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A foreign affairs minister or minister of foreign affairs (less commonly minister for foreign affairs) is generally a
cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
minister Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service ...
in charge of a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
's
foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Polic ...
and
relations Relation or relations may refer to: General uses *International relations, the study of interconnection of politics, economics, and law on a global level *Interpersonal relationship, association or acquaintance between two or more people *Public ...
. The formal title of the top official varies between countries. In the United States it is "Secretary of State." The foreign minister typically reports to the head of government (such as prime minister or president).


Difference in titles

In some nations, such as
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

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 The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
, call the position the Minister of External Relations. In the United States, the Secretary of State is the member of the
Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
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 Chancellor ( la, links=no, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the ' of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the ''cancelli'' or lattice work screens of ...
" (''Canciller'' 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 Ballhausplatz is a square In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerne ...
in Vienna housed the
Foreign Ministry of Austria-Hungary The Imperial and Royal Foreign Ministry (german: k. u. k. Ministerium des Äußern) was the ministry responsible for the foreign relations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the D ...
; the
Quai d'Orsay
Quai d'Orsay
in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
for France's
Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs () is the ministry of the Government of France The Government of the French Republic (french: Gouvernement de la République française ) exercises executive power ''Executive Power'' is Vin ...
; the
South Block The Secretariat Building or Central Secretariat is where the Cabinet Secretariat is housed, which administers the Government of India. Built in the 1910s, it is home to some of the most important ministries of the Cabinet of India The Uni ...

South Block
in
New Delhi New Delhi (, ''Naī Dillī'') is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majusc ...

New Delhi
for India's Ministry of External Affairs; the
Necessidades Palace The Necessidades Palace () is a historic building in the Largo do Rilvas, a public square in Lisbon Lisbon (; Portuguese: Lisboa; ) is the capital and the largest city of Portugal Portugal (), officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, ...
in Lisbon for Portugal's
Ministry of Foreign Affairs In many countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the government department responsible for the state's diplomacy Diplomacy is the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or organizations through dialogue, neg ...
; the Wilhelmstraße, in Berlin, was the location of the
German Foreign Office , logo = Auswärtiges Amt Logo.svg , logo_width = 200 px , image = Auswaertiges Amt Berlin Eingang.jpg , picture_width = 300px , image_caption = Entrance to the Foreign Office building , headquarters = Werderscher Markt 110117 ...
; and
Foggy Bottom Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest late 18th- and 19th-century neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., located west of the White House and downtown Washington, in the Washington, D.C. (northwest), Northwest quadrant. It is bounded roughly by 17th Str ...
, a neighborhood of Washington, D.C., houses the
Department of State The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the nation's foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and ...
. 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 Rio de Janeiro (; ), or simply Rio, is the List of largest cities in Brazil, second-most populous city in Brazil and the Largest cities in the Americas, sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the Rio de Janeiro (s ...

Rio de Janeiro
(1899-1970) and the present
Itamaraty Palace The Itamaraty Palace (), also known as the Palace of the Arches (''Palácio dos Arcos''), is the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign AffairsIn many countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the government department responsible for the stat ...

Itamaraty Palace
(since 1970) in
Brasília Brasília (; ) is the of and seat of of the . The city is located at the top of the in the country's region. It was founded by President on April 21, 1960, to serve as the new national capital. Brasilia is estimated to be Brazil's . Among ...

Brasília
. Indonesians also often refer to their
Ministry of Foreign Affairs In many countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the government department responsible for the state's diplomacy Diplomacy is the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or organizations through dialogue, neg ...

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
as "Pejambon", since the ministry's main headquarters is located at Pejambon Street,
Central Jakarta Central Jakarta ( id, Jakarta Pusat) is one of the five administrative cities (''kota administrasi'') which form the Special Capital Region of Jakarta Jakarta (; ), officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta ( id, Daerah Khusus Ibuk ...
. During the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical that extended across and from 1721, succeeding the following the that ended the . The Empire lasted until the was proclaimed by the that took power after the ...
, which lasted until 1917, the term used was the Choristers' Bridge in
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), ...

Saint Petersburg
. In contrast, the Italian ministry was called the Consulta.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.


