International Diplomats Programme | IDP

Every year the International Diplomats Programme invites young diplomats from North Africa, the Middle East and South and South-East Asia and Latin America who are on posting at their respective diplomatic missions in Berlin to get to know Germany better from a variety of perspectives.

The International Diplomats Programme is a platform for dialogue and constructive engagement. Held in English, the programme supports the participants’ careers by covering a broad spectrum of topics. It focuses on issues relating specifically to Germany, as well as on European and global affairs. The young diplomats thereby gain useful information as well as new contacts. Informative visits, discussions with experts and cultural events provide relevant insights into Germany.

A report from the 13th IDP by Olivia Parkitny (Canada)

Being accepted to the 13th International Diplomats Program was a great honour for me and re-awakened the excitement I had first felt upon learning that I would be posted to the Embassy of Canada to Germany as Second Secretary & Trade Commissioner. I hoped to learn all that I could about Germany: its policy goals, business landscape, culture, and people. Indeed, the IDP exceeded my expectations and provided me with a unique opportunity that has informed my understanding of my role in the context of Canada’s bilateral relationship with Germany, as well as in the greater diplomatic and global community.

The 2023 IDP focussed on peace and stability in Europe, the Energiewende, climate change, and migration and integration. With the ongoing war in Ukraine following the Russian invasion and its domino effect on stability and security in Europe and beyond, I welcomed the chance to better understand how Germany fits into the European context and hear locally informed analyses from respected decision-makers.


From January to June, we travelled through Berlin, Saxony, Hesse, and Rhineland-Palatinate. It was perhaps our excursion to Saxony that I found especially interesting, as the agenda brought together cutting-edge science, business, and politics. We met with the Head of the State Chancellery; visited the Bosch semiconductor manufacturing facility, the Fraunhofer IWS Institute for Material and Beam Technology, the European Energy Exchange, the Leipzig Neues Rathaus, and the GRASSI Museum; dined at the historic Auerbachs Keller; and learned about the significance of the Monday Demonstrations as catalysts for the emergence of a reunified, democratic Germany.


In addition to the enriching program in Germany, we travelled to Brussels, where we learned about the EU as a political and economic body and gained insight into its relationship with Member States. Just a few months earlier, Europe had marked one year of war on the continent. This resulted in very topical and insightful meetings at NATO headquarters, the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the EU, European Parliament, and the EU Commission.


Upon joining the IDP, I had not anticipated how much I would learn about my fellow delegates’ countries. Our questions and comments, each informed by our own countries’ contexts and our personal lived experiences, enabled us to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s nations, each with its own goals, successes, and challenges. Our exchanges have provided us with a deeper understanding not only of Germany but of each other’s homelands – one that will prove an important tool in our diplomatic careers, as we strive toward building a more stable and just world together.


On behalf of the 2023 cohort, I would like to thank the Federal Foreign Office, Ambassador (ret.) Zenner, Mr. Grimm, Ms. Taschbach, and Ms. Linker for organizing the program and accompanying us on our learning journey. Your professionalism and friendship were indispensable to the success of this unique opportunity.