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Updated January 16th, 2023 at 15:41 IST

WEF 2023 begins in Davos: Significance, attendees, agenda and all you need to know

Davos, a small town situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps, sprawls with some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful figures once a year in January.

Reported by: Deeksha Sharma
Edited by: Deeksha Sharma
WEF
Image: AP | Image:self
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Davos, a small town situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps, sprawls with some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful figures once a year in January, the month of the World Economic Forum meeting. The forum draws in big figures from various arenas of life, from politicians and entrepreneurs to socialites and celebrities who gather to discuss some of the most pressing issues currently existing in the world.

According to Euro News, the World Economic Forum (WEF) was founded in 1971 by Swiss-German economist and professor Klaus Schwab, who wished to bring global leaders together to cooperate on social, economic, and political issues. It operates on the mission- "Committed to improving the state of the world".

This year’s meeting will be held between 16 and 20 January, and will witness several notable figures show up in the ski town, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, European Union President Ursula von der Leyen, according to Anadolu Agency. 

The highly exclusive guest list will consist of over 2,700 leaders from 130 nations. The meeting will also be attended by Laurence Fink, the CEO of American multinational investment company BlackRock. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that members of his government are also planning to attend the forum, adding that he has spoken to Fink about Ukraine’s reconstruction once the ongoing war ends.

"Specialists of this company are already helping Ukraine to structure the fund for the reconstruction of our state," Zelenskyy said in an address. 

Why has the forum faced criticism in the past?

Apart from bringing in several prominent figures, the event is also likely to bring protests centered around climate change. Hundreds of climate activists are expected to show up to speak against large companies and the elite for performing climate-harming actions in everyday life. 

Davos has also been the center of criticism, with critics accusing the elite of hypocrisy for showing up at the annual meeting in their private jets to discuss important issues such as climate change. Last year, more than 1,000 planes traveled in and out of airports serving Davos for the summit.

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Published January 16th, 2023 at 14:30 IST

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