The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, the biggest event at the beginning of the year for the political and business world, opened in Davos, Switzerland, for the first time in three years, AFP news agency reported.
The week-long forum's theme, "Cooperation in a Fragmented World," reflects the storms of crisis facing the world, including Russia's invasion of Ukraine, inflation, the shadow of recession, and climate catastrophe.
After three years of ups and downs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as holding a video conference or postponing it to May, it was held normally in January for the first time in three years, but the atmosphere is not bright.
"We are meeting at the most difficult time ever," said German economist Klaus Schwab, founder of the WEF, "and we are now facing a simultaneous crisis."
However, he stressed, "I am convinced that if we engage in all the passions to build and shape the future, we can overcome the current multiple crises."
The meeting will address the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an important topic.
Due to the war and the resulting sanctions and isolation, Russian officials are absent from the meeting.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to deliver a special speech on the day.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg are scheduled to speak the following day, on the 18th.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will reportedly deliver a video address this morning at a Ukraine-related event in addition to the formal forum.
As Ukraine, which has been under Russian aggression for a year, has been lobbying the West for more weapons and financial support, it has assembled a large delegation to the forum, including ministers, senior military leaders, and mayors.
"The war is a tragedy because Russian President Putin has bad dreams of rebuilding the Soviet Empire," Kiiv Mayor Vitaly Klitzko, who attended the Davos Forum as a Ukrainian delegation, told reporters the day before (16), "We do not want to go back to the Soviet Union, we see our future as part of Europe."
◇ Zero COVID-19 Mitigated China, Returned
Davos forum is also attracting attention by sending a government delegation to suspend its high-intensity anti-epidemic policy zero corona since last month. For three years of the pandemic, direct participation was restricted, but this time it has assembled a high-level delegation.
During the forum, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will deliver a special speech on the 20th, and the following day, on the 21st, he will meet with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Zurich.
It is reported that the United States will make climate change a top priority, with US climate envoy John Kerry as the speaker.
Discussions on preparations for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on November 30 this year, are also expected to pick up speed.
However, this year's forum has already been steamed due to the absence of leaders of major countries such as US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunac, French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CNN reported. [News1]