Yeah that is a good suggestion Zombies, and the Send Envoy improvement is welcome as well.
While I don't disagree with the inclusion of missions, there have been many problems with the design up to this version. My basic issue with them is that the player profits from them while the AI does not. As the player, my acts in the game, my destruction of structures or ships, will often complete some AIs mission and I will get a boost not available to the AI. Also, as the player I can propose a truce despite the AI's failure to establish a high relationship level with me, so the player need not offer missions to the AI for diplomatic purposes. This means that the mission system heavily favours the player.
Also, I have difficulties with the way the missions are initiated. I would be happier if the default position was that you rejected the mission. If within the time allotted you choose to accept the mission, then you could get a relations boost, with a further boost for completion or a huge loss for failure. As it is the rejection of a mission seems to involve very little cost and failure is not that important, however my main difficulty is the passive manner in which you can ignore the missions screen and still profit from it.
The AI should get some sort of bonus in AI-AI relations for the absence of missions, a bonus that would be unavailable to the player. Then you could scale that with hard/cruel/vicious etc so that the AI gets hard/cruel/vicious diplomatic advantages. Two vicious AIs fighting each other constantly are no more a problem for a player than two normal AIs fighting each other constantly.
While I agree with the emphasis placed by Destraex on alliances, I just don't experience the game in the same way. What seems far more likely is that failure to complete a mission might deprive the player of a desired pact temporarily, rather than jeopardise an entire alliance. Far too much of the available 'range' of diplomatic relationships is devoted to pacts and far too little to peace/war, the fundamental and by far the most important relationship. I'm not opposed to allies making demands that seem to the player to divert from a 'main effort.' I presume that players don't play single player games with two or more allied victors?
Would it be asking for too much to require the AI to achieve appropriate levels of influence with the player for a truce to be possible? That would mean, to get to a truce, the player might have to design missions which the AI decides it wants to achieve. Of course, if you offer a mission against a faction you would lose influence with them.
However, whatever is done with missions (and pacts), the three basic elements of strategy have to be strong in diplomacy. The AI has to desire territory proximate to its existing territory, so that the owners of that territory find it difficult to build relations. The AI has to be prepared to cooperate with other factions against the leading military and economic factions. Finally, the Diplomatic Victory needs to take account of the current state of the game, rather than the previous states of the game. As I've stated before, I would prefer this to be changed entirely, to an Artifact Victory, it makes much more sense. If you collect all the Ancient Alien Technologies in the game you can combine them into a super-technology, the Dimensional Cascades, that means certain victory. That would both shorten the game and be far less sudden and arbitrary.