Powers of position

A foreign minister's powers can vary from government to government. In a classic
parliamentary system A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' an ...
, a foreign minister can potentially exert significant influence in forming
foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Polic ...
but when the government is dominated by a strong
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpar ...
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 The executive (short for executive branch or executive power) is the part of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, a ...
. Since the end of World War II, it has been common for both the foreign minister and
defense minister A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent ...
to be part of an inner cabinet (commonly known as a
national security council#REDIRECT National security council A National Security Council (NSC) is usually an executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State ...
) in order to coordinate defense and
diplomatic policy
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 nation Image:Imf-advanced-un-least-developed-2008.svg, 450px, Classifications by the International Monetary Fund, IMF and the United Nations, UN in 2008.A developed country, industrialized country (or post-industrial country), more developed countr ...

developed nation
s. 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).


Responsibilities

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 , king of Sweden, receiving the state visit of Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia, in 1954 during his state visit to Berlin in April 2015. A state visit is a formal visit by a head of state to a foreign country, at the invitation of the head o ...
to other countries. The foreign minister is generally the most well-traveled member of any cabinet. * In the United Kingdom, the minister responsible for foreign policy (as well as the
British Overseas Territories The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen all with a constitutional and historical link with the . They are remnants of the and do not form part of the United Kingdom its ...

British Overseas Territories
) is the
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs The secretary of state for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs, commonly known as the foreign secretary, is a senior minister of the Crown within the Government of the United Kingdom, and head of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Developm ...
(Foreign Secretary). Before 1968, the
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs The secretary of state for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs, also referred to as the foreign secretary, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically refe ...
only handled relations with foreign (non-
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
) countries, while relations with Commonwealth countries and colonies were handled by the
Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs was a British Cabinet minister responsible for dealing with the United Kingdom's relations with members of the Commonwealth of Nations (its former colonies). The minister's department was the Commonwe ...
. For the same reason, in Commonwealth countries other than the United Kingdom, the ministers responsible for handling relations with both Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries were formerly usually designated ministers for External Affairs. * In the United States, the Secretary of State handles foreign policy and is the senior
Cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transparent glass sheets or transparent polycarbonate sheets * Filing ...
officer. The name of the post comes from several domestic duties. 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 The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
has dealt with external relations in certain areas since its inception (see EU Trade Commissioner) and has a
High Representative The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR/VP) is the chief co-ordinator and representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is the organised, agree ...
as its chief diplomat. However, his/her duties are primarily to implement EU foreign policy, rather than formulate it.


Lists

*
List of current foreign ministers This is a list of current foreign ministers of the 193 United Nations member states as well as the Holy See (Vatican City) and the State of Palestine. Foreign ministers of List of states with limited recognition, sovereign countries with limite ...
* List of female foreign ministers


