SponeckHans-Christof von Sponeck in a letter from the Board of Trustees to Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter dated February 8, 2024

Board of Trustees of the
International Munich Peace Conference (IMFK)
Frauenlobstrasse 24
80339 Munich

To Mr.
Lord Mayor
Dieter Reiter and
the members of the City Council
of the City of Munich

Munich, February 8, 2024

Dear Mr. Reiter,
Dear Members of the City Council,

Ms. Maria Feckl, Project Manager of the International Munich Peace Conference (IMFK), has informed us as members of the Board of Trustees of this conference that 14 city councillors from the SPD/Volt and Die Grünen – Rosa Liste have submitted a motion to cancel the subsidy of 6,500 euros for this conference in future.

As members of the Board of Trustees who have been actively involved in this conference over the past 22 years, we are surprised and irritated by this motion.

The IMFK has been in existence since 2003 – the year of the Iraq war. Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr, winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize and honorary citizen of the city of Munich, was the patron for many years and later became curator until his death.

Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr’s aim was to organize a peace conference in Munich at which civil conflict solutions could be presented and discussed.

Over the past few years, numerous internationally renowned personalities have given lectures in Munich – here are three of them:

– Prof. Johan Galtung, the founder of modern peace and conflict research, who was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize in the same year as Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr for his mediation to end wars.
– Dr. Aminata Traoré from Mali, former Minister of Culture of her country, who presented her reasons for being critical of intervention in Munich.
– Dr. Bernd Niehaus Quesada, former Foreign Minister and Ambassador of Costa Rica to Germany, who presented his country without a military since the Second World War.

While many other cities would probably be happy about the civic engagement of peace organizations that put on an event of a high content format year after year, 14 city councillors are trying to obstruct the Munich International Peace Conference and the discourse on its topics.

Especially in these times, which are characterized by wars and power politics, we believe it is particularly important to use civil conflict resolution models to encourage citizens to talk about peace and humanity.

We ask you to continue the good cooperation between the City of Munich’s Department of Cultural Affairs and those responsible for the IMFK since 2003 – and to support the continuation of the subsidy at the current level.

With kind regards

Prof. Hanne-Margret Birckenbach, peace researcher
Dr. Angelika Clausen, IPPNW Co-Chair and President IPPNW Europe
Sue Dürr, widow of Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr, alternative Nobel Prize winner
Dipl.-Theol. Clemens Ronnefeldt, Peace Consultant at the International Fellowship of Reconciliation
Dr. h.c. Hans-Christoph von Sponeck, former UN Secretary-General.

Download the letter HERE