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Munich Security Conference: "Peace through dialogue"



 The Munich Security Conference (MSC) gathers high-ranking security and defence politicians, heads of States and decision makers in the Bavarian capital. Since its inception in 1963, it has been held yearly and serves as a platform for exchanges about global security policy issues.

It originates in the “Internationale Wehrkunde-Begegnungen” (International Defence Encounters), a meeting of NATO-members, sometimes nicknamed the “transatlantic family gathering”. The focus originally was on Western policies during the Cold War. The Conference was initiated by Ewald von Kleist, a prominent figure of Third Reich resistance movement who participated in the July 1944 attack against Adolf Hitler.

To this day, Munich serves as an independent meeting opportunity for policy-makers and experts, where participants take part in open and constructive discussions, sometimes even quite controversial debates, about the most important current and future issues in international security policies.

The conference is not an official event, as it is organized privately. It serves first and foremost as a background for discussions, where no binding intergovernmental decisions are made. Among the participants nowadays, one finds heads of States and generals, but also CEOs, human rights specialists, environmental protection lobbyists and further leading characters of the civil society.

The MSC takes place in the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in the center of Munich – the area around it is closed to traffic for the duration of the meeting – and is being presided by German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger since 2008.

At the 2008 MSC, a Canadian soldier wounded during an international peace mission was awarded the “Peace Through Dialogue Medal”: he was standing for all soldiers who risk their lives to maintain peace.