Zelenskyy, Blinken, Israeli president and more to travel to Davos to talk about global challenges

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine and Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

© APA | Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine and Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

# 09 January 2024 20:02 (UTC +04:00)

More than 60 heads of state and government and hundreds of business leaders are traveling to Switzerland to discuss the biggest global challenges during the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering next week, ranging from Israeli President Isaac Herzog to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, APA reports citing CNBC.

The likes of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Premier Li Qiang, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and many others will visit Davos on Jan. 15-19, organizers said Tuesday.

Attendees have their work cut out for them with two major wars — the Israel-Hamas conflict and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — plus problems like climate change, major disruptions to trade in the Red Sea, a weak global economy and misinformation powered by rapidly advancing artificial intelligence in a major election year.

Trust has eroded on peace and security, with global cooperation down since 2016 and plummeting since 2020, forum President Borge Brende said at a briefing.

“In Davos, we will make sure that we bring together the right people to see how can we also end this very challenging world, look at opportunities to cooperate,” he said.

He noted that there are fears about escalation of the conflict in Gaza and that key stakeholders — including the prime ministers of Qatar, Lebanon and Jordan as well as Herzog — were coming to Davos to “look how to avoid a further deterioration and also what is next, because we also have to inject some silver linings.”

Major figures — including U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan, new Argentina President Javier Milei, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella — will discuss big ideas in hundreds of public sessions and speeches or in other talks surrounding the event.

How much all these discussions will result in big announcements is uncertain. The World Economic Forum’s glitzy event has drawn criticism for being a place where high-profile figures talk about big ideas but make little headway on finding solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.

It’s also been criticized for hosting wealthy executives who sometimes fly in on emissions-spewing corporate jets.

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