Summing up the forum, the head of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, expressed the following view: "The international community is faced with many problems and it is extremely difficult to find reasons for optimism, however, this does not mean that you should stop looking for answers to the challenges.”
At the beginning of the conference Ischinger, expressed his pessimistic view on the situation.
“We are confronted with failed attempts to resolve conflicts, failure to pre-empt them, we have to deal with unpredictable and unstable situations and a huge number of refugees. And, perhaps more importantly, we are dealing with the damage to the credibility of diplomacy, which is the hardest to recover," said Mr. Ischinger.
By the end of the three day conference, Ischinger concluded the following: "I think we learned as a result of the discussions that sometimes, unfortunately, it is necessary to use military force to enforce peace." The Head of the forum expressed confidence, that the Munich agreement should work: "Let us not lose hope. Let the message of Munich not become the message to continue the unceasing hostilities, let it be to instill in us a little hope. "
If the civil war in Syria, a refugee crisis and the international battle against the Islamic State group dominated the formal agenda of the annual conference that ended Sunday, the gulf between the West and Russia provided the fury.
With relations between Moscow and Washington at their worst since the end of the Cold War, heightened tensions also raised questions about whether the two sides can come together to solve crises such as the one unfolding in Syria. U.S. and Russian diplomats have attempted to negotiate a cessation to fighting there, but key differences over the plan have raised doubts such an agreement can hold.
The following Munich Security Conference will open on February 10, 2017.