Munich, 12th February, 2016 (WAM) – From February 12 to 14, Munich will again host some of the most important decision-makers in the realm of international security policy: Around 600 leaders will gather for the 52nd Munich Security Conference (MSC) to debate current crises and future challenges to international security.

This year’s MSC – which has been named the best “Think Tank Conference” in the world by the recent “Global Go To Think Tank Index” at the University of Pennsylvania – will welcome around 30 heads of state and government and over 70 foreign and defense ministers, organisers say.

In addition to the conference program, a number of important multilateral and bilateral crisis meetings are set to take place on the sidelines of the MSC. These include a meeting by members of the International Syria Support Group on the eve of the conference’s opening to consult on the process of ending the war in Syria.

Among the key topics of this year’s MSC 2016 are Europe’s response to the refugee crisis, the war in Syria, and the future of the European security order. Stability in Sub-Saharan Africa and arms control in cyber space are also on the agenda. For the first time, there will be a session on the dangers of epidemics for global stability and security.

“Today’s conflicts and crises are more dangerous and severe than anything we have seen since the end of the Cold War,” MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger stressed in the run-up to the conference. “That’s why it is important that so many decision-makers will gather in Munich to discuss ideas for conflict resolution and for strengthening the international order.”

In the run-up to the MSC 2016, the Munich Security Conference Foundation has published the second edition of the Munich Security Report. Under the title “Boundless Crises, Reckless Spoilers, Helpless Guardians,” the report assembles insightful data, statistics and maps in order to shed light on some of the most crucial trends and challenges to international security. The report, prepared in cooperation with numerous renowned institutions, serves as a conversation starter for the 52nd Munich Security Conference and as a background reading for MSC participants.

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, the MSC has been an independent forum dedicated to promoting peaceful conflict resolution and international cooperation and dialogue in dealing with today’s and future security challenges. It has especially focused on the transatlantic partnership. In addition to its annual flagship conference, the MSC regularly convenes high-profile events on particular topics and regions.

WAM/tfaham