Strengthening Global Partnerships
Conference of the Heads of German MissionsSeptember 04th, 2023
The Conference of the Heads of German Missions is starting at the Federal Foreign Office today. Read on to learn more about what is on the agenda.
The world in Berlin – from 4 to 7 September 2023, the heads of the more than 220 embassies, consulates general and permanent missions to international organisations are convening at the Federal Foreign Office to discuss global developments and German foreign policy. Foreign Minister Baerbock is opening the conference on Monday morning and has invited Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), as the guest of honour. The focus of this year’s event is strengthening global partnerships. You can follow the opening live on 4 September 2023 via X Channel.
The meeting, originally known as Ambassadors Conference, is traditionally held in Berlin in late summer each year. It brings together guests from the worlds of business, diplomacy, politics, culture and civil society, as well as German ambassadors, consuls general and permanent representatives to international organisations and the European Union, to engage in intensive dialogue.
The German missions across the world are the linchpin of Germany’s foreign policy. Day in, day out, they represent and speak out for Germany’s and Europe’s interests in the respective country – whether in implementing climate projects, supporting German schools abroad, serving as a point of contact for enterprises or actively promoting specific positions in communications with the host country’s government. That is why it is important for the heads of missions to come to Berlin at least once a year to discuss current developments and strategies in person with the Minister, with a large number of colleagues from the Federal Foreign Office and with external guests and experts.
In times of global power shifts, there is no substitute for this direct networking – and important subjects are plentiful. Numerous panels, workshops and discussions with a regional focus will consider humanitarian issues, development cooperation, the fight against the climate crisis and European competitiveness, among other topics. Another focal point is the concrete application of feminist foreign policy, EU enlargement and more strategic communication in a rapidly changing world. This year the spotlight is on strengthening global partnerships with strategically important countries.
The World Trade Organization (WTO), based in Geneva, as one of the main international institutions in the world economic order, focuses on the regulation of global trade and economic relations. Its goals are the greatest possible transparency of its members’ trade policies, compliance with and monitoring of common multilateral trade regulations, and the elimination of trade barriers. One hundred and sixty-four countries currently make up the WTO. Germany was a founding member in 1995. Nigerian politician and economist Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has held the position of WTO Director-General since 2021. She is the first woman and the first African representative to lead the WTO.