In the contemporary world, the word diplomacy has assumed a broad dimension or wider use other than the classical usage. In fact, modern day diplomacy has become all-involving that we can talk about it in terms of entertainment, parade, show of power, imposition of will/hegemonic play, among others.
So dynamic and dramatic has been the change to diplomacy over the centuries that it has lost its original meaning both in theory and practice; it now represents power - which country or State is more powerful or influential in the international system, so that every State must submit to its will.
These days diplomacy is "my way or no way" there are no negotiations, only the stronger wins. Every country is led by interests; bigger countries have bigger interests, whilst smaller countries have little influence and do not stand any chance of survival. In short, modern diplomacy has been used by bigger States to gain strategic advantage over other smaller States in the international system.
Multilateral diplomacy - as practiced at the United Nations provides the forum for exchange of experiences, conducting negotiations, exchange of thoughts in a culturally-diversified arena. Unfortunately, however, the United Nations has not lived up to the expectations of its founding fathers, there top of which were:
- to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
- to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations, large and small, and
- to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
- to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
- to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
- to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
- to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
- to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples.
(Source: United Nations)
One can easily recall the wicked and crude manipulations of the UN system by several Member States to get their will through, such as: the Afghanistan war, the Iraq war, NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, among others.
Going back to the evolution and practice of diplomacy, it is pertinent to remind ourselves of the manual guide for the conduct of modern day diplomacy - the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961
The States Parties to the present Convention,