Sorry for bringing this up randomly again, but I completely and utterly disagree with the idea that First Contact is first and foremost a diplomatic act. First Contact is, well, First Contact, it's a category of its own. Priorities should be set more on the scientific side of things than the political side of things. If, for an Earth example, NASA successfully accomplished FTL travel, then the UFP should contact NASA, not the UN or the US Government. Scientists are usually more suitable for contact, since they are the people who really expect
the existence of aliens. If they are welcomed on a Federation starship, they are much less likely to be overwhelmed and frightened by the advanced technology, than being fascinated by it. That being said, I think scientists should be the first people the UFP approaches, followed by political leaders and only then followed by the military.
Regarding the point that governments may not wish to reveal the existence of the UFP to the general population, I think that the UFP should not listen to those governments, but rather consult its observation teams, asking them
, not the governments, whether the population seems ready. If the OTs say yes, but the government says no, the government should be ignored. Governments are often not very reliable and more than often don't want the best for their people, but just the best for themselves. The OTs are clearly more suitable for independently analyzing the situation.