The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyleads a frenetic first full day of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where senior officials from United States, European Union, China, Middle East and beyond. .
Zelensky will strive to keep his country’s long and largely stalled defense against Russia in the minds of political leaders, just as Israel’s war with Hamas, which passed the 100-day mark this week, has diverted much of of the world’s attention and has raised concerns about a broader conflict in the Middle East.
Tuesday’s activities began with a dizzying array of topics in the halls of the Davos conference center, where discussions touched on topics as diverse as innovation in Europe, the economic impact of generative AI, corporate support for clean technologies and the interest rate environment.
Conversations with the prime ministers of Qatar and Jordan will close the most visible events of the day, with speeches by Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and the United States National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivanin the middle.
Zelensky, once reluctant to leave his war-torn country, recently went on a whirlwind tour to try to drum up support for Ukraine’s cause against Russia amid donor fatigue in the West and concerns that the former president of the United States, donald trump, who claimed to have good relations with Russia. The Russian president, Vladimir Putincould return to the White House next year.
On Monday, Zelensky stopped in the Swiss capital, Bernwhere the president Viola Amherd promised that his country would begin working with Ukraine to help organize a “peace summit” for Ukraine.
Zelensky will continue his first trip to Davos as president after speaking by video in previous years. He hopes to take advantage of the event’s high visibility to turn it into a pulpit for Ukraine’s pressing needs, and allies will be lining up: An invitation-only morning “CEOs for Ukraine” session will precede his keynote address. late.
Corporate chiefs will hear “what kind of immediate assistance is needed” and explain how the public and private sectors can one day help Ukraine’s reconstruction, forum organizers say. The session will be attended by the leader of NATO, Jens Stoltenbergthe German Vice Chancellor, Robert Habeck, and the United States envoy for the economic recovery of Ukraine, Penny Pritzkeramong others.
Later on Tuesday, the leaders of some of Ukraine’s key European allies (the Lithuanian president, Nauseda Gypsiesthe Dutch foreign minister, Hanke Bruins Slotand the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares Bueno), will participate in a session on the “horizons” for Ukraine.
The theme of the Davos meeting is “rebuilding trust,” and it comes as that sentiment has been fraying globally: Wars in the Middle East and Europe have increasingly divided the world into different camps.
While the geopolitical situation has oozed pessimism, businesses appear more hopeful, partly because of the prospects that artificial intelligence can help boost productivity. Major Western stock indexes soared in 2023 and falling inflation raised hopes of a fall in interest rates.
Consulting firm PwC, in its 27th annual CEO survey, said economic optimism has doubled among executives over the past year, even as prospects for the next decade look less certain. With pressure from climate change and technologies like artificial intelligence, a growing number of executives say they fear their businesses won’t be viable in 10 years without reinvention.
AI is a big topic throughout the week at Davos, with a key talk from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, whose company has invested billions in OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, among sessions scheduled for Tuesday.
(With information from AP)