Munich Security Conference – the 49th reunion/ February 2013

The 49th annual meeting of Munich Security Conference (MSC) takes place (Bayerischer Hof Hotel) from 1 to 3 February 2013 and as usual, will bring together many senior figures from around the world to engage in European and transatlantic security policy. Event’s hosts estimate that more than 400 decision makers msc-logo_1representing international business and political spheres will attend.  Roughly “one dozen heads of state or government,” as well as five EU commissioners are included in that total. Close to 60 CEOs from large German and international companies are also expected. In addition, roughly 700 accredited media outlets are expected cover the event. MSC has become a not-to-be-missed annual event for the international  “strategic community” in the field of foreign and defense policy and is an independent forum dedicated to exchanging new ideas and promoting peaceful conflict resolution, cooperation, and dialogue in dealing with today’s and future security challenges.

Like recent years, decision makers in foreign and security politics as well as from the business sector are expected again in Munich. The Conference Chairman , Wolfgang Ischinger, said on Thursday in the Bavarian capital: “We expect even more participants from even more countries, with even higher ranks than ever before.” Among others important leaders will be also US Vice President Joe Biden. He will travel to Germany to participate in the 49th Munich Security Conference the second time as Vice President of US. His presence is a “meaningful political signal” said Wolfgang Ischinger at a press conference previewing the start of MSC. Four years ago, at the beginning of President Obama’s first term, Biden gave a widely noted speech (link), calling for a “reset” in the relationship between Russia and the United States.

In terms of German governmental representation, Ischinger named several prominent leaders: Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière and Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich. Furthermore, he noted that Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is scheduled to give a talk on the European debt crisis.

Other expected guests include Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and UN special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. A representative of the Syrian opposition was also invited. The Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is also expected to attend and discuss about his country’s controversial nuclear program.

Meetings’ agenda of world security leaders are dominated by the crisis situation from Mali, Syrian folder, the recent protests from Egypt, but also include discussions dedicated to the European sovereign debt crisis (often referred to as the Eurozone crisis). The Iranian nuclear program are also to be addressed.

Update_1: The Munich Young Leaders 2013 will take place at the sidelines of the 49th Munich Security Conference from January 31 to February 3, 2013. The Munich Young Leaders Round Table on Security Policy brings together young leaders in the field of foreign and security policy. You can find all further information here.

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