Health Security Series

Health Security Roundtable in Berlin (2016)

WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger, and WHS Founding President Detlev Ganten at the Health Security Roundtable (f.l.t.r; Photo: MSC/Kaller).

On October 9, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) organized a Health Security Roundtable on the sidelines of the World Health Summit at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. Together with the M8 Alliance, the MSC brought together leading representatives from international organizations, policy-makers, and researchers to discuss current challenges for global health security.

The debate mainly revolved around the nexus between health and security and the lessons learned from recent health security crises, especially the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Among the Roundtable participants were Detlev Ganten, Founding President of the World Health Summit, Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, Regional Director for Africa of the World Health Organization, Victor J. Dzau, President, National Academy of Medicine, Yves Daccord, Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as Florian Westphal, Director of Médécins Sans Frontières, Germany. For more info on the event, take a look at the conference report as well as selected photos from the event.

Health Security and the MSC

Besides its annual flagship conference in Munich, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) Foundation regularly organizes high-profile events around the world. These events include summits and roundtables dedicated to a particular thematic focus like European Defence, Energy Security, Cyber Security, and Health Security.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has increased the awareness among leaders that pandemics and other health crises can pose threats to the stability of entire states and regions and can evolve into full-fledged crises of international security. For this reason, in partnership with Chatham House, Merck, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the MSC has launched a series of events on Health Security to establish a platform for senior leaders to discuss and collaborate on pressing global health security issues.


Health Security Roundtables

The Health Security Roundtables bring together decision-makers from government, industry, science, and civil society to advance discussions and help develop strategies on how to mitigate global health security risks. A first Roundtable on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference 2016 focused on the difficulties of providing healthcare in conflict-affected areas. During Health Security Roundtables on the sidelines of the Core Group Meetings in Addis Ababa and Beijing, debates focused on challenges to health security with a special focus on the host region. The most recent Health Security Roundtable on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference 2017 focused on pandemic preparedness in ungoverned space.


Other Activities on Health Security

In addition to the events specifically dedicated to the topic, health security plays an important role at many MSC activities, including the main conference in Munich and the MSC Core Group Meetings. A panel session at the 52nd Munich Security Conference shed light on major global challenges to health security in the context of the Ebola and Zika viruses. During the MSC Core Group Meeting in Addis Ababa, participants debated health security risks affecting the African continent and their implications for regional and international security.