ntain elements that attempt to promote useful ethical and moral values that are thought to be important for the progress of humanity (Donnelly, 2004, Pp. 1 – 16)? After having lost millions of lives and having endured two World Wars, a broad consensus has now finally emerged in regard to what may be considered to be ethical behavior by a state and international institutions do exist to protect and promote international law(Dongyan, 2006, Sections I to IV) and (Harries, 2005, Pp. 1 – 10). These institutions also encourage mediation and dialogue between nations. Nation states have always tried to influence other nations through intimidation, coercion or rewards, but in an era of globalization which has had a profound influence on the manner in which the world works, communicates, trades and acts in concert on important issues, perhaps promotion of ethical and moral values are as important as safeguarding the national interest (Reisman, 1999, Pp. 1 – 15). However, this is also an era of global economic competitions, with many nations only paying a lip service to values associated with human rights, democracy and morality in interstate relations, preferring to constantly receive, but never give. Thus, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on the protection of national interests rather then on the promotion of values. This brief essay presents a discussion of this issue.
Interest has been a guide for the diplomatic conduct of states since the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when the concept of modern sovereign states was being formulated (Shembilku, 2004, Pp. “The Concept of National Interest”). Interest was then considered in terms of those aspirations which were prompted by rational calculations and pursued with prudence. Thus, it was important for those who were at the helm of power to know when to use power and when to desist from the use of power. Prudence was a term that was used in relation to the carrying out of actions to achieve political