Elements of Diplomatic Negotiation

A. Conflict of Interest and Power Relationships

There are three varying forms of conflict of interest, and power relationships that can be assessed in diplomatic negotiations. Meerts (2015a) states that “Depending on their interests, states can have contacts with each other in three different ways. If their interests overlap completely, all that is necessary is to sit around a table together to discuss how business should be conducted, based on mutual interests. After the common interests have been established, common strategy can be determined. Negotiation is not necessary, as there are no conflicts of interest” (p.59). The statements reveal that the varying forms in which conflict of interest and power relationships can be assessed include the different overlapping interest of the involved parties, the common interests that leads to common strategies, and when states have common interests on similar issues. In today’s contemporary environment, countries tend to have different conflict areas, and in some cases, they have a common interest in similar issues. A good example of this is the current COVID-19 pandemic. The global pandemic has proved deleterious to most countries, thereby calling for multilateral diplomatic negotiations to develop a strategic solution that works for all parties. 

B . Inter-State Negotiations

INDIA – JUNE 28: Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India along with Shivraj Patil, Union Cabinet Minister for Home Affairs, Arjun Singh , Union Cabinet Minister for Human Resources Development, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Union Cabinet Minister of Railway and Chief of RJD, Hans Raj Bhardwaj, Union Cabinet Minister for Law and Justice, TR Baalu, Union Cabinet Minister for Shipping, Surface Transport and Highways, Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Cabinet Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers and President of Lok Janshakti Party ( LJP ) and others at Ninth Meeting of the Inter-State Council in New Delhi, India (Photo by Sipra Das/The The India Today Group via Getty Images)

The very nature of diplomatic negotiation is that it takes place between two or more states. By extension, this means that diplomatic negotiations can also be referred to as inter-state negotiations. Meerts (2015a) reveals that it is a crucial element of diplomatic negotiations since it particularly defines the process where states come together due to mutual problems to arrive at beneficial solutions for all parties. Inter-state negotiations may be characterized by the level of differences, openness, trust, and common interests. In cases where there are limited common interests, inter-state negotiations prove to be particularly intricate since there are competitive negotiations instead of cooperative negotiations. Therefore, this may promote distrust, thus limiting the inter-state negotiations. Inter-state negotiations are also a vital element in diplomatic negotiations since it necessitates a negotiator’s ability to assist in the negotiation processes. On most occasions, a third party may act as the negotiator since the party may note that the countries have common interests even though they may not see it. 

C. Diplomat and Negotiation Behavior

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 21: Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans (left) meets with Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin during a meeting of the United Nations (UN) Security Council to discuss the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine on July 21, 2014 in New York City. There are growing calls for sanctions against Russia as the Security Council is briefed on matters and as investigators work to determine if Russian-backed Ukrainian separatist rebels were responsible for bringing down Flight MH-17. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Diplomatic negotiations I an intricate process that exhibit particular negotiation behaviours. In most diplomatic negotiations, individuals referred to as diplomats carry out the diplomatic negotiation processes. Diplomats usually act as the official representatives of a given country. They are responsible for presenting the country’s position and power to the negotiating table, thereby exerting pressure to sway the negotiating results in their favour. While some countries select different diplomatic negotiators depending on the type of negotiations, Ambassadors often act as negotiators in diplomatic negotiations. In any diplomatic negotiation, a diplomat’s function is not limited to only representing a given state in a bid to come up with a consensus or solutions to a given problem. Meerts (2015a) states that “Diplomatic negotiators not only have the task of problem-solving; sometimes their task is to conceal problems, to introduce uncertainty and ambiguity instead of clarification (Friedman, 1995). This has the consequence for negotiations that issues are continually pushed to the future and that finding solutions can be seen as untimely and even harmful. The interest of the state often requires negotiations to be strung out and solutions to be delayed, because the existence of the current unstable situation offers an advantage to one or more of the negotiating states” (p.64). The statements reveal that diplomats’ function is limitless, ranging from representation to protecting the state through concealing issues, thereby creating a state of ambiguity. 

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.