Head of State visits ZIF and honors civilians in peace operations

[Translate to English:] Copyright Fotos: ZIF / Rosenthal

10.02.2015

Federal President Joachim Gauck visited ZIF today at our premises on Ludwigkirchplatz. He took part in a workshop and discussed various salient issues together with civilians from ZIF's expert roster who are working in or have recently served in a peace operation.

A year ago, President Gauck's speech at the Munich Security Conference attracted a lot of attention and shaped the foreign policy discourse on Germany's international engagement. He, now, wanted to put a special emphasis on civilian experts working in peace operations or other (post-)conflict environments.

To gain better insights into ZIF's training and conceptual work, President Gauck joined a workshop on transitional justice and security sector reform. In this two-day workshop civilian experts, researchers and police officers worked together with ZIF staff to design a new training module for preparing future personell for their mission in peace operations. The President was part of a roleplay which illustrated the importance of truth, mercy, justice and peace in reconciliation processes. He also endulged in a lively debate and was keen to learn from our experts' experiences in the field.

After the morning program, Mr. Gauck invited our experts and the German crisis management community to his residence Schloss Bellevue for a matinée, entitled "Experts for Peace - Germany's Civilian Contribution to International Crisis Management." His keynote address was followed by discussion between  Franziska Brantner, member of parliament and chairperson of the Sub-committee on Civilian Crisis Management, and the three civilian experts Norbert Koster, Constanze Schimmel and Cornelia Schneider, preceded by introductory remarks by ZIF Director Almut Wieland-Karimi.