to the diplomatic career today global diplomacy has experienced an ineffectiveness.

So, to acquire the advanced skills, on-the-job training could be good way to learn and practice diplomacy perfectly.

However, for the political appointees, to resolve the problems of an ineffectiveness around the world, the concern governments must start building or strengthening professional diplomatic services, providing them with proper pre-job training by giving them all the tools, resources and authority necessary to get the job done perfectly.

A writer at the General Assembly Hall of the UN during attending the conference.

No one is born with the ability to practice international societies. It needs advanced skills to acquire the advantage of those opportunities.

Anyway, diplomacy is the art of saying, ‘nice doggie,’ until it can find a stick that has various sets of methodology.

Diplomatic job is not just to drive nice cars, attend nice receptions and visit fancy international conferences in cool locations, spending delightful-life at government expenses abroad. But the era of new globalization has increased the workloads of diplomats as a most daring profession. Besides the daily traditional routine-work they also face new adventurous assignments every day.

So, diplomatic load is exactly not like a cheap action movie. It is the scientific management of international relations by means of negotiations. Diplomats’ result of action only comes when there’s a crisis of some sort. At this time, they tend to have more hours of a day than usual to entail tons of meetings and loads of pushing papers to find solution of the problems realizing diplomatic job as a very different and a challenging quest.

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