Welcome to the blog about
Consular and Public Diplomacies
Consular and Public Diplomacies
I wish you all a healthy 2021!
For many years, and with every technological revolution, Diplomacy has always been deemed doomed. Ever since communications and transportation have made the world smaller, diplomats have seen their careers threatened.
However, every time Diplomacy and diplomats come back after experiencing a makeover, to remain as relevant, if not more, as before. And it a not-so-Post-COVID-19 planet, it seems as much needed as ever.
Most of the problems that humanity faces today cannot be solved by a single country or a group of nations. The challenges are global and require a planetary-wide solution. And Diplomacy is the millennial-tradition that can bring about these solutions. Notwithstanding, it needs the willingness of the population and support from politicians.
Even if the number of actors has multiplied and even a single person can make the difference in today´s hyperconnected planet, States, embassies, and diplomats are still essential for moving ahead of the relationships between nations and the international system as a whole.
Embassies today provide a vital link for the sending state with borders closed across the world and limited travel options. Today, diplomats are one of the very few persons in the world that can travel with little restrictions. This was particularly important at the onset of the pandemic when millions of people were stranded abroad. Nowadays, with new border closures, they are assisting their nationals stuck overseas again.
Embassies and diplomats are also working on setting up zoom meetings and virtual visits while exchanging best-practices in pandemic responses and economic revitalization programs.
The essence of Diplomacy, sending envoys to foreign lands to communicate, represent, and negotiate, are still valid in the third decade of the 21st Century as they were at the dawn of human civilization.
Diplomats are typically problem-solvers and, in many instances, have managed to bring a solution to issues that affect the lives of millions of people. Just think of the Montreal Protocol that prohibited the use of CFCs that depleted the Earth´s ozone layer.
And even in today´s digital world, diplomats are needed to provide on-the-ground knowledge and nuances that cannot be matched by a stream of millions of terabytes of information. They can share an ice-breaker for their leaders that could avert a conflict or open the door for a strategic partnership.
Consuls around the Earth are engaging in a new form of Diplomacy, Consular Diplomacy, to engage with different subnational actors that have increased their international footprint.
In addition, all ambassadors are public diplomacy officials as they have to engage with foreign audiences, as well as domestic stakeholders. The division between foreign and domestic policies has diluted. However, they continue to be different as governments cannot control the international arena and other States´ actions and inactions.
These are a few reasons why Diplomacy and diplomats are essential today for the world, not only for one´s nation.
DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on this blog are that of the author and do not represent the opinions of any other authority, agency, organization, employer or company.
Rodrigo Márquez Lartigue
Diplomat interested in the development of Consular and Public Diplomacies.