February 15, 2024

Whitehouse and Sullivan Lead Bipartisan Senate Delegation to Munich Security Conference

CODEL McCain upholds the late Senator John McCain’s legacy of marshalling bipartisan support for the transatlantic alliance

Washington, D.C. – Days after helping shepherd a bipartisan $95 billion national security supplemental package through the U.S. Senate, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) are leading a bipartisan delegation to this weekend’s Munich Security Conference.

“It’s an honor to once again co-lead CODEL McCain to Munich to send the message that the United States Senate stands firmly with our allies and the transatlantic institutions — institutions that have underpinned security and prosperity in the United States and Europe since World War II,” said Whitehouse.  “Divisive forces are trying to undermine the Western alliance, so my work is to find common ground with our allies supporting Ukrainian victory, cracking down on international corruption, and solving the climate crisis.”

“One of our greatest strengths relative to our adversaries—China, Russia, Iran, North Korea—is our vast network of allies, which administrations and U.S. Senators have built up over decades,” said Sullivan.  “Given the increasingly dangerous world we live in, we need to deepen those alliances, and strengthen U.S. credibility.  The Munich Security Conference is a good opportunity to do that.  The conference is also an opportunity to deliver a message from the American people: We expect our NATO allies to meet their defense spending obligations.”

The trip is called CODEL McCain in honor of the late Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, who served as the longtime leader of the American congressional delegation to the conference along with Senator Whitehouse.

The Munich Security Conference is widely considered the Atlantic’s leading forum for international security policy and provides a venue for diplomatic initiatives and ideas to cooperatively address the world’s most pressing security concerns.  The Conference brings together nearly five hundred high-level decision makers and leaders from around the world, including heads of state, legislators, ministers, leaders of international organizations and non-governmental organizations, as well as leaders from business, media, research and civil society.  The conference runs from Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18.

Whitehouse and Sullivan are scheduled to lead the delegation in bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders, including heads of state and foreign ministers, among others.  Whitehouse will also participate in sessions on reconstruction in Ukraine, combatting kleptocracy and international corruption, defending democracy against authoritarianism, and the national security threats posed by climate change.

On Friday evening, Whitehouse will deliver the keynote address at the John McCain Dissertation Award Ceremony.  The Munich Security Conference annually awards the John McCain Dissertation Award to honor outstanding academic achievements in the field of transatlantic relations.  In previous years, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Vice President Mike Pence, and House Speaker Emeritus Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have delivered the keynote address, among others.

Whitehouse will also participate in several public-facing events, including a panel discussion on Friday at 3:30 p.m. CET (9:30 a.m. EST) entitled, “Spotlight: Corruption” which will be livestreamed as part of the main program.  That event can be viewed here.

Senator Sullivan will deliver remarks and headline several events at the conference, including a discussion on defending the free world against extremism and authoritarianism hosted by the Christian Social Union.  He will also join a discussion on geostrategic issues hosted by the International Republican Institute—an organization which Senator Sullivan chairs—and the International Democratic Union.  There will also be a roundtable on the Arctic where the senator will highlight Alaska’s central position to the defense and development of the region, and a forum that the senator will join on the China challenge organized by Europe’s leading China research center, MERICS.

In addition to Whitehouse and Sullivan, the Senators participating in CODEL McCain include:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia)
  • Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware)
  • Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut)
  • Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i)
  • Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut)
  • Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland)
  • Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia)
  • Senator J.D. Vance (R-Ohio)

Additional information on the 2024 Munich Security Conference agenda:


YouTube Channel of 2024 Conference panels and discussions:



Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921