World Economic Forum Annual Meeting starts in Davos
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting began on Monday and thousands of people, including around a hundred participants from India, will discuss ‘cooperation in a fragmented world’ this week in this snow-laden Swiss ski resort town.
The meeting started off with the crystal awards ceremony and the awards celebrate the achievements of leading artists who are bridge-builders and role models for all leaders of society. Artist Maya Lin, acclaimed soprano Renee Fleming and actors Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba have been presented the awards. The awards ceremony was followed by ‘I Sea You’ musical concert, which was presented as a powerful cultural message of unity and collaboration.
It also made a call to action to world leaders and policy makers to implement the appropriate and required agreements to protect and preserve the coral reefs of the Northern Red Sea. More than 50 heads of governments or states are expected over the next five days for the meeting beginning Monday, while four Union ministers — Mansukh Mandaviya, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Smriti Irani and R K Singh — as also Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, along with a number of officials and business leaders would be present from India.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Karnataka’s B S Bommai were also earlier listed but they are unlikely to attend the summit. AAP leader Raghav Chaddha is also here, so are Telangana minister K T Rama Rao and Tamil Nadu minister Thangam Thennarasu. Among business leaders, Gautam Adani, Sanjiv Bajaj, Kumar Mangalam Birla, N Chandrasekaran, Nadir Godrej, Ajit Gulabchand, Sajjan Jindal, Sunil Mittal, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Nandan Nilekani, Adar Poonawalla, Rishad Premji and Sumant Sinha are likely to be present.
Artist Maya Lin, acclaimed soprano Renee Fleming and actors Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba have been given the crystal awards. Lin has been awarded for “her extraordinary creative talent in combining science, art and architecture and her exemplary leadership in the promotion of nature and environment”. Fleming has been chosen for “her leadership in championing the power of music and its relation to health, community and culture,” according to WEF.
Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba have been presented the award for their leadership in addressing food security, climate change and environmental conservation, the WEF said.
Actor, filmmaker and humanitarian, Idris Elba, and his wife, the model, actress and humanitarian, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, were appointed UN Goodwill Ambassadors for IFAD in April 2020. ‘I Sea You’ featured exclusive performances by internationally acclaimed award-winning artists including singer, songwriter, composer and activist Noa, also known as Achinoam Nini, accompanied by her longstanding musical collaborator Gil Dor; Egyptian soprano Fatma Said, accompanied by German pianist, composer and arranger Tim Allhoff; and Jordanian virtuoso Farah Siraj, accompanied by guitarist, composer and producer Andreas Arnold.
The Morphing Chamber Orchestra featured world-renowned oud virtuoso Joseph Tawadros and percussionist James Tawadros. The concert also included an immersive backdrop featuring footage of the Red Sea corals filmed by environmentalist and deep-sea diver Nouf Alosaimi, as well as imagery by Coral Morphologic. The concert was supported by Intesa Sanpaolo. The theme of the 53rd Annual Meeting would be ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World’ and it will convene more than 2,700 leaders from 130 countries, including 52 heads of state/government.
Top political leaders taking part include German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, South Africa President Cyril M Ramaphosa, Spain Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Swiss President Alain Berset and Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Other top leaders include John F Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate of the United States of America; Avril Haines, US Director of National Intelligence; Martin J Walsh, Secretary of Labor of the United States; Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative; and Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank.
Heads of international organisations taking part include UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.