Often regarded as the “Davos” of international security policy, this years’ edition of the Munich Security Conference will be held under the provocative theme of “Westlessness” – referring to the erosion of a common political ground among “Western” countries in recent years. For the three-day conference (14-16 February), about 500 high-ranking government representatives and other decision-maker are expected to flock to the Bavaria capital. Among them will be heads of state and government like French president Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or the presidents of the three Sahel countries Niger, Tchad and Burkina Faso under siege from jihadi terrorism, the foreign ministers of the US, Russia, China, India and Iran, to name just a few, as well as the heads of important international organizations like the Secretary General of NATO.
Convened for the first time in 1963 at the height of the Cold-War military stand-off between East and West under the unassuming name of “Münchener Wehrkundetagung” (Munich Defense Information Conference), the annual meeting remained for many years dominated by politicians, civil senior servants and military officers as well as defense contractors and other economic stakeholders from Germany and Western Europe. After the end of the Cold War in 1990, the thematic and geographic focus was considerably enlarged, and the name first changed into Munich Conference for Security Policy and finally, in 2008, into its present form of Munich Security Conference. The 2020 conference will be opened by German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier ( https://securityconference.org/ ).