Diplomatic mission: definition

A diplomatic mission is a group of people named by a State and headed by a chief of mission, to perform diplomatic functions on the territory of a foreign State. In practice, this expression also often means offices where these people work.

Functions of a diplomatic mission

According to the article 3 of the 1961 Vienna Convention, normal functions consist in:
- representing the sending State in the receiving State
- protecting in the receiving State the interests of the sending State and of its nationals, within the limits permitted by international law
- negotiating with the Government of the receiving State
- ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State, and reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State
- promoting friendly relations between the sending State and the receiving State, and developing their economic, cultural and scientific relations

Embassies and consulates

Embassies deal with affairs involving States themselves while consulates deal with affairs involving companies or individuals (such as the establishment of a visa for a person as an instance...).
Embassies are usually located in the capital of a country and often have a consular section.
That's why almost all consulates are located in cities that are not capitals.