Munich Security Conference

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45th Munich Security Conference in 2009

The Munich Security Conference (German: Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz) is an annual conference on international security policy that is held in the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, Germany.


Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych meeting Hillary Clinton at the Munich Security Conference 2012
Ukrainian opposition leaders meeting John Kerry at the Munich Security Conference 2014

Over the past four decades the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has become the most important independent forum for the exchange of views by international security policy decision-makers. Each year it brings together about 350 senior figures from more than 70 countries around the world to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges.

The list of attendees includes Heads of States, Governments and International Organizations, Ministers, Members of Parliament, high-ranking representatives of the Armed Forces, Scientists, representatives of the Media as well as representatives of the Civil society.

The intention of the conference is to address the topical main security issues and to debate and analyze the main security challenges in the presence and the future in line with the concept of networked security. A focal point of the conference is the discussion and the exchange of views on the development of the transatlantic relations as well as European and global security in the 21st century.

The conference was founded in 1962 by German publisher Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist-Schmenzin under the title Wehrkundetagung. He was succeeded in 1998 by Horst Teltschik (de)[1] a former vice-head of the German Chancellery who chaired the conference under the title Munich Conference on Security Policy until 2008. Since 2008 Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger is the chairman of the Munich Security Conference.

From February 6–8, 2009, the 45th Munich Security Conference[2] was attended by over 50 ministers and more than a dozen heads of state and government from all over the world, including US-Vice-President Joe Biden, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

In 2009 the MSC inaugurated the Ewald von Kleist Award.[3] The new award highlights the political life and work of Ewald von Kleist, who founded the Munich Security Conference. The award will be given to prominent individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to peace and conflict resolution. The winners of the Ewald von Kleist Award were in 2009 Dr Henry Kissinger and in 2010 Javier Solana de Madariaga. Also in 2009, the MSC initiated a new event format, called MSC Core Group Meeting.[4] This new and smaller-scale event was introduced in addition to the annual main, Munich-based meeting of the Munich Security Conference. The idea is to invite a number of distinguished and high-ranking participants to changing capitals and give them the opportunity to confidentially discuss current international security policy issues and develop sustainable solutions. Meetings took place 2009 in Washington D.C., 2010 in Moscow and 2011 in Beijing.

The 47th Munich Security Conference[5] was held from February 4–6, 2011 and has again assembled top-level decision makers from all over the world, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov whilst Belarus has been excluded from the circle of MSC attendees because of the country’s human rights situation.

48th Munich Security Conference 2012: From left - Mario Monti, Prime Minister, Italy, Dr. Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank AG, Germany, Robert B. Zoellick, President, The World Bank Group, USA, Peer Steinbrück, SPD-Parliamentary Group, Germany, George Soros, Chairmann, Soros Fund Management LLC and Open Society Foundations, USA

In 2011 two special features marked the growing role of the Munich Security Conference as center of attention of international security policy: European Union's High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton called for the Quartet on the Middle East, consisting of the EU, Russia, the USA and the UN, to meet within the setting of the 2011 Munich Security Conference and during a ceremony on the sidelines of the conference Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exchanged the instruments for ratifying the New START Treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) that entered into force in Munich New START.

The 48th Munich Security Conference was held from February 2–5, 2012.

The 49th Munich Security Conference featured talks concerning the Syrian civil war. Attendees included former Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib, who offered Bashar al-Assad and his aides safe passage out of the country in exchange for their resignations. [6]

The 50th Munich Security Conference took place on January, 31 - February, 2 2014. The main topics were the Syrian civil war and the Ukrainian Euromaidan protests. Attendees included UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, German President Joachim Gauck, John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Leonid Kozhara, Vitali Klychko, Leonid Slutsky, Irakli Garibashvili, Traian Basescu and Štefan Füle participated in a discussion panel regarding the situation in Ukraine.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Former Chairmen: MSC". 1944-07-20. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  2. ^ "Obama Sends Vice President to Build Bridges". Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  3. ^ "Ewald-von-Kleist-Award: MSC". Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  4. ^ "MSC Core Group Meeting: MSC". 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  5. ^ "Egypt, terrorism lead discussion at Munich Security Conference". Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  6. ^ Yousaf, Farooq (May 31, 2013). "Aiding Syrian Opposition Could Be Harmful". Sharnoff's Global Views. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Official agenda". Retrieved February 2, 2014. 

External links[edit]