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Davos returns from pandemic with Ukraine, climate in mind

After a hiatus of nearly 2.5 years, the Swiss city of Davos is set to once again host global elites from business, government and activist groups for the World Economic Forum

GENEVA – After an almost 2.5-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Swiss city of Davos is set to once again welcome the world’s elites from business, government and activist groups for the World Economic Forum.

Russia’s war in Ukraine and concerns over climate change are expected to be on many minds at the event which kicks off on Monday, amid concern over the ebb of the pandemic.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy plans to intervene virtually. The largest delegation of senior Ukrainian government officials to leave the country since the war began is expected to travel to Davos in person, organizers said.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the forum hosts did not invite any Russian officials or business leaders this year.

“I’m sure it was the right decision,” forum president Borge Brende said at a news conference on Wednesday. “We hope, however, that Russia will follow a different path… in the years to come, to begin to respect the Charter of the United Nations and its international obligations.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US climate envoy John Kerry, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are among the headliners of the event.

Brende said more than 2,500 participants from business, civil society, media and government are expected, including more than 50 heads of state and government.

Organizers of the meeting, which usually takes place in Davos each January, are hoping to emerge from a pandemic that has repeatedly thwarted their hopes of staging the event. The last one was in 2020 as the pandemic was emerging, and then-US President Donald Trump was in attendance.

Soaring inflation, growing signs of climate change and war-triggered food and oil shortages in Ukraine have increasingly drawn international attention as the COVID-19 crisis subsides in the whole world. Davos organizers trotted out superlatives to reflect the many challenges.

“Under the theme ‘History at the Turn’, the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos this year will be the most timely and consequential annual meeting since the forum was established more than 50 years ago,” said the founder of the forum, Klaus Schwab. .

He said: “Our first thoughts go to the war in Ukraine. Russia’s aggression against the country will be seen in future history books as a collapse of the post-WWII and post-Cold War order.

ABC News

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