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Defence and Security Strategy

Source: Munich Security Conference

Chancellor Merkel to give speech – President Gauck to receive Ewald von Kleist Award – Munich Security Report to be published on Monday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will again be among the participants in Munich (Photo: MSC).

German chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed her participation in the 53rd edition of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) from 17 to 19 February. Merkel joins a long list of senior decision-makers who will come to Munich to debate critical issues in international security. Among this year's confirmed participants are US Vice President Mike Pence, US Defense Secretary James Mattis, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, more than 30 heads of state and government, over 80 foreign and defense ministers, and a particularly strong US Congressional delegation. For more confirmed participants, click here.


This year's conference agenda focuses on the future of transatlantic relations and NATO after the election of Donald Trump, the state of European cooperation in security and defense matters, relations with Russia as well as the war in Syria, the security situation in the Asia-Pacific, and information warfare.

The MSC is pleased to announce that Germany's outgoing Federal President Joachim Gauck will receive this year's Ewald von Kleist Award. "The president has been a tremendous voice advocating for an open, internationally engaged Germany," MSC Chairman Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger said. "He has also been a stalwart champion of freedom and of the liberal international order. As we face a global rise of illiberal forces, his persistent voice and his lasting work are indispensable." The award will be presented at the traditional gala dinner hosted by the Bavarian Minister-President on 18 February 2017 on the occasion of the Munich Security Conference 2017. The President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, will hold the laudatory speech.

Since 2009, the Munich Security Conference has honored eminent personalities with an outstanding record in contributing to international peace and conflict resolution with the Ewald von Kleist Award. Henry Kissinger (2009), Javier Solana (2010), Joseph Lieberman (2012), Brent Scowcroft (2013), Helmut Schmidt und Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (2014), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (2015) as well as Christiana Figueres and Laurent Fabius (2016) were the laureates from previous years. The award pays tribute to the political life and work of Ewald von Kleist (1922-2013), who founded the Munich Security Conference in 1963 and chaired the conference until 1998. Von Kleist was one of the co-conspirators of the failed July 20, 1944, plot to kill Adolf Hitler.

On Monday, February 13, the MSC will publish the third edition of its annual Munich Security Report on key issues in international security (available for download here starting February 13, 10am CET).

Under the title "Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?", the Munich Security Report offers a variety of analyses, data, statistics, infographics, and maps on major developments and challenges in international security. The report aims to serve as a companion for the discussions at the Munich Security Conference 2017 and as background for participants. At the same time, it is also made available to security professionals and the interested public. Last year's report was downloaded more than 25,000 times, with press coverage in both German and international media.

About the Munich Security Conference

Over the past five decades, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has become a key annual gathering for the international "strategic community." Since its foundation in 1963 as "Internationale Wehrkunde-Begegnung," the MSC has been an independent forum dedicated to promoting peaceful conflict resolution and international cooperation and dialogue. In addition to the annual flagship conference in February, the MSC regularly convenes other high-profile events in capitals around the world.

The Munich Security Conference would like to thank the German government, the government of the Free State of Bavaria, the city of Munich and its many partners from the public and private sector for their support. Without them, hosting such a complex event would not be possible.