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Smart Take | Global Security Summit Kicks Off in Munich

February 16, 20242:11

World leaders are gathering at the 2024 Munich Security Conference to talk about the most pressing challenges to international security and the current world order. Robin Quinville, Director of the Wilson Center’s Global Europe Program, comments on the overall goals of the conference, who will be attending, and the key issues, from climate change to the war in Ukraine, that will dominate discussions.


Video Transcript

  • This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

    One of the things that they will certainly look at is how the world is changing in geostrategic terms. So that is not only transatlantic relations and how we are working together with our allies and partners, but also how we, the US, Europe, are working with others in the world. 

    One of the concerns will certainly be the commitment of all of us to Ukraine and the fight there. And I'm anticipating that there will be, at the very least, a speech and maybe an in-person speech by President Zelensky, who was here a couple of years ago. He did a video contribution last year. And my expectation that is that he will be making a case for why Ukraine continues to need our support. 

    But looking in the bigger picture, there will also be how are we working with countries across the globe and facing challenges to our economies and to our values? We'll look at, I'm sure, relations with China, how we de-risk some of our engagement with China, and we'll look out for the future, how we build further partnerships and alliances across the globe. 

    The special envoy for climate, Former Secretary of State Kerry is here talking to his counterparts about about those issues. But there's also a tremendous participation by business and others, too, on issues related to how we operate in the future. What will artificial intelligence bring? And all of that is part and parcel not only of the discussions on the floor in the main hall, but also around and about this conference. 

    Ideally, we leave with ideas that we would not have come up with before. Ideally, we leave with thinking that has been outside the box and allows us to question our own assumptions and come to policy making and come to these challenges with new ideas for the future.

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Global Europe Program

The Global Europe Program is focused on Europe’s capabilities, and how it engages on critical global issues.  We investigate European approaches to critical global issues. We examine Europe’s relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Our initiatives include “Ukraine in Europe” – an examination of what it will take to make Ukraine’s European future a reality.  But we also examine the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE, Europe’s energy security, transatlantic trade disputes, and challenges to democracy. The Global Europe Program’s staff, scholars-in-residence, and Global Fellows participate in seminars, policy study groups, and international conferences to provide analytical recommendations to policy makers and the media.  Read more