Background of the ISF

The International Security Forum (ISF) was launched in 1994 and has since been at the forefront of cooperation among international security professionals around the world.

The ISF has established itself as a forum for discussing ways to increase communication and cooperation between institutions engaged in research related to international security in Europe, North America, and beyond. Over the years, the ISF has brought together hundreds of researchers, academics, civil servants, military officials, and media representatives from over 50 countries. The conference is biennial and is held alternately in Zurich and Geneva.

Due to the success of the ISF, the Swiss government continues to support the conference cycle with its international co-sponsors and partners. The main financial contribution to the ISF comes from the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affair (FDFA).

The 11th ISF is sponsored and co-organised by the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs as an official Swiss government contribution to the Partnership for Peace. The main conference partners include the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

The ISF cycle has the following specific objectives:

  • To create a platform for discussion and an exchange of views on academic, military, and practical aspects of security policy;
  • To discuss humanitarian aspects of security policy and to encourage dialogue with humanitarian organizations;
  • To promote practical cooperation between the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) member states and beyond;
  • To encourage professional education and the free flow of information on issues relating to international security; and,
  • To foster an international and multidisciplinary dialogue that will identify future issues and trends in international security.

Past Conferences