Munich Security Conference : Relevance now – UPSC GS2

History of origin of Munich Security Conference:
  • During the time of the Cold War in 1962, the U.S. placed the Jupiter missiles in Italy and Turkey, which bordered the Soviet Union as part of nuclear muscle flexing.
  • Jupiter Missile was a medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) with a range of 2,400 km. It was aimed at key Russian cities.
  • This coincided with the Bay of Pigs fiasco when the U.S. government attempted to overthrow the Fidel Castro-led communist government of Cuba.
  • Angered by the direct intimidation through missiles and humiliation of Castro, the Soviets placed SS-4 missiles in Cuba.
  • The U.S. government discovered the MRBMs in Cuban defense facilities through high altitude photography.
  • The world was brought close to nuclear annihilation because of the standoff.
  • After the dramatic event, there was a need to foster a culture of close consultation and dialogue within the Western countries.
  • Ewald Heinrich von Kleist, in this backdrop began an annual conference to discuss international politics which would go on to become the Munich Security Conference.
Objective of Munich Security Conference:
  • To build trust and to contribute to the peaceful resolution of conflicts by sustaining a continuous, curated and informal dialogue within the international security community.
Significance of MSC:
  • With over sixty years of existence, the MSC has addressed the threats like terrorism, religious fanaticism, cyber warfare, electronic intelligence and has emerged as the leading platform for policy makers to exchange ideas in a friendly atmosphere.
  • The MSC provides a platform for world leaders, decision-makers, and personalities from international and non-governmental organisations, industry, media, academia and civil society to engage and discuss various issues that have implications on peace and stability in the World.
  • It provides a platform for official and non-official diplomatic initiatives, bringing together leaders and security experts from across the world and their ideas to address the world’s most pressing security concerns.
  • It publishes the Munich Security Report, an annual digest of relevant figures, maps, and research on crucial security challenges.
Relevance now:
  • It has become relevant now after Russian invasion of Ukraine and threat of using Nuclear Weapons.
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