With mutual trust between East and West shrunk back to lows not seen since the Cold War, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) sees the imperative to maintain open channels of communication, foster mutual understanding and tend to dependable personal networks at the highest political levels. To that purpose, the MSC will host its 2018 Core Group Meeting in Minsk, Belarus, on October 31 and November 1. The event will bring together senior government officials, members of parliament as well as representatives from international organizations, civil society, and the private sector.
The MSC Core Group Meeting is organized in partnership with the Government of Belarus and will provide a neutral platform for political debate. The event assembles prominent participants at the highest level from all sides at a crucial time to foster constructive exchange and, possibly, contribute to the revival of dormant negotiation processes.
Confirmed participants include several heads of state and government, such as Alexander Lukashenko (President of the Republic of Belarus), Boyko Borissov (Prime Minister of Bulgaria), Armen Sarkissian (President of the Republic of Armenia), and Pavel Filip (Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova). In addition, among others, the foreign ministers of Macedonia, Mongolia, Poland, and Slovakia will join the discussion. Moreover, several high-level representatives of international organizations will also participate. Among them are Thomas Greminger (OSCE Secretary General), Johannes Hahn (EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations), Arnd Freiherr Freytag von Loringhoven (NATO Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence and Security), and Lassina Zerbo (Executive Secretary of The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization).
Altogether, around 70 key leaders will discuss a variety of pressing security challenges for Eastern Europe and the Euro-Atlantic region. Among other topics, the participants will debate the current prospects of the Minsk Process to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the future of East-West relations, and the erosion of conventional and nuclear arms control agreements in the Euro-Atlantic space. Moreover, the present state of regional conflicts as well as the sustainability of Eastern Europe’s economic model will featured on the agenda.
According to MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger, “mutual trust has shrunk back to lows not seen since the Cold War” between the East and the West. “In this spirit, the MSC could not have picked a better place for hosting this year’s Core Group Meeting. Minsk has a history of serving as a venue for international efforts to solve conflicts and crises.” Thus, the Core Group Meeting will strive to explore options for some of these pressing security challenges through an open and inclusive dialogue between key stakeholders.
About the MSC
The Munich Security Conference (MSC) is the world’s leading platform for debates on international security policy. With over 500 official participants and 300 observers assembled at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof, the annual conference provides a unique atmosphere for frank, private and mostly off-the-record exchange on present and future security challenges and solutions. In addition to its annual conference, the MSC Foundation hosts a number of smaller, albeit equally high-profile, events around the world. This includes Core Group Meetings, which have a regional focus, as well as thematic tracks, such as the Cyber Security and Technology Series, the Human Security Series, the Economic and Resource Security, and the Defence and Security Policy Series, with Summits and Roundtables in different cities around the world.
About the MSC Core Group Meetings
Since 2009, the MSC has cooperated with local partners to host so-called Core Group Meetings in capitals around the world. Limited to a small group of no more than 60 senior participants, the MSC Core Group Meetings provide an exclusive setting to discuss current security challenges with regional decision-makers and experts. Meetings have already taken place in Washington, D.C. (2009, 2013 and 2017), Moscow (2010), Beijing (2011 and 2016), Doha (2013), New Delhi (2014), Vienna (2015), Tehran (2015) and Addis Ababa (2016).