Meet the Leader: Germany
On Tuesday 8 March 2022, the University of Adelaide welcomed His Excellency Dr Thomas Fitschen, Ambassador of Germany, to our North Terrace Campus.
While on campus, the Ambassador met with the Vice-Chancellor & President of the University of Adelaide, Professor Peter Høj AO, to discuss opportunities for enhancing the strong links the University of Adelaide has with German partners.
The Ambassador also delivered an oration as part of the Meet the Leader series, which features Ambassadors and prominent public figures speaking to students, staff, and the public about international relations and foreign policy. The German Ambassador’s visit was the third event in the Meet the Leader series, which is jointly organised by the Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR) and the Politics and International Relations Association (PIRA).
The Ambassador’s oration, titled Germany, Europe and the Indo-Pacific: Shaping the international order of tomorrow, outlined Germany’s vision and policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific. In particular, the Ambassador touched on the importance for the German government, scientific institutions and private sector to adopt a policy guidelines framework, rather than a strategy, to diversify its political and economic relations in the Indo-Pacific.
He reiterated that Germany aims to actively contribute to shaping international order in the Indo-Pacific through strengthening multilateral structures, especially through closer cooperation with ASEAN, reinforcing human rights and the rule of law (being one of the backbones of German and European foreign policy). The Ambassador also stressed the importance of cultural and scientific relationships with universities (such as the University of Adelaide) and research institutions in the region.
Furthermore, the Ambassador outlined Germany’s interests in the region with a focus on multilateralism, creating peace and security, diversifying and deepening relations, keeping markets open (including open shipping routes) and promoting free trade. Finding responses and approaches to digital transformation, connectivity and the importance of protecting the planet and working together on climate change and fossil-free, sustainable technologies, are also important aspects of Germany’s goals.
After the oration, the Ambassador and his wife, Dr Ilona Stoelken, visited the South Australian Museum for an Indigenous history tour with John Carty, Professor of Museum and Curatorial Studies at the University of Adelaide, and Head of Humanities at the South Australian Museum, accompanied by Professor Jacqueline Lo.