Difference in titles
In some nations, such as India
, the Foreign Minister is referred to as the Minister for External Affairs
; or others, such as Brazil and the states created from the former Soviet Union
, call the position the Minister of External Relations. In the United States, the Secretary of State
is the member of the Cabinet
who handles foreign relations. Other common titles may include Minister of Foreign Relations. In many countries of Latin America, the foreign minister is colloquially called "Chancellor
in the Spanish-speaking countries and Chanceler
in the Portuguese-speaking Brazil).
Diplomats themselves and historians often refer to the foreign ministry by its local address, for example, the Ballhausplatz
housed the Foreign Ministry of Austria-Hungary
; the Quai d'Orsay
for France's Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs
; the South Block
in New Delhi
for India's Ministry of External Affairs
; the Necessidades Palace
for Portugal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
; the Wilhelmstraße
, in Berlin
, was the location of the German Foreign Office
; and Foggy Bottom
, a neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
, houses the Department of State
. The Ministry of External Relations
of Brazil is often referred as the "Itamaraty" due to the two homonymous palaces that served as its headquarters, the original one in Rio de Janeiro
(1899-1970) and the present Itamaraty Palace
(since 1970) in Brasília
. Indonesians also often refer to their Ministry of Foreign Affairs
as "Pejambon", since the ministry's main headquarters is located at Pejambon Street, Central Jakarta
. During the Russian Empire
, which lasted until 1917, the term used was the Choristers' Bridge
in Saint Petersburg
. In contrast, the Italian ministry was called the Consulta
Powers of position
A foreign minister's powers can vary from government to government. In a classic parliamentary system
, a foreign minister can potentially exert significant influence in forming foreign policy
but when the government is dominated by a strong prime minister
the foreign minister may be limited to playing a more marginal or subsidiary role in determining policy. Similarly, the political powers invested in the foreign minister are often more limited in presidential governments
with a strong executive branch
. Since the end of World War II
, it has been common for both the foreign minister and defense minister
to be part of an inner cabinet (commonly known as a national security council
) in order to coordinate defense and diplomatic policy
. Although the 19th and early 20th centuries saw many heads of government assume the foreign ministry, this practice has since become uncommon in most developed nations
In some countries, the foreign minister is typically the most (or among the most) high profile of cabinet positions. For instance, in the US, its foreign minister is the first member of cabinet in line for the presidential line of succession (with the Vice President, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and President Pro-Tempore of the United States Senate ahead of the foreign minister). Meawhile, the UK's foreign secretary belongs to the four Great Offices of State (along with the prime minister, chancellor of the exchequer, and home secretary).
Along with their political roles, foreign ministers are also traditionally responsible for many diplomatic duties, such as hosting foreign world leaders and going on state visits
to other countries. The foreign minister is generally the most well-traveled member of any cabinet.
Although it is very rare for there to be any sub-national foreign minister post, sometimes there is a minor external relations position. The European Union
has dealt with external relations in certain areas since its inception (see EU Trade Commissioner
) and has a High Representative
as its chief diplomat. However, his/her duties are primarily to implement EU foreign policy
, rather than formulate it.
- 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
- 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
- 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
- 2020, 2021
- ^ "Minister of Foreign Affairs".
- ^ David Stevenson, "The Diplomats" in Jay Winter, ed. The Cambridge History of the First World War: Volume II: The State (2014) vol 2 p 68.
Last edited on 19 February 2021, at 23:30
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