World leaders will meet for the biggest gathering at this snowy Swiss ski resort on January 16, with thousands of people including around 100 Indian attendees to discuss “cooperation in a fragmented world”.
This year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) summit will kick off with the Crystal Awards Ceremony.
Last year the annual meeting was held in May as it could not take place in the usual January due to COVID pandemic restrictions. Prior to that, the 2021 meeting was held online.
Although the pandemic has yet to be declared fully over, restrictions are few and the war in Ukraine and the economic fallout from the geopolitical and health crises have made the Davos meeting, often described as the largest congregation in the world elite, very interesting.
More than 50 heads of government or state are expected over the next five days for the meeting which begins on Monday, while four Union ministers – Mansukh Mandaviya, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Smriti Irani and RK Singh – as well as Minister Chief of Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde, as well as a number of civil servants and business leaders would attend from India.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Karnataka’s BS Bommai were also listed earlier but are unlikely to attend the summit. AAP leader Raghav Chaddha is also present, as are Telangana minister KT Rama Rao and Tamil Nadu minister Thangam Thennarasu.
Among business leaders, Gautam Adani, Sanjiv Bajaj, Kumar Mangalam Birla, N. Chandrasekaran, Nadir Godrej, Ajit Gulabchand, Sajjan Jindal, Sunil Mittal, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Nandan Nilekani, Adar Poonawalla, Rishad Premji and Sumant Sinha are likely to be present.
The meeting will call on world leaders to address the immediate economic, energy and food crises while laying the foundations for a more sustainable and resilient world.
The organizers expect significant participation from Asia, particularly China and Japan.
The theme of the 53rd Annual Meeting would be “Cooperation in a Fragmented World” and will bring together more than 2,700 leaders from 130 countries, including 52 Heads of State/Government.
Key political leaders participating include German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, South African President Cyril M. Ramaphosa , Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Swiss President Alain Berset and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
Other senior leaders include John F Kerry, US Presidential Special Envoy for Climate; Avril Haines, US Director of National Intelligence; Martin J. Walsh, United States Secretary of Labor; Katherine Tai, US Trade Representative; and Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank.
Among the heads of participating international organizations are UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, WTO Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The WEF said the annual meeting comes as multiple crises deepen divisions and fragment the geopolitical landscape and that leaders must address the immediate and critical needs of people while laying the foundations for a more sustainable and resilient world of here the end of the decade.
“We see the multiple political, economic and social forces creating increased fragmentation at the global and national levels. To address the root causes of this erosion of trust, we need to strengthen cooperation between the government and business sectors, by creating the conditions for a strong and sustainable recovery,” said WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.
“At the same time, it must be recognized that economic development must be made more resilient, more sustainable and that no one must be left behind,” he added.
The program for the 53rd Annual Meeting focuses on solutions and public-private cooperation to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
“He encourages world leaders to work together on the interconnected issues of energy, climate and nature; investment, trade and infrastructure; advanced technologies and industry resilience; jobs, skills, social mobility and health; and geopolitical cooperation in a multipolar world,” said the WEF, which describes itself as an international organization for public-private cooperation.
Particular emphasis is placed on geographic and gender diversity in all sessions, he added.
This year will bring the highest business attendance ever to Davos, with more than 1,500 executives registered across 700 organizations, including more than 600 of the world’s top CEOs with high-level representation from sectors including financial services, l energy, materials and infrastructure, and information and communication technologies.
As IFAD Goodwill Ambassadors, they focus on issues related to food security, climate change and environmental conservation.
Civil society leaders attending the meeting include Gavi, CEO of the Vaccine Alliance, Seth F Berkley, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, Stephen Cotton, President of the Association of women and indigenous peoples of Chad, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Secretary General of Religions for Peace. Azza Karam and the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
More than 125 experts and officials from the world’s leading universities, research institutes and think tanks will also attend the meeting.
Entertainer Maya Lin, acclaimed soprano Renee Fleming and actors Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba will receive the annual Crystal Award for 2023 on Monday.
These awards celebrate the achievements of leading artists who are bridge builders and role models for all leaders in society.
Ms. Lin will receive the award for “her extraordinary creative talent in combining science, art and architecture and her exemplary leadership in promoting nature and the environment.”
Ms Fleming will receive the award for “her leadership in championing the power of music and its relationship to health, community and culture”, according to the WEF.
Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba will receive the award for their leadership in addressing food security, climate change and environmental conservation, the WEF said.
Actor, filmmaker and humanitarian, Idris Elba, and his wife, model, actress and humanitarian, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, were appointed United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors for IFAD in April 2020.