Annual Report 2019: A Year of Reflection and New Orientation
The last year has seen the steady rise of political polarisation around the world. The second Turkish offensive in Syria, the swelling conflict between the USA and Iran, spiking animosities between the EU and the United Kingdom due to Brexit, an increasingly dire state of affairs in Brazil or Poland and the AfD’s gains in local German elections. This is just a small excerpt of the political events that shaped 2019 – and they are enough to think about the future with gloom and a heavy heart. Nevertheless, 2019 also saw the rise of the activism of Greta Thunberg, Fridays for Future and the creation of a societal consensus to act on the climate emergency, before it is too late. If a change of course is possible in relation to the environment, positive political change must also be possible elsewhere – a conviction that is shared by everyone of us and has shaped our organisation for the past ten years.
We celebrate our tenth anniversary in 2020. But before we will commemorate ten years of IFAIR, we would like to reflect on our achievements of 2019 and highlight our plans for the coming year. All of our activities and success stories would not have been possible without the support of different institutions and individuals. Therefore, we want to seize this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us on our journey so far!
Our highlights in 2019:
- We are happy to report that for the second year in a row, we have accepted more international new members than German nationals.
- We elected a new executive board during our General Meeting in September.
- Our core team met twice to discuss current developments and the future path of IFAIR.
- We organized a Foreign Policy Talk in cooperation with the Young Transatlantic Initiative where IFAIR members had the opportunity to meet with Geoff Gartshore, Counsellor for Political Affairs, and Jean Ducharme, Counsellor for Cultural Diplomacy at the Embassy of Canada.
- Our regional director for the Sub Saharan Africa region held a presentation on the areas of conflict as part of the seminar “War and Peace” at the Akademie Frankenwarte in Würzburg, Germany.
- IFAIR members also had the unique opportunity to discuss German-US relations with US Ambassador Richard Grenell during a foreign policy breakfast we organized together with the Young Transatlantic Initiative.
More information about our highlights, projects and new members can be found in our Annual Report 2019: A Year of Reflection and New Orientation.