A hub of online professional and topical glossaries/dictionaries
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ACCESSION  look up translate image
The procedure by which a nation becomes a party to an agreement already in force between other nations
ACCORDS  look up translate image
International agreements originally thought to be for lesser subjects than covered by treaties , but now really treaties by a different name.
AD REFERENDUM  look up translate image
An agreement reached ad referendum means an agreement reached by negotiators at the table, subject to the subsequent concurrence of their governments.
AGRÉMENT  look up translate image
Diplomatic courtesy requires that before a state appoints a new chief of diplomatic mission to represent it in another state, it must be first ascertained whether the proposed appointee is acceptable to the receiving state. The acquiescence of the receiving state is signified by its granting its agr�ment to the appointment. It is unusual for an agr�ment to be refused, but it occasionally happens.
AIDE MMOIRE  look up translate image
A written summary of the key points made by a diplomat in an official conversation. Literally, a document left with the other party to the conversation, either at the time of the conversation or subsequently, as an aid to memory.
ALTERNAT  look up translate image
When an agreement is signed between two states, or among several states, each signatory keeps an official copy for itself. Alternat refers to the principle which provides that a state's own name will be listed ahead of the other signatory, or signatories, in its own official copy. It is a practice devised centuries ago to handle sensitivities over precedence.
The chief of a diplomatic mission; the ranking official diplomatic representative of his country to the country to which he is accredited, and the personal representative of his own head of state to the head of state of the host country. The term "extraordinary" has no real meaning. Years ago it was given only to nonresident ambassadors on temporary missions and was used to distinguish them from regular resident ambassadors. The latter resented others having this appellation, as it seemed to imply...(more)
AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE  look up translate image
An official who has been named to be an ambassador, but who has not yet taken his oath of office.
AMBASSADRESS  look up translate image
A term often used to denote the wife of an ambassador, and misused to denote a woman chief of mission. The latter is an ambassador, not an ambassadress.
ASYLUM  look up translate image
Used in diplomacy to mean the giving of refuge in two senses: first, within the extraterritorial grounds of an embassy (not generally done in American embassies); and second, when one states allows someone to live within its borders, out of reach of the authority of a second state from which the person seeks protection.
ATTACHÉ  look up translate image
Civilian attach�s are either junior officers in an embassy or, if more senior, officers who have a professional specialization such as "labor attach�", "commercial attach�", "cultural attach�", etc. On the military side, an embassy will generally have either an army attach�, naval attach�, or air attach� � and often all three. In American embassies, the senior of the three is called the defense attach� and is in charge of all military attach� activities. These consist largely of liaison work with local military authorities and of keeping informed on host country order of battle.
BAG, THE  look up translate image
See "Pouch". Bag is the British term. "Bag Day" is the day the pouch is sealed and sent to the home office. Hence, bag day is the day when all non-telegraphic reporting must be finalized and dispatched.
BELLIGERENCY  look up translate image
A state of belligerency is a state of armed conflict. Belligerents are direct participants in the conflict.
BILATERAL  look up translate image
Bilateral discussions or negotiations are between a state and one other. A bilateral treaty is between one state and one other. "Multilateral" is used when more than two states are involved.
BOUT DE PAPIER  look up translate image
A very informal means of conveying written information; more informal than an aide mmoire or a memorandum.
BREAKING RELATIONS  look up translate image
The formal act of severing diplomatic relations with another state to underscore disapproval of its actions or policies. It is generally an unwise step, because when relations between states are most strained is when the maintaining of diplomatic relations is most important. It makes little sense to keep diplomats on the scene when things are going relatively well and then take them away when they are most needed. An intermediate step which indicates serious displeasure but stops short of an actual...(more)
CALLS AND CALLING CARDS  look up translate image
"Calling" has largely disappeared from private life, but it is a practice which is still useful in a diplomatic community where the early establishment of extensive contacts is a must. Soon after a diplomat's arrival at a new post, therefore, he will embark on a program of call on those with whom he will be dealing and whom he must lose no time in getting to know. In modern, less formal times, calling cards do not have nearly the same role in diplomatic life they once did. But with the traditional...(more)
CASUS BELLI  look up translate image
An action by one state regarded as so contrary to the interests of another state as to be considered by that second state as a cause for war.
