Training for International Diplomats
Working together, for each other, worldwide – Training for International Diplomats is a success story. In twenty years the number of programmes on offer has reached more than 15 per year. These are optimum conditions for a diplomatic network for the future.
Foreign Minister Westerwelle meets participants in the 37th International Executive Seminar
Germany’s foreign policy is a policy for peace. All over the world we seek to promote democracy and human rights. We know, after all, that the challenges of our time cannot be tackled alone but only together. In an increasingly interconnected world, what we need is cooperation, not policies driven by national interests. This is precisely where Training for International Diplomats comes in.
Training for International Diplomats is an invitation to young foreign diplomats at the beginning of their careers to share their experience with us, to compare points of view and to identify common goals. This further-training initiative is geared to our partners in the world who, like us, recognize the value of a cosmopolitan outlook, the rule of law and partnership as foreign policy tools.
The Training for International Diplomats programme was established in 1992 after the end of the Cold War, the aim being to promote the development of foreign services in the fledgling democracies with courses for diplomats from Central and Eastern Europe. These were followed inter alia by courses for Afghanistan, the Middle East, Latin America, Iraq, Africa, Asia, China, the Western Balkans, Belarus and Ukraine. Now more than 15 courses are on offer to some 180 countries.
Training for International Diplomats takes account of current developments. For example, in 2011/2012 courses were offered for young diplomats from Egypt, Libya and Tunisia as well as for the newly founded state of South Sudan. We have responded to the opening up of Myanmar with a programme for the country’s young diplomats in 2013.
Each year, we welcome some 300 diplomats to Berlin from around the world. Yet we still cannot meet the growing demand.
The International Diplomats Programme in conversation with the former Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt
© Foreign Office
For each other
Seminars and workshops, meetings with young German diplomats and placements in the Federal Foreign Office are the building blocks of the programme. Talks with high-ranking staff of the federal ministries and the Federal Chancellery, with members of the German Bundestag are on the agenda, as are fact-finding visits to political foundations and institutions, to businesses and museums. Study trips to Brussels, Geneva, The Hague and Vienna are also offered depending on the nature of the seminar. Excursions to German cities such as Hamburg, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Bonn are another key component of the programmes.
Practice-oriented elements of the programme such as negotiation techniques, rhetoric and media training enable the participants to acquire valuable skills for their professional career. The focus is on issues such as constitutional law, federalism, international politics in the 20th and 21st centuries, bilateral relations between the participants’ countries and Germany and the EU, as well as international economic policy, peacekeeping and human rights. During the seminar the participants gain insight into the working procedures and structures of the German and international political, business and media spheres. Many seminars include a German language course.
The seminars are usually led by former ambassadors familiar with the region from which the participants come.
Participants in the 4th Executive Seminar for Diplomats from Latin America and the Caribbean
© Dirk Enters
The further-training programmes not only include the annual seminars which have become well established over the years; they also involve courses for young diplomats posted in Berlin, held in both German (Diplomatenkolleg) and in English (International Diplomats Programme). In 2010, the EU Kolleg was set up offering European policy information to diplomats from the EU member states accredited in Berlin.
Then there are the regular alumni meetings. Events in and around Berlin are organized several times a year for all alumni posted in Germany. There are currently about 200 of our alumni working in missions in Germany, several of them ambassadors. In 2012, there were two other alumni events. One in Tbilisi for the alumni of the Diplomatenkolleg and one in Berlin for the alumni of the German-language Executive Seminar for International Diplomats and of the advanced training programme for young diplomats from Central and Eastern Europe dating back to 1992 which was the first course in the history of Germany’s Training for International Diplomats. May 2013 will see the first regional alumni meeting in the Indian capital New Delhi and all former participants from the region and the surrounding area will be invited.
To secure the long-term success of the training programmes and the success of networks, Training for International Diplomats offers with the Internet portal www.diplomatie.de an information and contact platform for current and former participants. The monthly newsletter “Brief aus Berlin” is geared to all alumni, partners and interested parties and contains articles and information on the activities of the Federal Foreign Office’s Training for International Diplomats.
The facebook page of Training for International Diplomats (www.facebook.com/TrainingFor InternationalDiplomats) keeps you up to date on current and upcoming programmes and events. Groups set up for each course means current and former participants have a forum in which to exchange views.
The Diplomats’ College on the set of the Tagesschau news programme
© Foreign Office
The Federal Foreign Office’s cooperation partners include the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt, the German Council on Foreign Relations, the Goethe-Institut and the European Academy Berlin as well as various higher education institutions.
The diplomats are all invited to participate by the respective German Embassy having been selected by their own foreign ministries. Depending on the course, good German, French or English language skills are required. There is no charge for participating in International Training for Diplomats. The sending states are only responsible for covering the travel costs of the participants.
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Last updated 27.03.2013