Protocol literally the original note or minute of a transaction, agreement etc drawn up by a recognised public official and duly attested, forming the legal authority for any subsequent deed based on it. Diplomatically, protocol is the formulary of the etiquette to be observed by the Head of the State and Head of the Government in official ceremonies and in relations with representatives of other states.

Internally also there is protocol in state ceremonies and functions. The ancient and medieval royalties used to practice elaborate protocol in diplomatic relations and state functions. The modern states have standardised the system of protocol internationally as regards diplomatic etiquette and practices. The Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations (1961), of which Bangladesh is a signatory, has established a set of rules and ceremonials while dealing with protocol matter of its own Head of State/Government during their tours within the country as well as on state/official visits abroad.

Besides, Bangladesh also practices an elaborate protocol arrangement including ceremonials during visits by foreign Heads of State/Government and also on the first arrival of a head of a diplomatic mission accredited to Bangladesh. On all such occasions, Bangladesh follows certain rules concerning the playing of the National Anthem, the hoisting of the National Flag, use of the VVIP/VIP lounges at airports in addition to having a Warrant of Precedence, showing inter se seniority of all officials and dignitories. In addition, Bangladesh also accords certain diplomatic immunities and privileges to heads of diplomatic missions ie, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and High Commissioners and all other diplomats in embassies/high commissions/ consulates and UN and specialised agencies accredited to Bangladesh, on a reciprocal basis. The Protocol Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs looks after and coordinates protocol affairs of the government of Bangladesh. [AKM Farooq]