CHANCELLERIES  look up translate image
As in "chancelleries of Europe," i.e. foreign offices.
CHANCERY  look up translate image
The office where the chief of mission and his staff work. This office is often called the embassy but this is a misnomer. Technically, the embassy is where the ambassador lives, not where he works, although in earlier times when diplomatic missions were smaller, this was usually the same building. Today, for clarity's sake, many diplomats now distinguish between the two by using the terms "embassy residence" and "embassy office".
CHANCERY, HEAD OF  look up translate image
An important position in British embassies not found in American diplomatic establishments. An officer, usually head of the political section, charged with coordinating the substantive and administrative performance of the embassy. In an American embassy, the ambassador looks to the deputy chief of mission to do this.
CHARG D'AFFAIRES, A.I.  look up translate image
Formerly, a charg d'affaires was the title of a chief of mission, inferior in rank to an ambassador or a minister. Today with the a.i. (ad interim) added, it designates the senior officer taking charge for the interval when a chief of mission is absent from his post.
CHIEF OF MISSION  look up translate image
The ranking officer in an embassy, permanent mission, legation, consulate general or consulate (i.e. an ambassador always, and a minister, consul general, or consul when no more senior officer is assigned to the post). A "chief of mission" can also be the head of a special and temporary diplomatic mission, but the term is usually reserved for the earlier listed examples.
CLEARANCES  look up translate image
A message or other document conveying a policy or an instruction is "cleared" in a foreign office, or large embassy, when all officials who have responsibility for any of its specific aspects have signified their approval by initialing it. Some officers gain a reputation for insisting on changing, even if only in minor ways, everything that is places before them and it is occasionally alleged they would do so even if it were in the Ten Commandments being presented to them. Conversely, others are...(more)
COMMUNIQU  look up translate image
A brief public summary statement issued following important bilateral or multilateral meetings. These tend to be bland and full of stock phrases such as "full and frank discussions", and the like. Occasionally, getting an agreement on the communiqu turns out to be the most difficult part of the meeting.
CONCILIATION  look up translate image
An effort to achieve agreement and, hopefully, increased goodwill between two opposed parties.
CONCORDAT  look up translate image
A treaty to which the Pope is a party.
CONFERENCE OR CONGRESS  look up translate image
International meetings. In the diplomatic sense, a congress has the same meaning as a conference.
CONSUL, HONORARY  look up translate image
A host-country national appointed by a foreign state to perform limited consular functions in a locality here the appointing state has no other consular representation.
CONSULAR AGENT  look up translate image
An official doing consular work for a nation in a locality where it does not maintain a regular consulate. This official is usually a national of his host state, and his work is usually part-time.
CONSULATE  look up translate image
An office established by one state in an important city of another state for the purpose of supporting and protecting its citizens traveling or residing there. In addition, these offices are charges with performing other important administrative duties such as issuing visas (where this is required) to host country nationals wishing to travel to the country the consulate represents. All consulates, whether located in the capital city or in other communities, are administratively under the ambassador...(more)
CONSULATE GENERAL  look up translate image
A bigger and more important consulate, presided over by a consul-general.
CONVENTION  look up translate image
An agreement between two or more states, often more, concerning matters of common interest. While supposedly used for lesser matters than embraced in a treaty, it often deals with important subjects indeed international postal and copyright laws, for example, of the law of the sea.
COUNSELOR OF EMBASSY  look up translate image
A senior diplomatic title ranking just behind an ambassador and a minister. In many embassies there is no minister, and the counselor is the number two man, i.e., the deputy chief of mission. (In a very small embassy, the second may not have this rank). In a large embassy, the second ranking officer may be a minister, or minister-counselor, in which case the heads of the more important sections have counselor rank. Thus, for example, the embassy's political counselor, economic counselor, an administrative counselor are well-known and much-respected positions in diplomatic life.
