Davos, Switzerland ( Associated Press) – Davos – the center of an elite annual gathering in the Swiss Alps – is back, more than two years after the coronavirus pandemic kept its business gurus, political leaders and high-minded activists away. There is no shortage of urgent issues To deal with the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
With his high ambition to help improve the condition of the world, the organizers of the forum have their work cut out for him: the prices of food and fuel are rising.Russia’s war in Ukraine, climate changeDrought and food shortage in AfricaThe yawning disparity between rich and poor, and autocratic regimes are yawning in some places – on top of signs that the pandemic is not over.
It is hard to predict whether the high-profile discussions will lead to significant announcements that will move on to the world’s most pressing challenges.
war in ukraine will be the main subject. President Volodymyr Zelensky will speak by video from Kyiv on Monday on opening day, while the country’s foreign minister and a large delegation of other top Ukrainian officials will be on hand. He will be joined this week by leaders such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US climate envoy John Kerry, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“There is no business as usual,” Forum president Borge Brende told the Associated Press, adding that Ukraine is not the only concern. “It is also climate change. It is also global growth slowing down, and we have to avoid that this very weak recovery ends with a new recession because we have very limited ammunition to fight a new recession- There’s gunpowder.”
“A new recession will increase unemployment, increase poverty,” he said. “A lot is at stake.”
President Vladimir Putin’s war means Russian business and political leaders have not been invited to Davos this year. There will be no more traditional “Russia House” social celebration with caviar and vodka spreads for the nobility of evening fun.
Instead, critics – notably including Ukrainian tycoon Viktor Pinchuk and the country’s foreign ministry – have captured some of the symbolism and vowed to express their disgust, which is shared by many around the world.
“This year, Russia is not present in Davos, but its crimes will go unnoticed. The ‘Russia War Crime House’ takes place inside the former Russia House,” organizers of the re-designated venue said in a press release.
The event, which opens on Monday, will feature photographs of the crimes and atrocities that the Russian military is accused of. Some of the victims will speak – including Anatoly Fedoruk, mayor of Buka, a city near Kyiv, where images of civilians are murdered. Outrage around the world.
“It is important to understand what is really happening in Ukraine,” said Björn Geldhof, artistic director of the PinchukArt Center, which is helping organize the exhibition. “Part of this exhibition is also to bring back a human face to those who have become victims of these Russian war crimes.”
Forum president Brende says that many CEOs and other business leaders are looking at ways the private sector can support Ukraine, “in a situation where Russia is breaking international law, international humanitarian law, and the United Nations.” Not sticking to the charter.”
Not everyone believes that Davos is where solutions can be found.
A few dozen anti-capitalist demonstrators marching behind a “Smash WEF” banner in Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, clashed with police on Friday, a sign of fierce protest against the economic elite, on whom they are trying to cast an advantage over the people. accuse. Police used rubber bullets and pepper spray to disperse the crowd, which was believed to be an unauthorized gathering.
While Ukraine will focus on climate and environmental issues on the first day of the meeting There will be a recurring, ongoing theme as the platform looks at the challenges of the future as much as the present.
A third of the nearly 270 panel discussions through Thursday’s closing will focus on climate change or its effects, with extreme weather, efforts to reach “net zero” emissions and finding new, clean sources of energy on the agenda.
The forum manager – who has sometimes faced criticism about a host of wealthy executives flying on emissions-spewing corporate jets – has tried to play his part and inoculated himself against accusations of hypocrisy: Over the past five years, they say they have offset 100% of the carbon emissions from the organization’s activities by supporting environmental projects.
Experts say offsets can be problematic because there is no guarantee they will work to reduce emissions.