The Munich Security Conference will be attended by who? Those present at a glance

The Munich Security Conference will be attended by who? Those present at a glance

The consequences of Russia’s attack on Ukraine are evident at this year’s Munich Security Conference. The attack has rattled the foundations of world politics. Almost all European heads of state and government, as well as security experts, a good 1000 journalists from around the world, and many non-European heads of state, including American Vice President Kamala Harris, who arrived in Munich on Thursday morning, are expected to attend lectures and discussions at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof from Friday to Sunday.

The security conference used to be a place for talks and even agreements between adversarial or opposing states. Yet, it’s likely that the organisers still need to see a need for a conversation with Moscow or Iran. Iranian or Russian representatives were not invited, primarily so that these governments’ propaganda would not have a forum. On Friday, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will likely participate via video, while his foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, will be present in person in Munich.

The Chinese envoy eagerly awaited

This year’s security conference is a remarkable event, with almost 40 heads of state and government participating. A significant portion of the conference will focus on the conflict and its aftermath, from nuclear deterrence to disinformation to so-called hybrid threats, combining military methods with other forms of warfare like cyberattacks, mercenaries, or propaganda.

The reformation of the international security order, particularly the European security order, is a recurring issue. What about the NATO defence partnership with Sweden and Finland, two aspirants for membership? Who firmly supports the West and Ukraine, and who does not? After Brexit and the political unrest caused by three different prime ministers in a single year, what role can and does Great Britain play in Europe’s future security architecture? These are crucial inquiries that will steer several debates.

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This time, special consideration will be given to the delegations from Africa, Asia, and South America. The conflict in Ukraine has also changed how nations in the so-called Global South interact internationally. Russia is attempting to expand its influence, particularly in Africa, and the West is reminded of Latin American friends and allies who have been all but forgotten. Diplomatic ties are being strengthened with nations that last contributed a while ago, and in some cases, new zones of influence are being established.

Even though Russia and Iran have not sent officials, there can still be diplomatic discussions outside the meeting. The Chinese representative Wang Yi and American Secretary of State Antony Blinken are the principal subjects of observation. After seeing a Chinese spy balloon above American soil, Blinken recently postponed a trip to Beijing. Whether the two major countries will hold face-to-face negotiations again in Munich is still determined.

Protests in Munich’s city centre will again accompany the security conference. The conference attendees are charged with being warmongers by the demonstrators. There are around 5000 police officers on duty.

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