Experts on Germany from 23 Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Berlin:
Executive Seminar for International Diplomats 2011
Foreign Minister Westerwelle talking withyoung diplomats from three continents (Namibia, Hungary, China)
© Dirk Enters
“In order to help shape globalization, we are dependent on reliable partners. For global issues can only be resolved by global understanding, by common ideas for common solutions.” These were among the final words spoken by Professor Harald Braun to the participants in the 34th Executive Seminar for International Diplomats at the farewell ceremony in the Federal Foreign Office on 18th May. The young diplomats from 23 countries around the globe, all of whom speak fluent German, had been our guests in Berlin for a ten-week course from early March to mid-May.
The Executive Seminar for International Diplomats was launched in 1992 by then Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, primarily for young colleagues from Central and Eastern Europe. This year it was opened to participants from all over the world, and was attended by diplomats from Asia (China and Japan), Africa (Namibia) and Latin America (Mexico, Chile and Brazil), in addition to colleagues from our neighbouring states in Europe. This is why, besides EU topics, the seminar focused primarily on global issues this time. Ambassador Jutta Wolke, the Head of the Foreign Service Academy, opened the ceremony, calling the graduating diplomats the “German experts” of their foreign ministries, with whom we will be able to work together on “a cooperative foreign policy, which builds on dialogue, peace and human rights”.
Prof. Braun hands over the final certificate to Christina Tudor from the Rumanian Foreign Ministry
© Dirk Enters
The programme was divided into three phases.
The introductory phase consisted of lectures on various global issues by professors from a number of German universities (including Göttingen, Bochum, Erlangen, the Freie Universität Berlin and the Viadrina in Frankfurt an der Oder).
The second phase included debates and discussions with Federal Foreign Office colleagues from almost all Directorates-General. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues for their readiness to exchange ideas with our foreign guests. The Executive Seminar attaches particular importance to the exchange of ideas and opinions between young foreign diplomats and their German counterparts. All participants gave a talk about their own country. We invited the Foreign Office colleagues from the relevant country division to all 23 of these talks. This was a good opportunity for us to learn something from our guests.
The third phase really brought the issues to life. The participants discussed climate change with renowned climate researcher Mojib Latif in Kiel. They talked about conflict prevention and multilateral cooperation during visits to UN institutions in Vienna (IAEA, CTBTO, UNODC), addressed European issues on a two-day visit to the EU Commission and the EEAS in Brussels, and attended talks on peacekeeping at NATO headquarters and in the OSCE offices. To learn more about German business, the group also visited the German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce in Berlin, BMW in Leipzig and the German high-tech firm Dräger in Lübeck. The last is an international market leader in specific areas of medical technology, and thus provided our foreign guests with an interesting example of Germany’s current success as an export country.
Our guests from the Foreign Ministries in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic
© Dirk Enters
To take into account different points of view the course also included talks with members of the Bundestag and Bundesrat from across the political spectrum. In their talks with the Spiegel foreign affairs editor, the young diplomats criticized what they consider the one-sided coverage of their countries in the news magazine.
The events organized by the regional “Land” governments deserve special mention. In the last few years, trips have been organized to North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg. This year the participants travelled to northern Germany. The State Chancellery in Hamburg invited them to a reception with the consular corps. In Kiel, the State Secretary from the Culture Ministry spoke in depth about the Danish minority in Schleswig-Holstein, a question that was of special interest to the colleagues from Central and Eastern Europe, whose countries are also home to numerous minorities.
Farewell speech by Patricia von Wartenberg Salgado from Mexiko
© Dirk Enters
The participants’ thank you speech, which was jointly delivered by Patricia Gabriela von Wartenberg Salgado from Mexico and Sebastian Rogač from Croatia, left us in no doubt that the young diplomats will not only look back fondly on their time spent in Berlin, but will also put the insights and new perspectives gained here, as well as all their new contacts, to good use in pursuing foreign policy in a spirit of cooperation and partnership. They concluded their address by saying that they, like Marlene Dietrich, will always “have a suitcase in Berlin” (“einen Koffer in Berlin”).
Last updated 25.05.2011