Munich Security Conference Increasingly a Hub for Civil Society Activities / "Ewald von Kleist Award" goes to OSCE

To many, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) still is a meeting of statesmen and military leaders. But it has also become a hub and platform for civil society initiatives and NGOs.

Both the conference itself and numerous side events at Hotel Bayerischer Hof, the conference venue, serve as places where a wide range of key issues in international affairs are debated in detail and from different perspectives – including disarmament, cyber governance, and global health. This year, for instance, Salil Shetty of Amnesty International and Greenpeace's Kumi Naidoo will debate with world leaders about the global refugee crisis and global governance issues. And more than 100 side events over the course of the conference weekend will bring together participants from all over the world.


A few examples: The Forum Civil Peace Service will focus on the Syrian refugee crisis, which will also figures prominently on the main conference agenda, in a proper event. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Chatham House invite for a session on the ebola epidemics, while an event by the Mercator Foundation concentrates on the implications of climate change. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) hosts a debate on "African and Global Perspectives on Peace Keeping and Peace Building", and the Hague Institute for Global Justice und the Stimson Center invite to an event on "Fragile States and the Fault Lines of Global Security and Justice".


Other side events are organized by, for instance, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Global Zero, the Elders Initiative, One, Transparency International, and the Stockholm Institute for International Peace Research.


OSCE is awarded Ewald von Kleist Award 2015


The Munich Security Conference (MSC) will present this year’s Ewald von Kleist Award to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The troika of OSCE chairmen-in-office from 2014 to 2016, comprising the Foreign Ministers of Switzerland (Didier Burkhalter), Serbia (Ivica Dacic) and Germany (Frank-Walter Steinmeier), will receive the award together with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier.


The Ewald von Kleist Award seeks to honor the OSCE’s contribution to peace, stability and security in Europe, particularly its efforts regarding the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) as well as its diplomatic attempts to end the crisis. Further, the award is also meant to be a signal to strengthen the security architecture and increase confidence in the European and Eurasian regions.


The MSC has awarded the Ewald von Kleist Award since 2009. It pays tribute to the political life of Ewald von Kleist (1922 - 2013), who founded of the Munich Security Conference in 1963 under the name "Wehrkunde Encounters" and presided it until 1997. The Ewald von Kleist Award honors eminent personalities with an outstanding record in contributing to peace and conflict resolution. The OSCE is the first international organization to receive this award.


The price, a silver medal engraved with the words "Peace through Dialogue", has been designed by Maximilian Heiden and will be presented to the OSCE during the gala dinner hosted by the Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer on February 7 at the Münchner Residenz. The former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, himself the recipient of the Ewald von Kleist Award's predecessor prize, will hold the laudation.


Previous recipients of the Ewald von Kleist Award are:

  • 2009 Dr. Henry Kissinger
  • 2010 Dr. Javier Solana
  • 2012 Joseph Liebermann
  • 2013 Brent Scowcroft
  • 2014 Helmut Schmidt and Valerie Giscard D'Estaing.


About the 51st Munich Security Conference


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.

05 February 2015, by MSC