Chairman of Munich Security Conference opens NSRI in Hamburg

Dr. Ulrich Kühn

Wolfgang Ischinger

Wolfgang Ischinger

At the invitation of the IFSH and the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, international nuclear weapons experts will spend four days in Hamburg discussing their research. For the first time, the renowned conference of the Nuclear Studies Research Initiative (NSRI) will take place in Europe. A reception followed by a dinner opened the meeting on Thursday evening at the Hotel Le Méridian at Hamburg's inner city lake “Außenalster”. The opening speech was given by Wolfgang Ischinger, the chairman of the Munich Security Conference.

Security policy strategies neglected for too long

Ischinger, long-time German ambassador to the USA and Great Britain, explained that after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, people assumed that they were only surrounded by friends. It took more than two decades to realize that Germany and Europe had to position themselves strategically better in terms of security policy, the top diplomat explained. Above all, Russia's annexation of the Crimea in violation of international law had been a decisive wake-up call.

More complex challenges in a globalised world

When the Munich Security Conference was founded in the 1960s, the primarily asked question was: How can we keep the Russians out? Close German-American co-operation was one of the answers, Ischinger explained. Meanwhile, the annual meeting of leading politicians, leading military personnel and security experts in Munich is an international conference with participants from all over the world.

Ischinger called for Europeans to find more creative answers to current security policy issues, rather than just addressing what would happen if the United States withdrew from NATO. In particular, the nuclear issue must once again come to the fore. Young people around the world took to the streets to demonstrate against climate change. It is urgently necessary to show the connection between climate protection and the avoidance of the use of nuclear weapons. If a nuclear bomb were to be used anywhere in the world, all current scenarios about the consequences of climate change would be obsolete in view of the massive environmental damage, said the ex-ambassador.

The "Nuclear Studies Research Initiative" - NSRI for short - takes place once a year. This year's conference is entitled "Rethinking the nuclear future: Perspectives from Europe and America". Around 50 researchers from all over the world will address fundamental issues in the nuclear sciences, from current technological advances to strategy issues and proliferation policies.

More information about the event can be found on our event page.