MYL digital Photo: MSC/Simon

MYL Around the World

At a time of great uncertainty, it is more important than ever to keep up the dialogue and to exchange insights, opinions and ideas. Due to Covid restrictions the Munich Young Leaders could not gather for their annual meetings.

Instead, Körber-Stiftung and the Munich Security Conference conducted a series of digital events that allowed the Munich Young Leaders (MYL) Alumni to “virtually travel” the world. Each event focuses on one specific region and scrutinizes the state of multilateral cooperation in the wake of the pandemic, highlighting both regional security issues that have been accelerated through the pandemic and those at risk of being overlooked, as countries focus on managing the fallout from COVID-19.

Zoom in on Asia

The first digital session “MYL Around the World – Zoom in on Asia” had a focus on the Indo-Pacific region. Linda Reynolds, Australia’s Minister for Defence, delivered a short keynote address followed by a discussion with the members of the network.

In the second part of the event, the Munich Young Leaders gathered in smaller breakout sessions to discuss US-China relations and its impact on smaller Asian countries, India’s role in promoting multilateral solutions to security challenges in the region, and Hong Kong’s national security law.

Zoom in on Europe

Margarethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, opened the second session, “MYL Around the World – Zoom in on Europe”, with a short keynote address and spoke with the Munich Young Leaders about opportunities and challenges for Europe regarding digital affairs.

The conversation with EVP Vestager was followed by three parallel breakout sessions, where the participants discussed questions such as: How can Europeans seize the (post-)pandemic moment to emerge as a stronger union? What are the prospects of the EU’s migration policy? How clearly should the EU take a stand regarding the conflicts in its Eastern neighbourhood?

Zoom in on the US

The conversation with Senator Chris Murphy brought the Munich Young Leaders virtually to the United States. Two weeks after the presidential elections, the Connecticut Senator delivered a keynote address on his view on the outcome of the elections and on what they mean for the future of the United States and its foreign policy. In the following discussion with the Munich Young Leaders, he further elaborated on the prospects of the transatlantic alliance under a Biden administration as well as on the relations with the Middle East and Asia.

Zoom in on the Middle East and Afghanistan

The Munich Young Leaders’ journey around the world continues and brings them to the Middle East and Afghanistan. Barham Salih, President of the Republic of Iraq, opened the session with a keynote speech and discussed with the members of the network current developments and security challenges in the Middle East.

In the second part of the event, the MYL could participate in one of the parallel breakout sessions to talk about either the status of the nuclear talks with Iran on the JCPoA or the consequences of the international troop withdrawal for Afghanistan.