By year

* 1950 *
1990 Important events of 1990 include the German reunification, Reunification of Germany and the Yemeni unification, unification of Yemen, the formal beginning of the Human Genome Project (finished in 2003), the launch of the Hubble Space Telescop ...
,
1991 It was the final year of the Cold War The Cold War was a period of tension between the and the and their respective allies, the and the , which began following . Historians do not fully agree on its starting and ending points, bu ...
, 1992,
1993 1993 was designated as: * International Year for the World's Indigenous People The year 1993 in the Kwajalein Atoll Kwajalein Atoll (; Marshallese language, Marshallese: ) is part of the Marshall Islands, Republic of the Marshall Island ...
,
1994 The year 1994 was designated as the "International Year of the Family The year 1994 was proclaimed the International Year of the Family by the United Nations General Assembly. Its objectives are promoted by the United Nations Programme on the ...
,
1995 1995 was designated as: * United Nations Year for Tolerance * World Year of Peoples' Commemoration of the Victims of the Second World War This was the first year that the was entirely privatized, with the United States government no long ...
,
1996 1996 was designated as: * International Year for the Eradication of Poverty Events January * January 3 – Motorola introduces the Motorola StarTAC Wearable Cellular Telephone, the first clamshell mobile phone. * January 5 – Hamas ...
, 1997,
1998 1998 was designated as the ''International Year of the Ocean''. Events January * January 2 – Russia begins to Monetary reform in Russia, 1998, circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence. * January 4 – Wilaya of Reliza ...
, 1999 *
2000 2000 was designated as the International Year for the Culture of Peace and the World Mathematics, Mathematical Year. Popular culture holds the year 2000 as the first year of the 21st century and the 3rd millennium due to a tendency of group ...
,
2001 2001 was designated as International Year of Volunteers. Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap y ...
,
2002 2002 was designated as the International Year of Ecotourism and the International Year of Mountains. Events January * January 1 ** The Treaty on Open Skies, Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially enters ...
,
2003 2003 was designated the International Year of the freshwater, Fresh Water. Events January * January 11 – Illinois Governor George Ryan commutes the death sentences of 167 prisoners on Illinois's death row based on the Jon Burge scandal. * ...
, 2004, 2005,
2006 2006 was designated as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification and the International Asperger syndrome, Asperger's Year. Events January * January 1 – Russia cuts the shipment of natural gas to Ukraine over a Russia–U ...
,
2007 2007 was designated as the International Heliophysical YearImage:IHY logo.png, 200px, right The International Heliophysical Year is a United Nations, UN-sponsored scientifically driven international program of scientific collaboration to unde ...
,
2008 2008 was designated as: *International Year of LanguagesThe United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, pursuant to a resolution of UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultura ...
,
2009 2009 was designated as: *International Year of Astronomy 200px, Euro gold and silver commemorative coins (Austria)#2009 Coinage, International Year of Astronomy commemorative coin. The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) was a year-l ...
*
2010 2010 was designated as: *International Year of Biodiversity The International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) was a year-long celebration of biological diversity and its importance, taking place internationally in 2010. Coinciding with the dat ...
,
2011 A series of protests and government overthrows, known as the Arab Spring The Arab Spring ( ar, الربيع العربي) was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab worl ...
,
2012 2012 was designated as: *International Year of Cooperatives2012 was designated as the International Year of Cooperatives by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 2009. The designation has honored the use of cooperative organiz ...
,
2013 2013 was designated as: *International Year of Water Cooperation *International Year of Quinoa Quinoa (''Chenopodium quinoa''; or , from Quechuan languages, Quechua ' or ') is a flowering plant in the Amaranthaceae, amaranth family. It ...
,
2014 2014 was designated as: * International Year of Crystallography * International Year of Family Farming * International Year of Small Island Developing States * International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People __TOC__ Events Jan ...
,
2015 2015 was designated as: * International Year of Light The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 or International Year of Light 2015 (IYL 2015) was a United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovern ...
,
2016 2016 was designated as: * International Year of Pulses 2016 was declared as the International Year of Pulses by the sixty eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2013. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ...
,
2017 2017 was designated as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development2017 was declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations General Assembly on 4 December 2015 relating to sustainab ...
,
2018 2018 was designated as the third International Year of the Reef by the International Coral Reef Initiative. Events January * January 13 – The killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, in a fake encounter killings by police, encounter staged by po ...
,
2019 2019 was designated as International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six pr ...
*
2020 2020 was heavily defined by the COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from , , "all" and , , "local people" the 'crowd') is an of an that has spread across a large region, for insta ...
,
2021 2021 is scheduled to host most major events that were originally scheduled for 2020, including the 2020 CONCACAF Nations League Finals, Eurovision Song Contest 2021, Eurovision Song Contest, UEFA Euro 2020, 2020 Summer Olympics, 2021 Copa Améri ...


See also

*
Ministry of Foreign Affairs In many countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the government department responsible for the state's diplomacy Diplomacy is the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or organizations through dialogue, neg ...
*
Diplomacy Diplomacy is the practice of influencing the decisions and conduct of foreign governments or organizations through dialogue, negotiation, and other nonviolent means. Diplomacy usually refers to international relations carried out through the inte ...

Diplomacy


References


External links


eDiplomat.com: Foreign Affairs Ministries
{{DEFAULTSORT:Foreign Minister
Foreign Foreign may refer to: Government * Foreign policy, how a country interacts with other countries * Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in many countries ** Foreign Office, a department of the UK government ** Foreign office and foreign minister * United St ...
Diplomacy