The World Economic Forum held its 45th Annual Meeting for 2015 in Switzerland from January 21st to the 24th. Among the key highlights under the theme “The New Global Context,” according to Business Report, included:
1) Growth and Stability: Economic recovery after the financial crisis was discussed and solutions posed.
2) Crisis and Cooperation: How can emerging economies and more developed economies collaborate and cooperate in the areas of climate governance, cybersecurity and international trade and investment?
3) Society and Security: Increasing economic inequalities around the world pose a major risk. How can this be address with more growth and innovation?
4) Innovation and Industry: How can businesses respond to the changes in health care, financial services, energy, manufacturing and retail?
Specific highlights related to African and global issues according to the Association of Accredited Public Policy Advocates to the European Union include:
- African leaders gathered to discuss the Forum’s Africa Strategic Infrastructure Initiative. Mexican stakeholders worked to advance and sustain the country’s long-term growth reforms. The cabinets of Brazil, Russia and India were all represented by senior ministers.
- A number of key stakeholders from Libya, Syria and Ukraine gathered for informal talks. Topics included the mitigation of the impact of the Syrian conflict on its population and the reversal of the emergency situation in Libya. This was part of the Forum’s long-standing commitment to improve the state of the world, which also includes ongoing engagement on Palestinian-Israeli relations.
- Against the background of ongoing conflict, the Forum also convened an expanded meeting of business leaders from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Europe and the United States as part of its ongoing Geneva-Ukraine Initiative. At the meeting, all participants reaffirmed their commitment to a common approach, despite the very tense circumstances, to help resolve the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
- The Shaping Davos initiative brought together Global Shapers from around the world. Over the course of 16 live sessions, 40 cities connected to the meeting in Davos. These included Gaza, Juba, Erbil, Paramaribo and San Salvador. The spirit of Davos was present in all these cities as Global Shapers hosted local conversations on the meeting’s topics.
- The Forum launched a new Global Challenge Initiative on Food Security and Agriculture, with support from the Government of Canada and a broad network of stakeholders. The initiative will work to achieve sustainable and inclusive food systems through investment, innovation and collaboration.
- The Forum also presented its Transformation Maps, and urged participants to travel around Davos on foot, with its Walk for Education project, resulting in a donation of 2,500 bicycles to children in rural South Africa.