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State Department - Office Of The Secretary, The State Department's Country Reports On Human Rights Practices, Functional Areas

foreign united policy executive

The U.S. Department of State is part of the EXECUTIVE BRANCH of government and is principally responsible for foreign affairs and foreign trade. It advises the president on the formulation and execution of foreign policy. As chief executive, the president has overall responsibility for the foreign policy of the United States. The Department of State's primary objective in the conduct of foreign relations is to promote the long-range security and well-being of the United States. The department determines and analyzes facts relating to U.S. overseas interests, makes recommendations on policy and future action, and takes the necessary steps to carry out established policy. In so doing, the department engages in continuous consultations with the Congress, other U.S. departments and agencies, and foreign governments; negotiates treaties and agreements with foreign nations; speaks for the United States in the UNITED NATIONS and in more than 50 major international organizations in which the United States participates; and represents the United States at more than 800 international conferences annually.

The Department of State, the senior executive department of the U.S. government, was established by an act of July 27, 1789, as the Department of Foreign Affairs and was renamed Department of State by an act of September 15, 1789.

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