Education and support for women are key to progress and development

7th IDP programme day in Berlin

20/09/2012 | 08:30 - 20:30 | DGAP | Invitation only

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The themes of demography, integration and education were the focus of the 7th IDP programme day in Berlin, where Dr Reiner Klingholz, Director and Executive of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, presented alarming facts and figures on the demographic changes in Germany and the world.

At the beginning of the day, Dr Reiner Klingholz, Director and Executive of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, described the challenges longer life expectancies and shrinking birth-rates present for social systems. In Germany, the birth rate is 1.4 children per woman. It is far below the level of Norway or Sweden, where a family-oriented policy of investing in education became a priority much earlier.

Important questions of integration were top priority during the visit to the Albert Schweitzer High School in Berlin-Neukölln, where more than 90 percent of the pupils have a migratory background. In a discussion with the headmaster, Georg Krapp, and some pupils of the school, the participants of the international diplomats programme learnt how the school successfully integrates students with multi-cultural backgrounds.

The next item on the agenda was the question: what impact can local initiatives have on the integration process? During their visit to the NGO “Graefewirtschaft e.V” and the restaurant “Weltküche” in Berlin-Kreuzberg, the diplomats learned how self-help initiatives created jobs for migrants who became entrepreneurs.

After hearing concrete examples, German migration and integration policy was the next item on the agenda. The diplomats discussed with Honey Deihimi, Head of the Social Integration Division at the Office of the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration at the Federal Chancellery, the issues of global movement and the political instruments to react to these demographic trends. These questions were delved into more deeply with best-selling author and journalist, Margaret Heckel, during a working dinner as the last event of 7th IDP programme day.

The International Diplomats Programme, a joint initiative of the Federal Foreign Office and the BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt, supported by the German Council on Foreign Relations, invites twelve young diplomats from the Middle East, North Africa, South, East and South-East Asia each year to experience Germany from a variety of perspectives in a year-long programme conducted in English. It offers participants first-hand insight into Germany’s cultural, political, and economic life, and enables them to experience the workings of our political and federal system. Through an intensive series of events covering a broad spectrum of issues related to both Germany and the wider world, the programme aims to give participants insight into topics that will be both relevant to their work and of value in dealings with their interlocutors in Germany. For more details please contact Senta Höfer at senta.hoefer@diplo.de, +49-30 1817-4838 or Gregor Darmer, at gregor.darmer@diplo.de, +49-30 1817-1086.

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