Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:30PM
The 64th Bilderberg conference was held from June 9-12, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (file photo)
The 64th Bilderberg conference was held from June 9-12, 2016 in Dresden, Germany. (file photo)

The 2016 conference of the Bilderberg Group has been held with total secrecy, a signature of the meetings, in Germany amid the presence of heavily-armed guards.

Held from June 9 to 12, the conference was held at the Hotel Taschenbergpalais in Dresden without a press conference or any other significant release about the discussions.

A total of around 130 participants from 20 countries were said to have taken part in the event.

Prominent among them were former US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, and former CIA chief David Petraeus.

Four finance ministers, two prime ministers, three German cabinet members, a vice-president of the European commission, and the head of the Swiss parliament also attended the conference, according to the official list of participants.

“As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media have been invited,” the group said on its website.

In a Saturday report, the Guardian’s Charlie Skelton wrote of his quest to find out more about the secretive conference by asking the members about a possible press conference.

In response, Marie-Josée Kravis, a senior fellow at US conservative think tank Hudson Institute, said, “The paintings at the old master picture gallery are wonderful,” said, while returning to the conference.”

“You simply must go and have a look,” added Kravis, who the report referred to as “a Bilderberg steering committee member.”

Her husband, Henry Kravis, also smiled at the question, “How’s business at KKR (his company)?” before the two were ushered in through the security cordon.

The only attendees working as journalists inside the meetings are with NBC, Bloomberg and the Financial Times.

The group, however, released a list of topics being discussed this year: (1) current events, (2) China, (3) Europe: migration, growth, reform, vision, unity, (4) Middle East, (5) Russia, (6) US political landscape, economy: growth, debt, reform, (7) cyber security, (8) geo-politics of energy and commodity prices, (9) precariat and middle class and finally (10) technological innovation.

The Bilderberg Group is an invitation-only community which holds annual meetings with approximately 140 guests attending. It is comprised of many wealthy and influential people in the fields of politics, banking, business, the military, and news media.

The group defines the conference as “a forum for informal discussions about major issues facing the world. The meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, which states that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor any other participant may be revealed.”

Although the names of attendees and the agenda for conference are available on their website, the group holds its meetings in private and there are no press releases about them, which has raised suspicions about the Bilderbergers.

“There is no desired outcome, no minutes are taken and no report is written. Furthermore, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.”

The group first convened in 1954 at the Hotel de Bilderberg in The Netherlands, which the group was named after.