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Global business tycoons, prominent economists, and global political figures descended for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos between 22-25 January under the banner of “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for the Society, Politics and Business.”
According to World Economic Forum’s (WEF) website, “The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.”
This year more than 2500 participants were expected to attend the meeting, including the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameroon, Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, the President of Mexico, of Korea, of Brazil, of Australia and other prominent global figures from across the world.
Rania Al Abdullah, Kofi Annan, Ban Ki Moon, and Roberto Azvedo, the director-general of the World Trade Organization were also expected to join the conference in Davos.
The report on global challenges, published by the WEF, identified and ranked global issues such as the political instability in the Middle East, the expanding gap between the rich and the poor, persistent unemployment, lack of leadership and a host of other issues that required a strategic road-map, supported by the commitment of world leaders.
According to the flagship publication of WEF, The Outlook on Global Agenda 2014, “the Arab world has entered a period of rising tensions, in which the future could be as much about the defeat of hope for change, as about the potential for a revival taking place.”
This conference was organized on the philosophy of discussion and deliberations, aided by a vision to overcome critical global issues that stand-out as an imminent danger to global peace, prosperity and a sustainable future by devising a collective action plan. But in reality, the situation hardly changes. Reality is quite different from what the Davos participants pretend it to be.
Annual Davos meetings have been labeled as a convergence of the ultra-rich to discuss global issues, develop insights and offer remedies that doesn’t work at all.
Ironically, the material outcome of these meetings over the last few years contradicts the very propose of them, because the global situation remains almost the same no matter what preposition WEF may have forwarded to the world.
The WEF’s annual gathering is literally just a social call of the global elite, thinking they can resolve the world’s most critical problems, that they can formulate effective policies and develop better insights than already existing. They seem to believe their discussion and recommendations are really constructive for a better future.
The year 2013 recorded the highest number of deaths in Iraq since 2008 and millions of people displaced from Syria due to civil war. It saw the gap between rich and poor globally expanding, ethnic conflict in Burma appearing unstoppable, poverty, starvation and death in certain countries of Africa still posing the biggest threat to human life, and many countries globally still struggling to provide basic health care. It showed advanced countries still suffering from tax evasion and draconian budget deficits and yet, surprisingly, WEF hoped that they could pose valid suggestions of resolutions to these crisis and others within just three days.
WEF is “just” another international organization concerned with global issues and engaged in global advocacy for finding a better solution. WEF should be seen as a think-tank rather than a “do-tank”.
Image credit: World Economic Forum via Facebook