Davos Forum to Focus on Geopolitical
Crises, Climate Change, Trade
January 15, 2020
Nearly 3,000 participants from 117
countries, 53 heads of state and government, and close to 1,700 business
leaders will gather at next week’s annual World Economic Forum in the
plush Swiss Alpine resort of Davos. Geopolitical crises, climate change
and the U.S.-China trade disputes are expected to top the forum’s large
and challenging agenda.
The World Economic Forum is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year
at a time of great uncertainty. The Forum’s founder and executive
chairman, Klaus Schwab, warns the world is in a state of emergency and
the window to act is quickly closing.
president Borge Brende told VOA that President Donald Trump will be
coming with a high-powered delegation. It will include Secretary of the
Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer,
and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.
“We do not want to face continued political and economic disintegration.
We do not want to reach the tipping point of irreversibility on climate
change. And we do not want that the next generation to inherit a world,
which becomes ever more hostile and ever less habitable. Just think of
the wildfires in Australia,” he said.”
Schwab said no institution or individual alone can address the many
economic, environmental, social, political and technological challenges
facing the world. He said only collaboration among leading players can
do this. He added the Forum offers a platform in which leaders can seek
Organizers of the Forum expect the large number of young
environmentalists led by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg to energize the
climate change debate. Discussions about the de-escalation of
hostilities and instability in the Middle East are expected to loom
large during the week-long discussions.
Key leaders, such as the president of Iraq and the president of
Iraqi-Kurdistan, as well as the Pakistani and Afghan presidents, will be
attending. But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has
canceled his appearance because of uncertainty in the region and growing
discontent in his country.
“I think there will be a lot of trusted discussions on trade, on
security, on de-escalation, and I hope our platform can be a conducive
one for securing a more safe and more prosperous 2020 than we saw in
2019,” Brende said.
Trump is scheduled to arrive at the opening of the Forum’s 50th
anniversary celebration next Tuesday. Brende said Trump will deliver an
opening speech in which he will share his good wishes for the world and
the United States of America.