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Diplomats from the Palestinian Territories discuss at the WCGE

In cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office the WCGE once again organized a seminar for young diplomats in Wittenberg.

On September 4, 2014 eight young professionals of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Territories discussed ethical challenges of their professional lives. The visit to the WCGE was part of the three-week program "Executive Seminar for Diplomats from the Palestinian Territories", which took place in the context of the Federal Foreign Office's Training for International Diplomats.

The discussion focused on the question how to initiate steps of trust building in the Middle East. It revealed the ethical challenges in which the future representatives of the Palestinian Territories find themselves: diplomacy as the "art and practice of negotiation" requires consensus orientation and willingness to compromise, to enable trust building in the intergovernmental relationships. However, such an attitude is sometimes regarded as a weakness by the own citizens. As a consequence they withdraw their confidence in the representatives and thus limit their scope of actions. This reflects the fact that the solution of intergovernmental conflicts generally has to start within the countries concerned. Diplomacy will only be successful when both sides can trust in the negotiation partner's ability to actually implement the agreements. Together it was discussed how the individual can deal with this issue. Valuable practical experiences form the region were contributed, besides the young diplomats, by Dr. Peter Schmidt, Director of the Program and former ambassador in different Arab states as well as by Prof. h.c. Josef Schleicher, former Director External Affairs & Public Policy of Daimler AG. Using various examples both demonstrated that common values and interests always are the basis for cooperation and thus are essential for successful diplomacy.

The seminar is another highlight in the cooperation with the Training for International Diplomats of the Federal Foreign Office. After an initial meeting with representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean in autumn 2012 and an alumni meeting with guest from more than 20 countries in 2013, in this year participants from the Western Balkans and Africa came to Wittenberg. Furthermore the WCGE contributed impulses to the 38th Training for International Diplomats in Berlin. With this meanwhile sixth seminar the WCGE deepens its longstanding and manifold international experiences in the development, transfer and discussion of global ethics with guests from around the world.