Core Group Meetings

MSC Core Group Meeting in Washington

Senator John McCain addresses the participants of the Core Group Meeting at the Library of Congress (Photo: MSC / Kuhlmann).

On 9 and 10 May 2017, the Munich Security Conference Core Group Meeting took place in Washington, D.C., for the third time. The conference was an opportunity for senior European decision-makers and parliamentarians to discuss current transatlantic challenges in foreign and security policy with leaders from the Trump administration. In addition to NATO and transatlantic relations, the conference agenda featured security in Eastern Europe, the war in Syria, counter-terrorism and threats to liberal democracy in the digital age.

Among the high-level participants were the prime ministers of Montenegro, Duško Marković, and of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, as well as the foreign ministers of Estonia, Norway, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Slovakia, and Ukraine. The United States were represented, among others, by John Kelly (Secretary of Homeland Security), Dan Coats (Director of National Intelligence), Mike Pompeo (CIA Director) as well as by several senators and congressmen, including Senate Armed Service Committee chairman John McCain and Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker. German participants included Ralf Brauksiepe, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Defense, as well as several members of parliament.

For further information and insights, read the concluding report and browse the photo gallery.

About the MSC Core Group Meetings

Besides its annual flagship conference in Munich, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) Foundation regularly organizes high-profile events around the world. In order to cover region-specific topics, the MSC links up with national governments and prominent local partners to host so-called Core Group Meetings in capitals around the world.

Limited to an exclusive group of no more than 60 participants, the MSC Core Group Meeting provides an intensive setting for senior decision-makers from around the globe - including heads of governments and international organizations, ministers, leading parliamentarians, heads of NGOs and journalists as well as FTSE-100 and DAX CEOs - to discuss regional security issues and foster personal relationships.

Meetings have already taken place in Washington, D.C. (three times), Moscow, Beijing (twice), Doha, New Delhi, Vienna, Tehran, and Addis Ababa.


Past Core Group Meetings

MSC Core Group Meeting in Beijing

At the invitation of the Chinese government, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) hosted a Core Group Meeting in Beijing on 2 & 3 November. After 2011, this was the second MSC event in the Chinese capital. Topics of the Core Group Meeting, which was co-organized by the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPFIA), included regional security in the Asia-Pacific, China's role in the global security order, and the geopolitical implications of the "New Silk Road".

Chinese participants included Li Yuanchao, the Vice President, Zhang Yesui, Executive Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fu Ying, Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress, Jin Liqun, President of the Asian Infrastucture Investment Bank, and many others.

More infos on the event here: a conference report, a selection of photos as well as an opinion piece by MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger on the occasion of the event.

MSC Core Group Meeting in Addis Ababa (2016)

On April 14/15, the MSC hosted the first Core Group Meeting on the African continent. The joint fight against violent extremism, the crises in Northern and Eastern Africa, as well as the dangers posed by epidemics and climate change were among the central topics of the two-day event in Addis Ababa.

Among the high-ranking participants from Africa, Europe, and the U.S. were Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the Chairman of the Tana Forum Olusegun Obasanjo, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former German Federal President Horst Köhler as well as several foreign and defense ministers and leaders from NGOs and international organizations.

You may view a photo gallery with impressions from the event in our media library. Take a look at our storify summary, our conference report and selected speeches. To read an op-ed by former Nigerian President and Chairman of the Tana Forum Olusegun Obasanjo, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger, published by Project Syndicate on the occasion of the CGM, click here.

MSC Core Group Meeting in Tehran (2015)

On October 17, the MSC, together with the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) and in cooperation with the governments of Germany and Iran, hosted a Core Group Meeting in Tehran.


An exclusive group of around 60 participants, including German Foreign Minister Steinmeier and his Iranian and Lebanese counterparts Zarif and Gibran, debated the implementation of the Vienna agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, its implications from an economic and energy policy perspective, Tehran’s regional role as well as the war in Syria and the state of the security architecture in the Middle East.


For more info, take a look at our preview and our concluding report. Photos and videos, including a highlight video as well as the speeches by Foreign Ministers Steinmeier and Zarif, can be found in our media library and on YouTube. Follow this link for the full text of German Foreign Minister Steinmeier's speech.

MSC Core Group Meeting in Vienna (2015)

On June 16 and 17, senior leaders gathered in Vienna to discuss critical challenges to European security. The "MSC Core Group Meeting" was held in cooperation with the Austrian federal government and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Key topics included the Ukraine crisis as well as the future relationship with Russia. For more info about the Core Group Meeting, take a look at our report.

MSC Core Group Meeting in New Delhi (2014)

On October 21 and 22, the MSC hosted a Core Group Meeting in New Delhi in partnership with the Indian Observer Research Foundation. The conference focused on issues of global governance and regional security challenges, including the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. More info here.

MSC Core Group Meeting in Washington, D.C. (2013)

The Munich Security Conference continued its "MSC Core Group Meetings" with a conference in Washington, D.C. on November 5 and 6, 2013. The state and future of the transatlantic relationship was at the heart of the debate. More info in the conference report.

MSC Core Group Meeting in Doha (2013)

On May 22, 2013, the MSC Core Group held a meeting in Doha, Qatar, focusing on the wider Middle East. Participants included the Yemeni politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkul Karman as well as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. More info in our conference report.

MSC Core Group Meeting in Beijing (2011)

The 2011 edition of the MSC Core Group meeting convened in Beijing on November 20 and 21, 2011 for a discussion of key issues in international security as well as global governance with senior participants from Europe, China and the United States. More info here

MSC Core Group Meeting in Moscow (2010)

The 2010 MSC Core Group Meeting in Moscow focused on discussions about a closer integration of Russia into European and global security architectures and the development of a Euro-Atlantic security community. For more info on the Core Group Meeting, take a look at our report.

MSC Core Group Meeting in Washington, D.C. (2009)

The inaugural MSC Core Group Meeting took place in Washington, D.C. in November of 2009 and focused on debates on the state and the future of the transatlantic relationship after the election of Barack Obama. More info here.