Diplomatic Affairs

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Federation Diplomatic Service (Civilian)

Most major agencies of the Federation are committees of the Federation Council. The Diplomatic Service is an exception: It is controlled directly by the President, who appoints the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or Chief Diplomat, and oversees all Service activities. Because both groups share a "special relationship" with the President, the Service often sees itself as a civilian equivalent to Starfleet. Starfleet officers, especially harried captains who have to deal with self-important civilian diplomats, often have a different opinion. Since the Diplomatic Service is so well connected, however, a politically minded Starfleet officer usually keeps his opinions to himself.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs is responsible for all issues of diplomacy and protocol within the Federation. He/she is usually a member of the Federation Council (since virtually all planets send their best diplomats to serve as Ambassadors on the Council), but this is not always the case. During official negotiations, the Chief Diplomat's orders take precedence over even the President's, though it is extremely rare for the two to disagree so strongly it becomes an issue. As with the heads of other large bureaus of the Secretariat, the Chief is assisted by a legion of Undersecretaries, Deputy Secretaries, and Assistant Secretaries. He/she also controls the Federation's ambassadorial and diplomatic personnel.

Perhaps the most important branch of the civilian Service is the Federation Contact Commission, which is responsible for making initial contact with new civilizations. The head of the Contact Commission, the Undersecretary for Contact, is often the best-known person in the Service.

As its name implies, the primary purpose of the Diplomatic Service is to conduct diplomacy on behalf of the Federation - everything from ending wars, to preventing wars from starting, to establishing and maintaining trade. The Service typically represents the Federation to alien species. Most of this work is done by the Federation's ambassadors to member nations and governments, but sometimes more senior negotiators are needed for more complex situations.

The agents of the Diplomatic Service are also available to conduct negotiation, mediation, or arbitration between any Federation members, if all parties involved so request. The Service conducts many of its diplomatic missions with alien governments or potential member planets at its extensive facilities on the neutral planet of Parliament. The Service mostly uses the planet of Babel for intra-Federation negotiations.

Starfleet Diplomatic Corps (Military)

Starfleet has its own Diplomatic Corps, which operates primarily on the far frontier as an interim diplomatic agency until the Federation Diplomatic Service can send representatives to the planet in question. Many members of the Diplomatic Corps serve as military attaches in Federation Diplomatic Service embassies and missions, advising civilian ambassadors on military affairs, pursuing liaison work with local militaries, and keeping eyes and ears open for useful military data.

Starfleet's Diplomatic Corps, one of its most prestigious divisions, often makes first contact with new races and frequently provides the only UFP representative living on a non-member world. They typically settle disputes between member and non-member worlds, supervise the Federation admissions process and serve as liaisons with allied planets, making them the focus of attention throughout the Federation. This front-line work can often be both physically and emotionally demanding. Successful officers in Starfleet's Diplomatic Corps sometimes become members of the Federation Council.

The Diplomatic Corps is overseen by the Office of the Chief of Interplanetary Affairs. From Starfleet Command on Earth, the staff of the Chief of Interplanetary Affairs coordinates its activities with other departments. When a starship makes contact with a new spacefaring species, for example, a report goes to the Diplomatic Corps, which then determines whether or not to pursue diplomatic initiatives. Should a scientific survey uncover a new civilization, the Chief of Fleet Operations will forward this report to the First Contact Division. Any requirements are transmitted up the chain of command to the Chief of Interplanetary Affairs, who then coordinates with the CFO.

Talented individuals might receive a posting to one of the departments associated with this office. The Office of Personnel Management might transfer an officer with a particular talent at negotiation, for example, to Starfleet's Diplomatic Corps. Similarly, those officers who desire advanced training in the diplomatic arts can request admission to the Diplomatic and Exocultural Relations College, a part of Starfleet Academy.

Every fleet in Starfleet is appointed a Diplomatic Corps Advisor, usually of the rank of Captain or Commander. The current Diplomatic Corps Advisor for Obsidian Fleet is Commander Ronny Garber of Earth.

Diplomatic Affairs Guidebooks

Being an officer for the Diplomatic Corps is not an easy task. It is, in fact, one of the most challenging positions a Starfleet Officer can accept. Your job as an officer within the Diplomatic Corps is to represent the Federation to new cultures, determine how to best handle sensitive and potentially dangerous diplomatic situations, handle First Contact scenarios, and assist your Commanding Officer with Government, Legal, and Internal Affairs. The task is difficult but is rewarding. The Department of Diplomatic Affairs has assembled a collection of information from our database to make your job a little less confusing. Feel free to use the wealth of information stored herein.

All Starfleet officers are required to familiarize themselves with the information contained within the following pages. Failure to follow proper diplomatic protocol could result in demotion or removal from Starfleet.

The Starfleet Diplomatic Corps offers services to Starfleet and Federation personnel in addition to its other tasks. Because various questions arise within the Corps that cannot be addressed within this Database, the Corps is always accepting inquiries as to how to handle various situations, how to be a diplomat, how to deal with governments, etc.

Diplomatic Corps Positions

Starfleet personnel (Both Officers and Enlisted Crewmembers) have a choice of several positions within the Diplomatic Corps. Starships and Starbases that offer a Diplomatic Corps detachment may offer the following (or Similar) positions for crewmembers. Click on the title to learn about the specifics and duties of the position. The field encompasses a vast variety of assignments and tasks. Check out what you can do with your career in Diplomatic Corps!

Reference(s)

  • Campbell, Brian, et al. The Price of Freedom: The United Federation of Planets Sourcebook, New York: Last Unicorn Games, 1999. ISBN: 0671040030.
  • Isaacs, Ross A., et al. Starfleet Academy, New York: Last Unicorn Games, 1999.
  • Moore, Christian, et al. Star Trek: The Next Generation - Core Game Book, New York: Last Unicorn Games, 1998.