World leaders to gather during WEF's virtual Davos Agenda meeting


GENEVA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- More than 2,000 business, government and civil society leaders and 25 heads of state or government are set to meet virtually for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos Agenda this week to tackle the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and address the urgent need for global cooperation.

The Davos Agenda 2021 will convene from Jan. 25-29 under the theme "A Crucial Year to Rebuild Trust" and discuss current challenges such as COVID-19 vaccination, job creation and climate change.

The annual gathering, which usually takes place in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, kicked off on Sunday with an opening ceremony featuring a welcome address by WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab and a special address by the President of the Swiss Confederation Guy Parmelin.

"The first step we have to undertake is to restore trust. But in order to restore trust, we have to reinforce first global cooperation," Schwab urged in his welcome remarks. "Second, we have to make sure that everybody is contributing in shaping a more positive future: governments, business, civil society and also the young generation."

Schwab said the Davos Agenda week will address five policy areas:

"First, we will drive responsible industry transformation.... Second, we have to enhance global stewardship and this year, with COP26 taking place later in Glasgow, we have to make progress in becoming carbon zero. Business has to take on a very strong commitment."

Thirdly, Schwab also called for fairer economic and social systems and to create sufficient and decent jobs in order to build a more inclusive society.

"Fourth, we have seen in the pandemic the importance of new technologies. We have to shape those technologies for good," Schwab told the virtual audience. "Fifth, we have to create a new multilateral system. A multilateral system which is fair, a multilateral system which takes into account the necessities of the 21st century."

During his speech, Parmelin said the Davos Agenda will tackle crucial issues such as "shaping a sustainable global economy, strengthening global cooperation, capitalizing on the opportunities offered by digital technology".

"The speed and efficiency of vaccine developments show just what governments, businesses and the scientific community are capable of achieving when they join forces," he said.

Six-hundred global CEOs are expected to represent the private sector in 140 sessions live-streamed to the public, according to the WEF.

The five program themes this year include "Designing cohesive, sustainable, resilient economic systems," "Enhancing stewardship of the global commons" and "Harnessing the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

The WEF said that the conclusions from the Davos Agenda week would feed into task forces working on global issues for its upcoming Special Annual Meeting in Singapore, which is scheduled to take place from May 25-28.

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