Munich Security Conference 2013

For nearly 50 years, the Munich Security Conference has been a forum for global dialogue on security policy. Heads of State and Government, Foreign and Defence Ministers, business people and journalists from all over the world came together once again this year in the Bavarian capital to discuss international conflicts and foreign policy strategies in an informal setting. This year’s discussions focused on the current conflicts in Syria and in Mali.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle gave a speech in Munich on the current challenges facing Euro-Atlantic security. He stated that Europe would emerge strengthened from the current crisis. This year’s agenda in Munich also included the role of rising powers, cyber security, the international community’s responsibility to protect and cooperation within NATO.

The Security Conference is always also a transatlantic family get-together. This year US Vice-President Joe Biden came to Munich, as did the now traditional delegation from the US Congress. Foreign Minister Westerwelle presented the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany to former US Senator Sam Nunn for his decades-long commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation.

High-level talks

Other key participants were the Secretaries General of NATO and the OSCE, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso as well as more than 70 high-level governmental delegations from China, Brazil, India, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar and other countries.

Westerwelle with Moaz Al Khatib

Westerwelle with Moaz Al Khatib
© Photothek/Trutschel

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Westerwelle with Moaz Al Khatib

Westerwelle with Moaz Al Khatib

Westerwelle with Moaz Al Khatib

The German Government was represented in Munich by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière, Economics Minister Philipp Rösler, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich. In his speech, Minister Westerwelle outlined his vision of a transatlantic single market as a convincing means of ensuring that Europe and America can hold their own in the age of globalization.

On the fringes of the Conference, the Minister conducted a series of bilateral talks with, among others, the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Poland, Afghanistan and Iran. On 1 February Westerwelle had talks with the Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, and the President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Sheikh Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib. He discussed possible ways of resolving the Syria conflict with both men.

Over the past decades the Munich Security Conference has become the most major gathering worldwide for the security policy community. Each year it brings together senior figures from around the world to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges. The Chairman of the Conference is Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger. The website of the Munich Security Conference offers additional information about conference topics and the schedule of events.

Last updated 03.02.2013

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