Wikipedia:Diplomatic notability

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There has often been difficulty when deciding how Wikipedia should handle information about diplomats – for a particular diplomat, should there be an article specifically about the individual and, if not, how may information about the person best be included in other ways? We only have articles devoted to a specific person if that person is "notable", see Wikipedia:Notability (people), and "notability" is generally determined by criteria relating to the extent of coverage in multiple, reliable, independent sources. In addition some people are "likely to be notable" if they have exceptional achievements even if coverage in books or in the press is rather slight. However, and most strongly for living people, information we report must be verifiable, see WP:Verifiability, and without any verifiable information there cannot be an article, however important the individual.

There is a specific guideline about the notability of politicians, WP:POLITICIAN suggesting who is "likely to be notable" according to what they have achieved. In the USA many diplomats are (or have been) politicians and these criteria may well apply although there can be disagreement about whether the achievements of a diplomat are equivalent to having "held international, national or sub-national ... office". In the UK diplomats are rarely politicians but senior diplomats often receive honors and the notability guideline for people suggests that anyone who has "received a well-known and significant award or honor" is likely to be notable. Elsewhere in the world diplomats are generally civil servants and they may receive less attention in the press – care must be taken not to bias our coverage.

Articles specifically about diplomats[edit]

For any individual (including therefore any diplomat) who meets the WP:GNG or WP:ANYBIO criteria, we presume that an article about them is merited. When the person is alive the requirements of WP:BLP also apply. The additional criteria in the Wikipedia:Notability (people) guidelines for people in other walks of life may be applied to diplomats by analogy.

If an individual who is, or was, the "head of mission" meets the criteria in a well-respected essay (such as WP:SOLDIER) an individual biography article can be created. Otherwise, a redirect to another article (such as a list) is sufficient (this would be similar to how some municipalities have a list of former mayors embedded within them, but the office itself doesn't automatically confer notability upon the office holder (see WP:POLOUTCOMES)).

Other notable diplomats may include those who have received significant coverage in crafting a treaty or bilateral or multilateral agreement, or received significant coverage related to a notable diplomatic event (i.e. Trent Affair).

Diplomats who are not covered in a specific article[edit]

Positions of Head of mission are relevant to an article about the foreign relations between two nations (example: Canada–United States relations). Furthermore, positions of Head of mission to international organizations (IGO) are also relevant to articles about a nation's membership in an organization (example: Fiji and the United Nations). Therefore, those articles can include (if it can be verified by a reliable source(s)) a list of Head of mission(s) between the two countries, or between a country and an organization, an embedded list. If a "relations" article has not yet been created, due to it being non-notable per established notability guidelines, one should not be created for the sole purpose of creating embedded lists of head of mission between two nations, or between a nation and an international organization.

The guidance in WP:NLIST is to recommend that when an article is a stand-alone list of people, the individuals should all be notable. For who to include in an embedded list, general editorial judgment applies, see WP:Source list. On matters of style, when an article is a stand-alone list see WP:LISTPEOPLE, and for an embedded list see WP:EMBED.