Focus on conflicts in the Arab world: first Munich Security Conference meeting in Doha, Qatar
The Munich Security Conference (MSC) continues its successful MSC Core Group Meeting series in 2013 with a new regional focus on the Arabian Gulf; on 21 and 22 May, for the first time, the Munich Security Conference will meet in Doha, Qatar.
Following the successful Core Group Conferences in Washington (2009), Moscow (2010) and Beijing (2011), the fourth Munich Security Conference Core Group Meeting in Doha will focus on the Middle East. The Arab insurgency along with the unrest facing the Arab world are confronting the region and the international community with major challenges. The "arabellion", which encompassed many countries in North Africa, the Sahel region and the Middle East and resulted in armed conflicts in Libya and Syria, has thoroughly affected Europe politically, economically, geostrategically and in terms of human rights policy.
At the same time, the Middle East, being a prime energy provider, will definitely remain one of the economically most important regions in the world, and issues concerning regional cooperation, e.g. motivated by the activities of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) or the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), will become increasingly important. Apart from these subjects, the meeting will focus on some of the topics that were on the agenda of the 49th Munich Security Conference at the beginning of last February such as the escalating conflict in Syria and Iran's disputed nuclear program.
Hosted by the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, around 50 senior decision makers and government, business and civil society representatives from Europe, the United States and the Middle East are going to discuss burning questions of global and regional security. One of the representatives of the host nation Qatar will be Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.
Besides local representatives, the following prominent speakers and participants are expected at the MSC Core Group Meeting in Doha: Yemeni Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakkul Karman, former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and former Secretary General of NATO Javier Solana, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economy and Technology Anne Ruth Herkes, member of the German Bundestag and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Ruprecht Polenz, former member of the U.S. Congress and Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Jane Harman, former U.S. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley as well as Chairmen Nikolaus von Bomhard (Munich Re), Hans-Jörg Rudloff (Barclay’s Investment Bank), and Nemir Kirdar (Investcorp).
Regarding the Munich Security Conference Core Group Meeting in Doha, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger states:
"The enduring developments in the Arab region, which are absolutely relevant for Europe, have motivated the Munich Security Conference to discuss the regional security challenges in depth and right there.
Right now, there is probably no other part of the world posing that many key security issues, e.g. the increasingly escalating conflict in Syria, the conflict over Iran's nuclear program, the U.S. energy revolution and its effects on security policy, or the way ahead in the Arab Spring countries. A changing Arab world might produce new instability hotspots; but it also has a great potential to bring more openness and democratic and economic development to the western world and the region. So right now it is crucial for the West to keep an eye on the region."
About the Munich Security Conference Core Group Meeting
In 2009, 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 focus on new regional issues and 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.