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Forum on Global Issues

Dialogue between Government and Civil Society


The process of globalisation, the ever increasing interlinking of individual states and regions of the world, in the last decades had decisive political repercussions as well as its obvious economic and social impact. Governments are increasingly aware that most challenges can no longer be met by individual states and that the distinction between domestic and international politics is more and more blurred. Key global challenges are:

  • the protection of our natural environment and its preservation for future generations;
  • population growth and the search for an appropriate response to it;
  • poverty alleviation and the creation of an equitable balance between rich and poor;
  • the protection of human rights throughout the world and the enforcement of universally binding human rights standards;
  • the fight against organized crime, terrorism and the drug trade;
  • the prevention and de-escalation of politico-military and economic crises.

These global issues are generally closely linked; they must therefore be analyzed more clearly in their contexts, with the aim of identifying overarching approaches to tackling them. This includes the recognition that the majority of problems can no longer be resolved by individual states acting alone, and that the boundaries between domestic and foreign policy have become increasingly blurred. In addition to international cooperation and joint international endeav­ours, the increased involvement of non-governmental global players, so-called civil society, is needed.

The Forum on Global Issues was set up in April 1999 in response to these considerations by the then Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Joschka Fischer, in the presence of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The Forum serves as a Federal Foreign Office platform for the dialogue between government and civil society. This dialogue between government and non-governmental organizations, foundations, churches, business associations and companies looks at the entire spectrum of global issues.

The Task Force Global Issues is glad to be at your disposal for the exchange of information and ideas. Comments on individual activities, the documentation or other questions are welcome!


Elections in Egypt, November 2011

32nd Forum on Global Issues on 7 May 2013: “On behalf of the people? The keys to success and potential pitfalls of external democracy promotion”

Even under good structural conditions, external democracy promotion is only effective if the relevant social groups want democratization and the political elite prove able to manage the transition.

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Foreign & European Policy