From 14 - 16 February 2020, the twelfth generation of Munich Young Leaders gathered in Munich.
The Munich Young Leaders 2020, a group of young foreign and security policy experts from more than 20 nations, discussed a broad range of topics with high-ranking participants of the 56th Munich Security Conference and took part in the program of the conference.
Photos: Sebastian Gabsch
Discussion among Munich Young Leaders
This year’s Munich Young Leaders programme began with a discussion among the participants. In small groups, they exchanged their views on skills an exceptional leader needs to have. Then, the group turned toward the title of this year’s Munich Security Report, “Westlessness”, and discussed the future of the West. Is the decline of the West inevitable?
Discussion with Ronen Bergman
For their first background discussion, the Munich Young Leaders met with Ronen Bergman, investigative journalist at the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth and The New York Times Magazine. The discussion focused on the peace plan of President Trump and the assassination of General Soleimani.
Discussion with Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
On Saturday morning, the Munich Young Leaders met with the German Minister of Defence, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. The discussion covered a broad range of topics, such as Germany’s role in Europe, migration and security, as well as the termination of the INF treaty and its consequences.
Discussion with Eric Schmidt
It was followed by a discussion with Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and Chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. The controversy about 5G and Huawei was a recurring theme in the discussion, but also artificial intelligence in weapon systems and cyber security.
Discussion with Ng Eng Hen
The conversation between Singapore’s Minister of Defence, Ng Eng Hen, and the Munich Young Leaders revolved around the question how to build consensus in a divided world.
Meet and Greet with Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud
The Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah al-Saud, and the Munich Young Leaders met for an informal exchange and talked about Saudia Arabia’s role in the region.
Discussion with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
On Saturday evening the group spoke with the Foreign Minister of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. The round table covered topics such as India’s strategic aims in the Indo-Pacific, but also the potential of closer India-EU cooperation and India’s role in the fight against climate change. The forthcoming Annual Meeting in New Delhi will give the Munich Young Leaders the opportunity to deepen these discussions.
Discussion with Fu Ying
Due to the latest developments the conversation with Fu Ying, Co-Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, and the Munich Young Leaders focused on the implications of the outbreak of the Corona Virus, but also touched upon topics such as climate change and the 5G debate.
Discussion with Gro Harlem Brundtland
The final background discussion of this year’s Munich Young Leaders programme hosted Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Acting Chairwoman of “The Elders”. She spoke about the Brundtland report, which defined the concept of “sustainable development” and what has changed since its publication in 1987. She stressed that multilateral leadership is necessary in order to tackle the challenges in the fight against climate change and poverty.
Photo: Sebastian Gabsch