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International Development Cooperation: Idea and Mission



Goals and Areas of Activity

In the developing countries, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation endeavors to contribute:

toward improving social and political conditions of development;
toward effecting political, economic, and social reforms that benefit disadvantaged strata of the population;
toward democratizing social and political structures;
toward strengthening free trade unions;
toward promoting economic self-help, independent association, and political participation on the part of disadvantaged strata of the population;
toward improving communication and the mass media.

In the interests of peace and international cooperation, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation acts as a platform for dialogue in the spirit of:

regional cooperation between countries;
the reduction of international tension (conflict resolution and conflict avoidance), including the tension between North and South;
cooperation with international trade union organizations and international networks of social movements;
regional and international cooperation in the media (e.g.the exchange of regional television news).

Through education and public relations work on development policy in Germany, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation contributes toward:

strengthening awareness of development policy among political decision-makers;
building awareness of global interdependence, especially in the areas of environmental protection and peace;
promoting a sense of global responsibility and international solidarity -- "thinking globally" while "acting locally" -- in development cooperation.

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Distribution of Total Expenditure in 1996

Share of funds by sector

Socio-political cooperation: 38% Trade unions 27% Economic and social development 23% Media
12%

Share of funds by continent

Africa 34% Latin America and the Caribbean 30% Asia and the Pacific 26% International
10%

Total expenditure in 1996: 92,2 million DM

These activities are being done by 80 FES representatives in 65 countries:

Africa 32 experts 25 FES offices in 21 countries
Latin America/ Caribbean 22 experts 17 FES offices in 15 countries
Asia and the Pacific 22 experts 16 FES offices in 14 countries

Our task is to work with partners in developing countries to establish socially just, pluralistic, and democratic societies.

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Focal point Southern Africa

Southern Africa constitutes a central area in our development policy work. We have contributed here to the drafting of new constitutional, economic, and legal frameworks, provided scholarships and training programs, and sponsored projects of cooperation between South Africa and the former "front-line" states. In addition, we have helped the African National Congress (ANC) set up an institute of economic research. Our work in South Africa has expanded over the past few years to include support of the negotiations for the dismantling of apartheid. The positive results of the first free elections in that country which brought Nelson Mandela to the top of a new South Africa give the Friedrich Ebert Foundation the chance to intensify this cooperation. |...more information|

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Democratization

We are encouraging movements toward democratization that have appeared elsewhere in the world, such as in Mongolia, in Nepal, and most dramatically in Vietnam, where a successful process of internal opening has begun behind the old communist facade.

We are also working with partners on completing and consolidating the peace process in Central America. In the rest of Latin America, we have put more emphasis on advising top-level decision-makers about such topics as regional economic integration, debts, internal restructuring, and political management.

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North-South Dialogue

With our experience in development cooperation, we are in a position to contribute significantly to the dialogue between North and South and to reinforce the commitment of the general public in Germany to development policies.

Our involvement in this dialogue takes many forms: that of a series of debates on development policy (which incidentally have been quite lively in the states of the former East Germany); of panel discussions and workshops; of meetings on human rights, environmental, and womens' issues; and of participation in the campaign "Fair Trade in Coffee."

Much of our work on development policy grows from initiatives begun by Willy Brandt, and it is in his spirit that we continue this work today. "Bear in mind," he once said, "that every age has its own answers, and that one must remain abreast of [one's time] if good is to be done." |...more information|


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