More than 2700 world leaders will seek solutions for multiple global crises when they convene at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the posh Swiss Alpine village of Davos this week.
This auspicious gathering includes 52 heads of state, leaders in business, finance, and culture as well as humanitarians and members of civil society from 130 countries. More than 5,000 Swiss army soldiers will be on hand to guarantee security and ensure any protests do not get out of hand.
The theme of this year’s meeting is cooperation in a fragmented world. After emerging from three years of pandemic isolation, delegates once again will be meeting in person. During the week, they will address critical political, economic, and social issues that demand urgent attention.
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, says this personal interaction will create the necessary level of trust to bring people together.
“One of the root causes of this fragmentation is actually a lack of cooperation. This in turn increases fragmentation in society and leads even more to short-term and self-serving policy making. It is a truly vicious circle,” he said.
Schwab says the erosion of trust between the government and business sectors must be stopped. He says cooperation must be reinforced and conditions for a strong and durable recovery created.
Managing director of the forum, Mirak Dusek, says world leaders will be encouraged to work together on such interconnected issues as energy, climate, and nature. He says discussion on the economy and society will take center stage.
“On the economy, we are going to be putting a lot of emphasis on infrastructure. Particularly on how we make sure that the investments around infrastructure, particularly clean infrastructure — how do we make sure that this leads to new growth, growth that is more inclusive and makes us more resilient in the future…Of course, we will also be looking at social vulnerability that are stemming from these crises,” he said.
Dignitaries attending the meeting include German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and U.N. Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. U.S. President Joe Biden will not be coming to Davos. However, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, will be present.
A high-level delegation from Ukraine is expected to come to Davos. Forum officials say their names are not being disclosed for security reasons. They say several sessions related to the war in Ukraine will be held. They add Russia is not expected to attend.