Baku. 11 February. REPORT.AZ/ 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.
Report informs referring to the press service of the conference, 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, jointly organized with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Merck. The detailed conference program with topics and speakers will be announced shortly before the start of the MSC.
King Abdullah II of Jordan, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, US Foreign Minister John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov are some of the senior participants to attend the 52nd MSC. Representatives of the German Government will include Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Head of the Federal Chancellery Peter Altmaier and the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen will open the conference on February 12 jointly with her French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will also speak at the conference.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, the Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress of China, Fu Ying, as well as the Foreign Ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Javad Zarif and Adel Al-Jubeir, have also confirmed their participation. They will be joined by numerous parliamentarians, particularly from Washington, Berlin and the EU Parliament. In an unprecedented joint public appearance, several heads of intelligence agencies, including US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan, will take the stage for a debate.
"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 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.