MUNICH, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Over 500 participants from around the world are expected to discuss a swathe of major global security issues ranging from the future of the transatlantic alliance to the West-Russia relations as the 53rd Munich Security Conference (MSC) officially opens here Friday afternoon.
The key annual gathering for the international strategic community comes after last year's game-changing events such as the Brexit and the Trump presidency.
This year's MSC, scheduled for three days, will see decision-makers in the realm of international security debating critical security challenges.
The conference agenda covers the future of transatlantic relations and NATO after the election of Donald Trump, the state of European Union cooperation in security and defense matters, the Ukraine crisis and relations with Russia, the war in Syria, and the security situation in the Asia-Pacific, including in the Korean peninsula. Participants will also discuss terrorism, information warfare, as well as major threats to global health and climate security.
"We are confronted with an international security environment that is arguably more volatile than at any point since World War II," MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger told media ahead of the meeting.
Among this year's confirmed participants are the new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, European Council President Donald Tusk, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.