A focus on the collapse of the international order - The 51st MSC in light of current crises and conflicts

From 6 to 8 February 2015, the Bavarian capital will be again in the focus of international politics. Over 400 renowned decision-makers in international politics, including about twenty heads of state and government and more than sixty foreign and defense ministers will come together at the 51st Munich Security Conference (MSC) to discuss current and future issues in foreign and security policy.

Key topics of the 51st Munich Security Conference (MSC) will be the collapse of the international order in view of the crisis in Ukraine and its implication for the European security architecture as well as the deriorating situation in the Middle East. The global refugees crisis and the fight against terrorism will also be among the top issues at this year's conference.

High-ranking international participants

As high-ranking guests of the 51st MSC, conference chairman Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger will welcome among others German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Presidents of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite and Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the Prime Ministers of Iraq, Haider Al-Abadi and Lebanon, Tammam Salam, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi and the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov as well as his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se.

In addition to a large number of participating foreign and defence ministers from EU and NATO member states and high-ranking government delegations from USA and India, other guests expected at the MSC will be former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, the Director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, and the Executive Director of Greenpeace, Kumi Naidoo.

The German Government will be represented by the Federal Chancellor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen, and the Minister of Development Gerd Müller.

About 20 heads of states and governments, around 60 ministers of foreign affairs and defense, 30 CEOs of large global companies as well as traditionally strong parliamentary delegations, especially from the US, are expected in Munich.

Many events on the margins of the Munich Security Conference

As in previous years, many side events dealing with different topics like disarmament, the Ebola virus, the fight against corruption, refugees as well as cyber-, energy-, and climate security will take place before and during the 51st MSC. These events will be carried out by numerous international institutions and initiatives like the BMW Foundation, Stiftung Mercator, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Transparency International, the disarmament initiatives Global Zero and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). In cooperation with the Körber Foundation, the MSC will furthermore organize for the seventh time the Munich Young Leaders-Programm (MYL).

 

On the margins of the 51st MSC a meeting of the "Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project" will be held for the first time and will be chaired by MSC chairman Ambassador Ischinger. On the initiative of the OSCE presidency troika of Switzerland (2014), Serbia (2015) and Germany (2016), this international commission of experts is mandated to make suggestions within the next 12 months on how to further strengthen trust throughout the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian regions and to build a more resilient system of European security based on the Helsinki and Paris accords.

Launch of the Munich Security Report
In the run-up to the 51st MSC, the Munich Security Conference will launch  the Munich Security Report (MSR) for the first time. Its inaugural edition is called "Collapsing Order, Reluctant Guardians?" The report will be published annually to deal with current questions and trends in the field of security policy. In addition to providing short summaries of key issues, the report will feature a selection of some of the most insightful analyses, charts, and maps that can help illuminate crucial challenges in the realm of international security. The report is meant, first and foremost, as a conversation starter for the Munich Security Conference and other MSC events throughout the year, but also as a tool beyond the Munich events - for decision-makers, for security professionals, and for the interested public.

 

Topics of this year's report include different aspects and consequences of the Ukraine crisis and of the crises in the Middle East. The MSC has cooperated with many prestigious institutions during the preparation process of the MSR and will be launching the report on 26 January, 2015 at the traditional Kick-off-Meeting in Berlin. Following this date, the entire report can be downloaded here.

For the 51st MSC its chairman Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger states:

"The crisis in Ukraine, the continuing conflicts and processes of disintegration in the Middle East as well as new terrorist phenomena like the so-called "Islamic State" have shown clearly that the basic rules of the international system are in question. Given this situation I hope and expect that the 51st MSC will give impulses to end conflicts and to strengthen and develop the global system."

About the Munich Security Conference

Over the past five decades the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has become a key annual gathering for the international "strategic community." Since its foundation in 1963 as "Internationale Wehrkunde-Begegnung," the MSC has been an independent forum dedicated to promoting peaceful conflict resolution and international cooperation and dialogue in dealing with today’s and future security challenges. It has especially focused on the transatlantic partnership.

In addition to the traditional annual conference in early February, the MSC has also developed a number of smaller formats, including in particular the Energy Security Summit (6/7 May 2015 in Berlin), the MSC Core Group Meeting, which takes place annually in different capitals around the world (16/17 June in Vienna) and the European Defence Summit (15/16 September 2015 in Brussels) to discuss key challenges in international security policy.

The Munich Security Conference thanks the Federal Government and many sponsors, especially the partner Linde AG, for the generous funding and support.

12 January 2015, by MSC

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