February 4, 2023

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Ukraine, climate, globalization… In Davos, elites want to “cooperate in a fragmented world”

The world’s political and economic elites are meeting in Davos next week with a strong ambition: to “cooperate in a fragmented world” amid the war in Ukraine, climate change and undulating globalisation.

This year’s meeting, organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) at a ski resort in the Swiss Alps, “takes place in the most complex geopolitical and geo-economic environment for decades,” the WEF’s president underlined. Borge Brende, during a press conference this week.

Indeed, the Covid-19 pandemic, trade disputes between China and the United States, and the war in Ukraine have contributed to amplifying geopolitical misgivings and fueling more protectionist policies in recent years. “One of the main reasons for this fragmentation is a lack of cooperation,” and it results in “short-term and self-interested policies,” lamented WEF founder Klaus Schwab.

Even as some wonder about the future of globalization, half a century has been preserved at the heart of philosophy at Davos.

And, almost a year after the Russian-Ukrainian crisis erupted, the conflict and its implications for global energy and security policies will occupy a large part of the discussions in Davos.

A Ukrainian delegation is expected to arrive in Switzerland if the Russians don’t for the second year in a row, and President Volodymyr Zelensky plans to intervene remotely.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, UN The opportunity to interact with hundreds of political figures such as Secretary General Antonio Guterres or NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, around 600 business leaders, many media and civil society representatives: NGOs, researchers and stars such as actor Idris Elba or soprano Renee Fleming.

Another important subject: climate. Organizers hope the talks will help prepare for the next round of global talks at COP28 in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates later this year.

Activists meanwhile plan to use the crowd to remind rich countries and energy groups of the need to fund developing countries’ energy transitions and pay for damages from natural disasters that accompany climate change.

However, as every year, the most important activity at Davos takes place behind the scenes, with business leaders, investors and politicians taking advantage of the gathering in one place to discuss on the sidelines of the official conference.

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