Ambassador Dr Christoph Heusgen in Dialogue with Students of LIS

24 February 2022 marks a turning point in the history of Europe and German politics. This is how Chancellor Olaf Scholz put it after Russia’s attack on Ukraine. To highlight the significance of this turning point for Germany, internationally, and with a view to climate change and energy prices, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has initiated the event series “Zeitenwende on Tour”.

With “Zeitenwende on Tour”, the Munich Security Conference, as the world’s leading forum for debates on foreign, security and European policy, wants to enter into conversation with people who are affected by the turn of the times. In the course of this campaign, over the next twelve months, various events will take place in all 16 federal states with the support of strongly anchored regional partners.

Ambassador Dr Christoph Heusgen, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and his team also visited the city of Leipzig. He presented on these urgent compelling topics and answered citizens’ pressing questions. As part of this campaign, Dr Heusgen’s team always plans a school visit in the respective city. The main goal here is to give students an exclusive opportunity to talk to a political expert about the current conflict in Ukraine and the changing times. We were very pleased that our school was chosen for his visit.

Our Head of School, Ms Brandie Smith, and our Secondary Principal, Mr Neil Allen, had the honour of welcoming Dr Christoph Heusgen and his team here at LIS on Tuesday morning (31 January 2023). In an initial conversation, Dr Heusgen learned a lot about the history of LIS and our learning concept.

Ambassador Dr Christoph Heusgen, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and his team from Munich meet LIS Head of School Brandie Smith and Secondary School Principal Neil Allen.

Following this talk, our Grade 9 students had the unique opportunity to listen to Dr. Heusgen’s explanations of the aspects of security and European policy, and addressed their important questions on the conflict in Ukraine. He explained geopolitical connections and discussed central issues of foreign and security policy with our students.
The questions from the audience in our school auditorium revealed what is currently on the minds of many of our students: “How likely is it that Germany will actively participate in the war?” Dr Heusgen answered that we would not enter the war. It is easy to threaten with nuclear weapons, but we must not be intimidated. He said it was also important to stay in dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin and to support Ukraine to secure our freedom and democracy in Europe in the future.

We very much appreciate the visit of Dr Heusgen and his team to our school and consider it an excellent opportunity to talk to a political expert and broaden our horizons.

We recognise the unique opportunity we have as members of the LIS community and we enthusiastically embrace our responsibility to make a positive impact on ourselves, each other, and the world.

Dr Christoph Heusgen

Ambassador Christoph Heusgen has been Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) since 2022. He teaches Political Science at the University of Saint Gallen. Christoph Heusgen served as German Ambassador to the United Nations in New York from 2017 to 2021. Prior to this appointment and since 2005, Heusgen was the Foreign Policy and Security Adviser to Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. He served as Director of the Policy Unit for High Representative Javier Solana in the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union from 1999 to 2005. Between 1988 and 1999, Heusgen served in various capacities at the Foreign Office in Bonn, including Deputy Director-General for European Affairs from 1997 to 1999. Heusgen is a graduate of the University of Saint Gallen in Switzerland, studied at Georgia Southern College in the United States, and at the Sorbonne in Paris.

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