Washington, D.C. – Against a backdrop of rising tensions in Eastern Europe, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) this evening set off for Munich, Germany to join hundreds of world leaders and international security decisionmakers at the annual Munich Security Conference. Whitehouse and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are leading a delegation of more than two dozen members of Congress to the world’s major global forum for the discussion of security policy. Whitehouse has served as the Democratic lead for the congressional delegation to the Conference since 2013, originally at the invitation of the late Senator John McCain.
“With Russia becoming increasingly hostile in Eastern Europe, our American delegation is headed Munich to stand with our allies and the transatlantic institutions that have helped ensure peace, security, and prosperity in Europe since World War II,” said Whitehouse. “I’m hopeful we can also unlock further global cooperation on solving the climate challenge and reining in international corruption.”
Whitehouse will participate in a roundtable discussion on fighting kleptocracy and global corruption, as well as a panel on international cooperation on climate change.
While in Munich, Whitehouse and Graham will join Ambassador Cindy McCain for the annual presentation of a dissertation award named in honor of Senator McCain, who was a fixture at the Munich Security Conference for four decades. The John McCain Dissertation Award is awarded for academic contributions in the field of political science, with an emphasis on the transatlantic relationship.
Whitehouse and Graham will also lead the delegation in bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders, including Dr. Vitaliy Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv and Party Leader of Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms; Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations; Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a Belarusian pro-democracy leader; and Julianne Smith, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO. Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will also meet with the American congressional delegation.
The Munich Security Conference runs from Friday, February 18 through Sunday, February 20. The annual event was founded in 1963 by Ewald von Kleist, a prominent German publisher.