Question: You are a serving diplomat, representing your country at international platform. Your country is about to face a vote regarding imposing of sanctions for gross violation of human rights. You are aware that such an incident indeed took place and have condemnation for such acts. Before the voting takes place, you are ordered by higher officials to bribe some members of the voting group to get results in your country’s favour. You do not agree with the move but are pressurized to do so.
What will be your course of action? Explain.
Answer: Public servant is bound by acts of professional duty as well as societal welfare. In situations such as this where public welfare and professional duty do not overlap, dilemma can occur.
The case involves professional duty, moral values and patriotic act that have to be achieved without violating the balance.
My course of action
- Identify cost benefits
Firstly I would try to analyse the impact of my action. I would have to know if my steps would result in gross violation of duty or it can be negated through alternative measures. If the benefits of me following orders are more than I would go as instructed.
- Alternative to bribery
Alternative to paying bribes can be taken if issue is not of much significance. If the voting members can be convinced that such an action did not take place, then paying bribes is not needed. Voting members can be requested to refrain from voting by assuring adherence to international law.
- Follow orders
Decision made from higher officials have to be implemented. If options resided with me then I would be compelled to look for alternative. Since there is no luxury of time, I would go ahead with the instructions for the welfare of the country.
- Human rights issue
International platform is not the place to criticize one’s own country or go against its interest. I can bring out my concerns through appropriate channels. Formal steps can be taken to raise questions and on international platform, I would refrain from getting influenced by my personal opinion.
Thus, professional duty and country’s welfare would be more important than my personal opinion. There are various other ways to raise my concern. I would work under the organisation to bring changes rather than embarrassing the country.