New Delhi/Davos: With its high-profile annual meeting getting deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Economic Forum‘s five-day online Davos Agenda summit will begin on Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled to deliver their special addresses on ‘state of the world’ on the first day itself.
The Forum has been hosting its annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos for 50 years, but it could not take place in 2021 due to the pandemic and has been deferred till early summer for this year as well.
However, an online ‘Davos Agenda’ summit would be held for the second consecutive year on the dates originally scheduled for the physical annual meeting.
The week-long digital summit will begin with a special address by Jinping on Monday, followed by two virtual sessions — the first on COVID-19 and the second on technology cooperation in the fourth industrial revolution.
Modi will deliver his special address on Monday evening, which would be followed by the address of United Nations’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio are scheduled to deliver their respective special addresses on Tuesday, when special sessions would also be held on global social contract and challenges of vaccine equity, which would be attended by WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla, among others.
On Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will deliver a special address. Besides, there would be sessions on energy transition, scaling up climate innovation and Latin America outlook.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Indonesian President Joko Widodo are scheduled to deliver their special addresses on Thursday, when special sessions would be held on ESG (environmental, social and governance) metrics for a sustainable future; the next frontier for knowledge and action; and restoring trust in global trade and supply chains.
On the last day, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo will deliver their special addresses. Besides, there would be special sessions on the global economy, building future preparedness and accelerating a nature-positive economy.
The listed speakers for these sessions include US Treasury Secretary Janet L Yellen, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.
The WEF has said ‘Davos Agenda 2022’ will be the first global platform for key world leaders to share their visions for 2022 and it is being convened on the theme of ‘The State of the World’.
Heads of state and government will join CEOs and other leaders for the virtual dialogue on critical collective challenges and how to address them, while this dialogue will be a springboard to the Annual Meeting in Davos, scheduled for early summer.
Geneva-based WEF, which describes itself as an international organisation for public-private cooperation, said radically different pandemic experiences have exacerbated global divisions, while vaccine inequities, combined with new strains, have also slowed international economic recovery.
However, COVID-19 is only one of the critical global challenges which may become unmanageable unless world leaders prioritize proactive collaboration and therefore the Davos Agenda will focus on driving concerted action among key global stakeholders, it added.
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