Munich Security Conference: Short-distance diplomacy

Meeting of the G7 Foreign Ministers at the 59th Munich Security Conference

Meeting of the G7 Foreign Ministers at the 59th Munich Security Conference, © Kira Hofmann/photothek.de

17.02.2023 - Article

Foreign Minister Baerbock will attend the 59th Munich Security Conference (MSC) on 17 and 18 February. This year’s motto is “Re:vision”. You can find out more about the motto and the topics the Foreign Minister will focus on here.

With more than 850 participants, some 40 Heads of State and Government, around 50 Foreign and 25 Defence Ministers, as well as representatives of think-tanks, NGOs and businesses, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) is one of the world’s most important meetings for the security policy community. Each year, the participants gather at the Bayerischer Hof hotel to discuss the main challenges to global security.

From one appointment to the next: Programme overview

Alongside high-profile events such as panels and discussion rounds, the MSC is first and foremost an opportunity for diplomatic speed-dating. Where else can you chat to so many colleagues in such quick succession? While the discussions will centre on the Russian war of aggression and its dramatic impact around the world, the focus will also be on the situation in Iran and in the Middle East, as well as on China, the Western Balkans, and the international fight against the climate crisis.

Foreign Minister Baerbock’s schedule also includes a panel discussion together with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken entitled “Whole, Free, and at Peace: Visions for Ukraine”. This discussion will look primarily at what Ukraine needs for a bright future, particularly in the time after the war. A meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers will take place on the fringes of the MSC. This is the first in-person meeting hosted by Japan who assumed the G7 Presidency at the start of the year.

Transatlantic Coffee - Foreign Minister Baerbock with the delegation of the US Congress at the Munich Security Conference
“Transatlantic Coffee” - Foreign Minister Baerbock with the delegation of the US Congress at the Munich Security Conference© Kira Hofmann/photothek.de

From the outset, transatlantic cooperation has always been to the fore at the MSC. Foreign Minister Baerbock will talk to the large delegation from the US Congress. For many years, there has been a tradition of cross-party US Congress delegations attending the MSC. In addition, a host of other events are taking place, including a discussion by Frauen100 and the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP) looking at feminist foreign policy and a meeting of a large group of female Foreign Ministers at the invitation of Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly.

Foreign Minister Baerbock will also take part in a discussion on climate, debt and security where she will engage with Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and Joachim Nagel, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

Motto of the MSC 2023: Re:vision

Re:vision is the motto of the 2023 Munich Security Conference. For the authors of the report bearing the same title, the question is how authoritarian states have increasingly been calling into question the international order that has evolved over decades and how we can successfully swell the coalition of states willing to defend a liberal, rules-based order. This key question will be a recurring theme in many discussion formats.


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