The Honourable George J. Furey, Q.C.
Speaker of the Senate
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or nations. It usually refers to international diplomacy, the conduct of international relations through the intercession of professional diplomats with regard to issues of peace-making, culture, economics, trade and international relations. International treaties are usually negotiated by diplomats prior to endorsement by national politicians
The ability to practice diplomacy is one of the defining elements of a state, and diplomacy has been practiced since the first city-states were formed millennia ago. For the most of human history, diplomats were sent only for specific negotiations, and would return immediately after their mission concluded. Diplomats were usually relatives of the ruling family or of very high rank in order to give them legitimacy when they sought to negotiate with the other state.
The Speaker of the Senate is fourth on the Order of Precedence following the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. In this respect, the Speaker is involved in most state visits, fulfilling his ceremonial role and receiving visiting heads of state or heads of government in the Speaker's chambers, usually with other parliamentarians and officials. The Speaker interacts on a regular basis with foreign diplomats as a means of advancing Canada's relations with the world. The Speaker also travels abroad to other countries on behalf of the Canadian Parliament.