A démarche has come to refer either to
  1. a line of action; move; countermove; maneuver, esp. in diplomatic relations, or
  2. formal diplomatic
    Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

     representation of the official position, views, or wishes on a given subject from one government
    Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

     to another government or intergovernmental organization.

Diplomatic démarches are delivered to the appropriate official of the government or organization. Démarches generally seek to persuade, inform, or gather information from a foreign government. Governments may also use a démarche to protest
A protest is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations...

 or object to actions by a foreign government. Informally, the word is sometimes used as a verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

 to describe making or receiving such correspondence.

Démarches by the United States

The U.S. government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 defines démarche as "a request or intercession with a foreign official, e.g., a request for support of a policy, or a protest about the host government's policy or actions".

The US government issues démarches to foreign governments through "front-channel cable
Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of messages via some form of signalling technology. Telegraphy requires messages to be converted to a code which is known to both sender and receiver...

" instructions from the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

. Although the content of a given démarche may originate in another U.S. government agency, only the Department of State may also instruct a post to deliver the démarche. Unless specifically authorized by the Department of State, posts should not act on instructions transmitted directly from another post, or from another agency, whether by cable or other means (e.g. e-mail, fax, or phone).

Any Department of State officer or other official under the authority of the chief of mission
Diplomatic mission
A diplomatic mission is a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organisation present in another state to represent the sending state/organisation in the receiving state...

 can make a démarche. Unless the Department provides specific instructions as to rank (for example: "the Ambassador should call on the Foreign Minister"), the post has discretion to determine who should make the presentation and which official(s) in the host government should receive it.

Preparation of the démarche

Démarche instruction cables from the Department should include the following elements:
  1. Objective: The objective is a clear statement of the purpose of the démarche, and of what the U.S. Government hopes to achieve.
  2. Arguments: This section outlines how the Department proposes to make an effective case for its views. It should include a rationale for the U.S. Government’s position, supporting arguments, likely counter-arguments, and suggested rebuttal
    In law, rebuttal is a form of evidence that is presented to contradict or nullify other evidence that has been presented by an adverse party. By analogy the same term is used in politics and public affairs to refer to the informal process by which statements, designed to refute or negate specific...

  3. Background: The background should spell out pitfalls; particular sensitivities of other bureaus, departments, or agencies; and any other special considerations.
  4. Suggested talking points: Suggested talking points should be clear, conversational, and logically organized. Unless there are compelling reasons to require verbatim delivery, the démarche instruction cable should make it clear that post may use its discretion and local knowledge to structure and deliver the message in the most effective way. ("Embassy may draw from the following points in making this presentation to appropriate host government officials.")
  5. Written material: This section is used to provide instructions on any written material to be left with the host government official(s). Such material could take the form of an aide-mémoire
    In international relations, an aide-mémoire is a proposed agreement or negotiating text circulated informally among delegations for discussion without committing the originating delegation's country to the contents. It has no identified source, title, or attribution and no standing in the...

    , a letter, or a "non-paper" that provides a written version of the verbal presentation (i.e., the talking points as delivered). Unless otherwise instructed, post should normally provide an aide-memoire or non-paper at the conclusion of a démarche. Any classified aide-memoire or non-paper must be appropriately marked and caveat
    Caveat , the third-person singular present subjunctive of the Latin cavere, means "warning" ; it can be shorthand for Latin phrases such as:...

    ed as to the countries authorized for receipt, e.g. "Rel. UK" indicates "Releasable to the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...


Delivery and follow-up action

Upon receipt of démarche instructions from the Department, posts should make every effort to deliver the démarche to the appropriate foreign government official(s) as soon as possible.

After delivering the démarche, the post should report to the Department via front-channel cable. The reporting cable should include the instruction cable as a reference, but it need not repeat the talking points transmitted in that cable. It should provide the name and title of the person(s) to whom the démarche was made, and record that official’s response to the presentation. As appropriate, the reporting cable should also describe any specific follow-up action needed by post, Department, or the foreign government.
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