COUNTRY DESK  look up translate image
State departments and foreign offices generally have an office for each country with which the have active dealings. These offices are often called country desks, and if a large country is involves and there is a large embassy to support there, the desk is likely to be staffed by a large number of officers. A smaller country may require a one-officer desk only.
COUNTRY TEAM  look up translate image
An American diplomatic term meaning the ambassador's cabinet. It consists of his deputy chief of mission, heads of all important embassy sections, and the chiefs of all other elements (military, agricultural, aid, information, and cultural, etc.) working under him in the "embassy community".
CREDENTIALS  look up translate image
The name for letters given to an ambassador by his chief of state, and addressed to the chief of state of his host country. They are delivered to the latter by ambassadors in a formal credentials ceremony, which generally takes place shortly after his arrival at a new post. Until this ceremony has taken place he is not formally recognized by the host country, and he cannot officially act as an ambassador. The letters are termed "letters of credence" because they request the receiving chief of state to give "full credence" to what the ambassador will say of behalf of his government.
D.C.M.  look up translate image
Embassy shorthand for the deputy chief of mission.
DECLARATION  look up translate image
This can have two quite distinct meanings in diplomacy. It can first, of course, mean a unilateral statement by one state, ranging from an expression of opinion or policy to a declaration of war. It can also mean a joint statement by two or more states having the same binding effect as a treaty. In this latter connection declarations can be put forward either in their own right or appended to a treaty as an added understanding or interpretation.
DELEGATION  look up translate image
Again used in two senses in diplomacy. "Delegation" can be the term used to refer to the specific powers delegates by his government to a diplomat acting in certain specific circumstances. It also refers to an official party sent to an international conference or on some other special diplomatic mission.
DEMARCH  look up translate image
An approach, a making of representations. Still very common term used by diplomats to indicate the official raising of a matter with host country officials, often accompanied by a specific request for some type of action or decision in connection with it.
DTENTE  look up translate image
An easing of tension between states.
DIPLOMATIC AGENT  look up translate image
A generic term denoting a person who carries out regular diplomatic relations of the nation he/she represents in the nation to which he/she has been accredited.
DIPLOMATIC CORPS  look up translate image
The body of foreign diplomats assembled at a nation's capital. In cities where consuls and consul general are resident, the are collectively known as the consular corps. The dean of both corps is usually that official who had been at his post the longest. There are exceptions to this later rule, however. For example, in some Catholic countries, the papal nuncio is always the dean. The dean represents the corps in collective dealings with host country officials on matters of a ceremonial or administrative character affecting the corps as a whole.
DIPLOMATIC ILLNESS  look up translate image
The practice of feigning illness to avoid participation in a diplomatic event of one kind or another and at the same time to avoid giving formal offense. "Diplomatic deafness" is a somewhat related concept whereby older diplomats allegedly turn this infirmity to advantage by not hearing what they prefer not to hear.
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY  look up translate image
Exemption of foreign diplomatic agents or representatives from local jurisdiction. Also see Diplomatic Immunity.
DIPLOMATIC NOTE  look up translate image
A formal written means of communication among embassies.
Historically accorded in recognition that the diplomat represents (and is responsible to) a different sovereignty; also in order that the legitimate pursuit of his official duties will not be impeded in any unnecessary way. They include inviolability of person and premises and exemption from taxation and the civil and criminal jurisdiction of local courts. Also see Diplomatic Immunity.
DIPLOMATIC RANKS  look up translate image
Listed in order of precedence:Ambassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryMinisters PlenipotentiaryMinistersCharg d'Affaires ad hoc or pro temporeCharg d'Affaires ad interimMinister-CounselorsCounselors (or Senior Secretaries in the absence of Counselors)Army, Naval and Air AttachsCivilian AttachsFirst SecretariesSecond SecretariesAssistant Army, Naval and Air Attachs Civilian Assistant AttachsThird Secretaries and Assistant Attachs
DIPLOMATIST  look up translate image
It has the same meaning as "diplomat". An outdated word rarely used now in spoken diplomacy but occasionally still appearing in the literature of diplomacy.
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Diplomatic terms
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Created by admin
Created on 2011-05-14 06:34:25
Number of terms 99
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