Function of diplomats

A diplomat has to organized series of function that includes observed, report, and deal with issues in their respective areas. Most functions contain for political affairs, economic and commercial affairs, information and cultural affairs, consular affairs, and administrative matters. In addition, within the functions of a diplomat usually includes a number of attachés from other government departments. Military, air, and naval attachés have traditionally been assigned to foreign missions, but agricultural, commercial, labor, and cultural attachés are becoming increasingly common as a new trend.

The activities of diplomats are extremely mixed. They range from such serious tasks as negotiating issues of great political significance and reporting and commenting on important events in the foreign country to meeting with foreign students, arranging itineraries of exhibits about life in the home country, and issuing visas. These are some of the majors’ functions of Diplomats:

Representation of State
(1) Legal Representation

A diplomat is a legal representative of his/her state in another state or international organization like the UN, the UNESCO etc. In his/her capacity as a legal representative of his/her state, s/he conducts negotiations with the government in the accredited state or participates in the de­liberations and voting of UN organs in which his/her country is repre­sented. Unless otherwise indicated, s/he signs the agreements on behalf of his/her state.

(2) Symbolic Representation

Diplomacy is very often subtle and symbolic; the more it is so, the more impressive it becomes. When the head of a state or government visits another country, the Ambassador posted in that country nor­mally holds a reception at his/her Embassy which is attended by his/her counterparts and other senior officials belonging to the host country

(3) Political Representation

Diplomat’s job is to watch the politics of that country. What are political policies and like projection and what are the political parties at play and what is going to be the future leaders and politics of that country. The most important function of a diplomat is to assess the real nature of the policy and power of the country in which s/he is stationed and report it back to his/her External Affairs Ministry. The Ambassador and his supporting staff supply the raw material with the help of which the External Affairs Ministry formulates foreign policy. In the words of Professor Morgenthau: “As the foreign office is the nerve centre of foreign policy, so are the diplomatic representatives its outlying fibers maintaining the two-way traffic between the centre and the outside world”.

The diplomat, with the help of his/her military, economic and other attaches, assesses the real military strength of the country of his/her post­ing, stability of its government and its policy towards his/her own coun­try. The function of the military and economic attaché’s is to collect military and economic information through wide reading and social contacts and to help Ambassador draft his/her reports to the External Affairs Ministry. The diplomat must not only help his/her foreign office in the formulation of the country’s policy, but must also possess the art of ‘selling’ his/her country’s policy to the government and people of the country in which s/he functions. His/her is a two-way dealing: with his/her own government at home and with the government of the country from where s/he functions.

Diplomacy is synonymous with negotiations and the diplomat must be an experienced negotiator. Many delegations from the diplomat’s country visit foreign countries to conduct negotiations on trade, political and military affairs. The team that negotiates with the foreign government normally includes the Ambassador of the country concerned, who is an on-the-spot assistant and informer. The execution of numerous trade and cultural agreements involves negotiations with the host country for the selection of institutions, persons, items etc.

When matters of great political importance are discussed and nego­tiated, the Prime Minister or the External Affairs Minister visits the concerned country and negotiates directly with the foreign government. The diplomat has to do the spade-work for such negotiations and there­by assist his superiors. The direct participation of the External Affairs Minister or high ranking officials from the Minis­try does diminish the importance of the Ambassador in negotiations; nevertheless, his assistance and assessment are of great help. Thus, no negotiation between the two countries can be accomplished without the assistance and involvement of their Ambassadors to some extent.

The diplomats negotiate on four ways:

  • Official negotiation
  • Unofficial negotiations
  • Facilitative negotiations
  • Technical negotiations

Informal Function:
Press function: Diplomats has to read newspapers of concern foreign country because all politicians may not be honest and that is if diplomats even have access to them. He/She must read all papers to get a better color of what the media in the country is saying about their internal mechanisms. Diplomats need to make the best presentation of their country. Diplomats will try to get favorable eyes for his/her own country.

Commercial function: Commercial relations are not just political or media, but based on the trade between the countries. The better trade means the better relationship between the two states. They are good diplomats, who will able to distinguish the clarity of decision-making to expedite the trade and commerce.

Administrative function: Diplomatic mission are extension of the home government abroad. Thus, each diplomatic mission contains two key elements: A diplomatic element, whose chief functions are political (negotiation, information, etc.), and consular elements, whose chief functions are administrative. Administrative function includes:

Representation of home citizens and home institutions in the host state
Management of the affairs of citizens of the home state in the host state (e.g., facilitation of economic ties, handling legal problems of home citizens etc.)
Immigration policy and other support to their national

Responsible Person of the Diplomatic Mission


Ambassador is chef official of diplomatic mission at foreign state. The ambassador is the highest-ranking official of diplomatic service with full responsibility. Unlike a minister and a chargé d’affaires, an ambassador is supposed to represent, in theory, the person of his or her sovereign. Although this theory has little significance now that monarchies are uncommon, it was because of this theory that the United States did not appoint diplomatic of ambassadorial rank until 1893. Today most republics appoint ambassadors in order to conduct relations on an equal basis with other nations. In recent years a majority of the heads of diplomatic missions representing the United States have also held the rank of ambassador.

The embassy abroad, or foreign mission, is headed by an ambassador assisted by a career diplomat who serves as deputy or first secretary. The deputy secretary oversees and coordinates the work of the staff and assumes the responsibilities of the mission as chargé d’affaires whenever the ambassador is away or incapacitated or is between ambassadorial assignments.

Diplomatic missions are staffed largely by Foreign Service officers, with the exception of the attachés who are drawn from their respective agencies back home. The secretaries and secretarial staff come from a separate civil service corps. Citizens of the host country may be hired as translators or for non sensitive jobs.


Counselor is a diplomat ranking below an ambassador in foreign mission. Counselor is responsible to take care the problems of own citizens in concern state. He/she is also responsible for issuing Passports for native citizen, Visa, people in jail that need proper legal assistance in that country. In the foreign state this kind of assistance cannot be denied. Because of that Consular will be appointed as a government official living in a foreign state to promote the commerce of the official’s own state and protect its citizens in the concern state.

Consular operations are concerned with the economic and commercial relations between nations. Originally, diplomatic and consular responsibilities were kept strictly separate because early theorists felt that national interests should not be “contaminated” by private commercial matters. Thus, two separate services—diplomatic and consular—usually existed. Today all major countries have combined these two services, and a single corps of professional civil servants serves in both areas.

Consular work involves a variety of activities. Consuls issue birth, death, and marriage certificates to citizens residing or traveling in the foreign country. Consular officers also regulate shipping, aid their country’s citizens when they travel on business or as tourists, and report on economic and business conditions abroad. Activities are often carried out in consulates located in major trading and commercial cities as well as in the capital city.

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