The United Nations, with its headquarters in New York City, is the largest international diplomatic organization.

Diplomacy is the practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of states or groups, so as to influence the decisions and conduct of foreign governments through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means.[1] Diplomacy usually refers to international relations carried out through the intercession of professional diplomats with regard to a full range of topical issues.[2]

Diplomacy is the main instrument of foreign policy, which represents the broader goals and strategies that guide a state's interactions with the rest of the world. International treaties, agreements, alliances, and other manifestations of foreign policy are usually the result of diplomatic negotiations and processes. Diplomats may also help shape a state's foreign policy by advising government officials.

Modern diplomatic methods, practices, and principles originate largely from European customs since the 17th century. Beginning in the early 20th century, diplomacy became increasingly professionalized; the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, ratified by most of the world's sovereign states, provides a framework for diplomatic procedures, methods, and conduct. Most diplomacy is now carried out by accredited career diplomats through a dedicated political institution (such as a ministry or department of foreign affairs), usually with the support of staff and diplomatic infrastructure, such as consulates and embassies. Diplomacy is also conducted through other offices, such as envoys and ambassadors. The term diplomat is thus sometimes applied broadly to diplomatic and consular personnel and foreign ministry officials more generally.[3]