Independent Diplomat is a non-profit organisation founded in 2004 by former British diplomat Carne Ross to give advice and assistance in diplomatic strategy and technique to governments and political groups - such as providing 'freelance' diplomats to unrecognised governments (i.e. governments of seceded or proto-states that do not (yet) have international recognition, and usually have little experience in dealing with international bureaucracy). It works to enable broader participation in diplomatic forums such as the United Nations, European Union, African Union, etc. Independent Diplomat’s goal is to contribute to just and sustainable solutions to international problems by promoting inclusiveness and accountability in foreign policy. It is an independent organisation, without connection to any particular governments or institutions, which only helps those who support democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Independent Diplomat’s staff currently (2009) includes Carne Ross, Executive Director and founder; and Thomas J. Miller, as head of its Washington office. Its Advisory Council includes Alyson Bailes, Edward Mortimer, Eva Nowotny, and Sir Kieran Prendergast . Former members include Ian Martin and Danilo Türk. Its Board of Directors includes Parag Khanna, Victor Navasky, and David Rieff. It is funded (with approximately $1.8 million per year) by foundation and government donations, as well as fees from their clients (with poorer organisations charged nominal fees only).
ID’s projects have included: helping Kosovo achieve recognition as a new state, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, Somaliland, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Western Sahara. They also assist the Republic of the Marshall Islands in navigating international diplomatic processes on climate change and manage a project to reform the working methods of the United Nations Security Council. ID has also assisted various non-profit organizations, including: Human Rights First, the International Center for Transitional Justice and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
- Freelance diplomats lend a hand to would-be states - Slobodan Lekic, Associated Press, via Yahoo News, Friday 31 July 2009