Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Appointing a new High Commissioner

As you may have read recently in the papers, our High Commissioner has been promoted to be the Secretary of DFAT:

That then got me thinking: what is the process to appoint a new High Commissioner??

To go off track for just a second - in a Commonwealth country, the senior diplomat is called a High Commissioner not Ambassador & the embassy is called a High Commission (but only in the capital cities, otherwise it’s a Consulate).

The process to select a new High Commissioner is called Agrément.
Basically, Australia will nominate, to the Indian government, who it wants to be the new High Commissioner to India. India will then take time to decide if it is happy with the proposed appointee.

If India is, it will grant its agrément to the appointment.

That person will then turn up in-country with a letter of credence from (in Australia’s case), the Governor-General.

This letter must then be presented to the head of state - in India’s case, it will be the President.

Until such times as that letter is presented (the presentation of diplomatic credentials takes place a number of times every year), the appointee cannot represent Australia in any form.

So now you know !!

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