Characteristics of Diplomatic Negotiations

WASHINGTON – JUNE 01: Paul Wolfowitz (C) sits with Faida Mitifu, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo, (L) and Rosa Whitaker at the African Growth and Opportunity Act action committee meeting during his first full day as President of the World Bank June 1, 2005 in Washington, DC. The meeting was an informal roundtable discussion on strategies for addressing poverty in Africa. Wolfowitz has said his agenda would focus on Africa, tackling corruption and making poor countries feel less sidelined in the bank’s decisions. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

There are no definite ways of characterizing diplomatic negotiations. However, one may use various facets to define these characteristics. For instance, they may be assessed through the different functions of diplomacy (Meerts, 2015a). The study by Meerts (2015a) states that “First, ‘diplomacy’ sometimes refers to the content of foreign affairs as a whole. Second, ‘diplomacy’ might connote the conduct of foreign policy. A third connotation of diplomacy focuses on the management of international relations by negotiation. Fourth, diplomacy may be understood as the use of diplomats in a diplomatic service. Fifth, diplomacy, and especially the adjective ‘diplomatic’, often refers to the manner in which relations are conducted” (p.58). The statement reveals that diplomatic negotiations may be characterized by five vital facets; foreign affairs, foreign policy, international relations management, and diplomatic relations. 

Diplomatic negotiation is therefore a process of international negotiation characterized by diplomatic norms and practices that can have a positive and a negative effect on its function of coming to closure, but it is difficult to point out which characteristics will have a positive or negative impact on its outcome because of the contextual nature of the process. Turning to the question of process, this study already referred to it in the last chapter: many authors have defined process in many different ways, but in the end the differences are not substantial. It is a question of wording” (Meerts, 2015a, p.58).

NEW YORK – JULY 21: Security Council President French Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere (L), Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman (3rd-L), and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (4th-L) speak before a Security Council meeting at the United Nations on July 21, 2006 in New York City. The Security Council has been meeting to discuss the crisis in the Middle East. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Consequently, diplomatic negotiations can be assessed through a broad spectrum, thereby offering other characteristics from various viewpoints. Meerts (2015a) reveals that diplomatic practices and norms often facilitate conflict resolution. Therefore, when assessing diplomatic negotiations through conflict resolution, it may be characterized by factors such as “coexistence and reciprocity; open communication channels; shared language; commitment to peace; diplomatic immunity; and pacta sunt servanda” (Meerts, 2015a). In addition to that, through the lens of complicate conflict resolution, diplomatic negotiations may be characterized by constructive ambiguity, precedence problems, complexity, and recognition questions. These characteristics may also be defined as the effects of diplomatic practices and norms. The evaluation of these characteristics as individual factors may help further understand why diplomatic negotiations characterize them. For instance, diplomatic negotiations’ complexity is a particularly beneficial characteristic since it favours the diplomatic negotiation process by helping the parties reach a consensus. Meerts (2015a) supports this by stating that “Complexity works in favour of reaching an agreement because the inherent lack of precision in the material makes it difficult to argue effectively against an agreement. It pushes parties to adopt simplified logic and goals. Complexity strengthens the position of the negotiator back home” (p.58). In retrospect, complexity works as a motivating characteristic that ensures the efficacy of diplomatic negotiations through pushing parties to adopt simplified objectives and logics. 

Emmanuel Addo

Emmanuel Addo is the founder of the Young Global Leaders Network, an international non-governmental organization registered in six (6) countries namely, Ghana, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan and has a membership strength of over 15,000 young black professionals, students, graduates, and aspiring leaders.

The organization also operates in 25 other African countries. Emmanuel also doubles as the chief convener and founder of the Young African Leaders Summit, one of the largest continental youth summits in Africa.  

Currently works at Kingston University as a Business Engagement Team Member in their Partnerships and Engagement Department. 

He characterizes energy, integrity, result-oriented, and ground-breaking service in each detail of strategic management, change management, stakeholder management, and leadership acquaintances.
Emmanuel owns a core background in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Ghana.

Leveraging his experience as a youth activist and a dynamic young man, Emmanuel founded the Young Global Leaders Network, a youth organization that comprises young diplomats, young politicians, and aspiring politicians, business/entrepreneurial business leaders with the aim of championing a mutual agenda for the African youth and promoting youth participation in governance as well as promoting entrepreneurial culture.
Emmanuel nurtures an environment of teamwork and has expertise in data collection and analysis as well as both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Emmanuel worked as an Associate Lecturer at the London College of Advanced Management where he delivered a wide range of business management courses that involved principles of marketing, leadership, operation management, and research methods. Emmanuel has always maintained high teaching and learning standards to ensure that his students’ stand out in academic achievements and successful progression. As a stout believer and passionate key player in volunteering; Emmanuel creates quality time to giving back gladly to his community what he has learned and to educate individuals with free consultancy on career development. He is a leader anyone would love to look up to and with great integrity, commitment, and passion to make the world a better place.
Emmanuel worked as Qualifications Manager at the Open University in the UK.

Emmanuel is also the founder of Kickstart Innovation Hub Ltd, the entrepreneurial hub of Young Global Leaders Network.