Diplomacy (international relations)
Diplomacy, in foreign policy or international relations, is primarily the process by which sovereign states seek to promote their national interests and pursue their goals through peaceful means.
In a secondary sense, diplomacy refers to the conventions by which they carry out this process, and also protect their own citizens in other countries. These conventions include the establishment of diplomatic relations between states, and of permanent diplomatic missions, representing the sending state in the receiving state, for the purpose of negotiation, promoting friendly relations, and, within the relevant legal structure, protecting its citizens in that state. It is also understood that a normal function of diplomatic missions is the overt and lawful means of obtaining information on conditions in the receiving nation and reporting that information to its home government. Diplomacy may also be carried on through the United Nations and other international organiszations.
Accredited diplomats are entitled to diplomatic immunity. If they engage in activities inconsistent with their diplomatic role, such as conducting or leading clandestine human-source intelligence collection, the receiving government may declare them persona non grata and order them to depart.
In governments, the primary diplomatic organization is usually called a Ministry or Department of Foreign Affairs, or, in some governments such as the U.S., a Department of State.
- Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, United Nations, 1961