⦁ The MSC was founded by a German official and publisher Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist at the peak of the Cold War (1947-1991).
⦁ Starting in 1963, the conference initially only focused on military issues and was mainly attended by western countries and their high-profile officials, who “came together to display a united front in their struggle with Soviet communism.”
⦁ After the end of the Cold War, the conference expanded its agenda that went beyond defence and security matters to include issues such as climate change and migration.
⦁ It also started to invite leaders from eastern nations, including Russia, India and China.
⦁ Today, the MSC, held in February every year, “seeks to promote trust and contribute to the peaceful resolution of conflicts by facilitating ongoing, curated, yet informal dialogue within the international security community”.
⦁ Since its inception, it has been cancelled only twice. Once in 1991 when the first Gulf War broke out and then in 1997 as a result of the retirement of Kleist-Schmenzin.
Focus for 2023 MSC
⦁ Although in the past few years, the MSC has focused on much more than just security issues, experts believe that this year’s edition might entail a refocus on its original goal: the security order in Europe, in the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war that began just days after the MSC 2022 was concluded.
⦁ “Almost one year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the MSC 2023 will also provide an opportunity to take stock of alliance cohesion and political commitment to the rules-based international order”.
⦁ The conference might also serve as a platform for diffusing tensions between the United States and China, especially after the former shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon in North American airspace earlier this month.
⦁ Another theme on the agenda is to focus on diverse perspectives from the Global South, which included some of the poorest and least industrialised countries in the world.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB