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By on 15 Jan, 2010 | From the channel/s: E-Diplomacy

Background Information

By on 29 Jun, 2002 | From the channel/s: Diplo Blog

Arguments can be found both against and for the use of ambiguity in diplomacy. Opponents point out that an ambiguous formulation in a treaty or agreement does not actually resolve a problem but simply puts it off until a later time, or allows the parties to the agreement a means of avoiding their obligations. Proponents respond that in a conflict, any tactic that brings an end to actually physical violence is useful and valuable.

By on 29 Jun, 2002 | From the channel/s: Diplo Blog


Ambiguous formulations are used in diplomacy to allow for a degree of consensus when parties to a negotiation cannot come to an agreement. Drazen Pehar explains

By on 29 Jun, 2002 | From the channel/s: Diplo Blog

Louise Lassonde (Coping with Population Challenges, London: Earthscan Publications Limited, 1996, 7) provides the following example: "In the Cairo Programme, various formulations which were contradictory a priori were worded in such a way as to satisfy all parties. This is what happened in the controversy over abortion, which was circumvented by means of a wording that satisfied all groups. It reads as follows:
 

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