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German Federal Foreign Office and African diplomats hold a seminar at the Wittenberg Center

Diplomats from 17 African countries paid a visit to the WCGE on June 19, 2014.

The two-day stay in Wittenberg took place in the context of the Training for International Diplomats of the German Federal Foreign Office. It was part of the five-week program "8th Executive Seminar for Diplomats from Africa", targeted towards representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the respective countries.

Under the topic "Ethical challenges in the professional lives of diplomats", the seminar dealt with the following questions: How can diplomats contribute to building trust within and between states? Which ethical challenges result from this, for example from political constraints or cultural differences? And how can they be overcome? In moderated working groups conflict situations were analyzed and scopes for responsible conduct were discussed on the basis of the WCGE approach. Valuable practical experiences were contributed by Karl Flittner, Director of the Africa Program and former ambassador in Bamako (Mali) as well as by Prof. h.c. Josef Schleicher, former Director External Affairs & Public Policy of Daimler AG. Using various examples both demonstrated that integrity and reliability are key prerequisites for stable networks and that such, sometimes informal, networks are essential for successful diplomacy. At the end, everybody agreed that especially the following three premises decide on the trustworthiness of diplomats: keeping promises, accepting rules and respectful communication.

With the seminar the WCGE continues its cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office which began in 2012. In the context of the Training for International Diplomats an alumni meeting was supported in 2013; in the current year the WCGE contributed with impulses to the Western Balkans and the 38th International Diplomats Program. The collaboration allows the WCGE to extend its long-standing and multifaceted international experiences in the development, transfer and discussion of global ethics with participants from all over the world.