A Look at the Duties of an International Diplomat – Dr. Abdelrazeg El Murtadi Suleiman

We live in a world where information, resources, and rights change hands every second. With nearly 195 sovereign nations in the world, and counting, how does communication take place between different governments? This is where diplomats play a significant role due to their knowledge, expertise, and representative skills.

In simple terms, a diplomat practices foreign policy and visits other nations to advance the objectives of their state, work towards the resolution of international conflicts, participate in global conferences, and forge lasting relationships between their own and visited nations. Diplomats are categorized as ambassadors, ministers, and counselors (often minister-counselors).

Dr. Abdelrazeg El Murtadi Suleiman, an international human rights lawyer and diplomat from Libya, is a great role model in the diplomatic world. He represented Libya in numerous landmark cases against oil corporations, committees, and other nations before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). He was the legal expert for the Ad Hoc Committee of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) dealing with the Chad-Libya boundary dispute, in Libreville, in 1977. He helped the OAU draft the African Union Constitutive Act during 1999-2000.

He was a lawyer, author, diplomat, counselor, and law professor. From 1976 to 2007, Dr. Suleiman taught subjects in undergraduate and graduate programs at Public International Law and Petroleum Law at the Faculties of Law of the University of Benghazi and the University of Tripoli; Private International Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Tripoli and the Academy of Security Science, Tripoli; and Diplomatic Law at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies, Tripoli.

He led several delegations to other nations and received many for Libya during his 30 years as an active professional in the legal sector, representing his state government. He signified the duties of a diplomat that we share below for aspiring legal professionals who hope to acquire roles in a similar capacity.

Providing Consular Services

During a national or international crisis, a diplomat makes quick decisions, such as providing travel authorization, financial assistance, and legal counsel to nationals of other nations in the host nation. Diplomats in the host states also offer legal counsel and authoritative guidance for missing, asylum-seeking, or deceased citizens.

Assisting Policy Development

One of the primary duties of a diplomat is to generate factual reports and gather data in response to the developments undertaken within the receiving country during their presence there. Such reports and factual data serve as suggestions to the diplomat’s state government to pursue development and abet bilateral or multi-lateral relations with other nations.

Forging International Relations

Building cordial ties with other nations is the key responsibility of a diplomat. Whether it is visiting another nation or receiving diplomats from other nations, the presence of diplomats ensures a positive outlook on future relations between the involved governments. Diplomats engage with each other to share advice on issues directly linked to the welfare of the populations, governments, and resources of involved nations.

Overviewing Public Relations

Diplomats are often seen and heard on international media platforms making statements on behalf of their governments during celebrations, festivals, emergencies, or crises. They play a significant role as the face of their nation when attending global conferences or hosting international events.

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