Diplomatic Document

Diplomatic Document

 

(in Russian, akt diplomati-cheskii), a written text presented or sent by the organs of foreign relations of one state to the organs of foreign relations of another state. The diplomatic documents most widely used are the note, memorandum, official letter, and aide-mémoire.

A note is a diplomatic document through which a government can state rights or claims or protest against an illegal act or acts by other governments and in addition can conclude an agreement (in the latter case the agreement is set forth in the note of one party and is repeated in the return note of the other). Like other formal diplomatic documents, notes do not necessarily have to deal with direct agreements or protests but may be of a purely informational character. But even in that case they have certain juridical importance: a fact stated in a note in specific wording expresses the official point of view of a given government.

A note is, as a rule, a one-man diplomatic document, though in latest practice joint notes are also encountered—that is, written statements addressed jointly by representatives of several states to a single state on a single issue. A joint note is usually solemn in nature and presupposes close relations among the states that signed it. In wide practice, including the practice of the USSR, are the so-called individual (or parallel) notes, where several governments address notes of the same contents to the government of a given state. In some cases a government may send identical notes to three or four parties to an agreement. It is in this form, for example, that the USSR made its representations in regard to the threat to peace that has been manifest in the activity of some of the imperialist states.

One-man or individual notes may be either personal or verbal. A personal note is written in the first person on the letterhead of the person signing it and is composed in a specific form (it contains salutations, a personal signature, and so on). It is sent in the original and without a number. A verbal note is written impersonally, that is, in the third person, on a letterhead; it contains salutations and compliments (“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs conveys its respects to the Embassy of Luxembourg and has the honor of informing . . .”), is not signed, but is authenticated by a seal and has a number.

A memorandum is most often an addendum to a note. It sets forth in detail the factual aspects of a question, offers an analysis of some provisions, or contains exceptions to statements of the other side. A memorandum-addendum is not written on a letterhead, does not have a number, and usually (though not in all countries) gives the place and date of dispatch. However, if it is sent individually (the so-called express memorandum) or by courier, it is written on a letterhead, gives the place and date of dispatch, but never has a signature or seal.

One type of diplomatic document—the aide-mémoire—is in the nature of a brief memorandum supplementing an oral statement. It is written in an impersonal form, without salutations, number, or address, but does indicate the place and date of dispatch. As a rule it is passed from hand to hand during a discussion. A special delivery express aide-mémoire is sent individually and serves as a reminder concerning a matter that had already been communicated or discussed in a previous memorandum. In form the express aide-mémoire hardly differs from a verbal note. Like the latter it is written in the third person on a letterhead, has a number and date, and contains salutations and a compliment, but in contents it is only a reminder concerning some fact.

The so-called official letter, basically a type of personal note, is also employed at times in diplomatic practice. Official letters and notes are usually written in the language of the sender or in one of the diplomatic languages.

I. P. BLISHCHENKO

References in periodicals archive ?
The South Korean foreign ministry handed over a diplomatic document to that effect to a senior Japanese Embassy official at the ministry in Seoul.
According to Yonhap, Kim made the remarks at a parliamentary session hours before the Japanese government made the formal proposal to South Korea by sending a diplomatic document through the Japanese embassy in Seoul, escalating diplomatic tension between the two historical rivals.
Italy's call is contained in a diplomatic document, as cited by DPA.
The leftist daily AL AKHBAR said last Thursday that according to a leaked diplomatic document by WikiLeaks, Minister of Defense Elias al-Murr told former U.
Saleh said he was satisfied with America's counter-terrorism assistance to date, but went on to criticise the US for their on and off approach, describing the Americans as "hot-blooded and hasty when you need us", but "cold-blooded and British when we need you," according to the diplomatic document.
South Korea will send a diplomatic document to Japan on Thursday at the earliest formally rejecting its proposal to refer their territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice for settlement, Yonhap News Agency reported Wednesday, citing a senior South Korean foreign ministry official.
According to Seoul's Yonhap News Agency, South Korea sent a diplomatic document to Japan earlier in the day, dismissing Tokyo's proposal to take the case to the international court.
Japan will soon send a diplomatic document known as a "note verbale" formally making the proposal to the South Korean government through the Japanese embassy in Seoul, government officials said.
secret diplomatic document related to Lebanon goes back to 2008, and its source was Dubai, the daily added.
The diplomatic document sent by Syria itself is said to have been classified.
The group has also discovered from a diplomatic document written at the time that three Japanese crew members from Hiroshima and Nagasaki prefectures were rescued from the ship, they said.
Perfil did not say how it obtained an Iranian diplomatic document.