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22
JULY-AUGUST 2013
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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
A code of ethics is essential to give diplo-
matic practitioners guidance with respect
to personal, as well as ofcial, boundaries.
Here are some components of such a code.
BY EDWARD MARKS
ETHICS FOR THE
PROFESSIONAL
DIPLOMAT
D
iplomats have sufered from bad
press for a long time. Back in the
17th century, Sir Henry Wooton
famously quipped that a diplo-
mat is “an honest man sent to
lie abroad for his country.” Te
profession of diplomacy can-
not seem to shake Sir Henry’s
witticism. Yet the remark also
implied that there were layers of behavior involved, between
states or governments with their raisons d’état on the surface,
and individual agents or diplomats with their personal ethical
concerns just underneath.
Against that backdrop, practitioners of diplomacy have
worked hard to make their profession more respectable. In 1716,
French diplomat Francois de Callieres published
De la manière
de négocier avec les souverains
(“On the Manner of Negotiating
with Sovereigns,” often translated as “Te Practice of Diplo-
FOCUS
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS