News / Americas

Economy, Haiti to Take Center Stage at World Economic Forum

Multimedia

Audio
Lisa Schlein

More than 2,500 business, government and civil society leaders from more than 90 countries are expected to attend this year's World Economic Forum in the small Swiss alpine resort of Davos.  Organizers of the meeting, which opens January 27, say the global economic crisis and the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti will top the agenda. 

The usual glamour and glitter that traditionally has been part of the annual World Economic Forum will be missing this year.  Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Bono will not be coming to Davos.  Although the director of the blockbuster movie Avatar, James Cameron, will put in an appearance.

These are sober times.  The world is preoccupied by the economic crisis, by issues such as terrorism, climate change and natural disasters.  These concerns are reflected by the guest list of prominent business, government and civic leaders and in its weighty agenda.

Founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, says the world has fundamentally changed.  He says there is a real danger of the world moving from the financial and economic crises of the past two years into a social crisis in 2010.

"As a consequence of the debt situation of governments, of the fiscal situation of governments, we will have certainly squeezed public and private households and we will have increased unemployment figures," he said.  "So, Davos will be the place to take really stock of where we stand in the aftermath of the crisis and to make sure that we continue to undertake the necessary reforms." 

Top U.S. economic advisers and members of the U.S. Congress will be among those actively participating in these discussions.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, will deliver the opening address.  He will be one of more than 30 heads of state or government who will attend the meeting.  Others include the Presidents of Tanzania, South Africa, Mexico, Canada, and South Korea.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who is the special United Nations representative for Haiti will, together with the Forum, launch a major initiative to engage business in the reconstruction of Haiti.

The Forum's managing director and chief business officer, Robert Greenhill, says the Forum wants the business community to make a sustained, long-term commitment to help Haiti by providing investment and other development schemes so Haiti can grow and move out of poverty.

"That is not a short-term element," he noted.  "We do not expect to have a flash appeal with short-term responses.  That will be the relief program, which is important.  This is a sustained engagement, which the Forum will be doing with the Clinton Global Initiative and the United Nations to actually engage the business community, well after the television cameras have gone.  And, in fact, what we want to do is to build on the stability and the base, to build on the opportunities that were in Haiti before the earthquake and remain there afterwards." 

The Davos Forum also plans to deal with the aftermath of the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. 

The chair of next year's UN climate change conference, Mexican President, Felipe Calderon, will participate in key strategy discussions aimed at formulating new ideas to move the issue of climate change forward.

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Aviation Leaders to Seek Mandate on Safety Standards

Standards for global plane tracking, cooperation on risks of flying over conflict zones will dominate a meeting set for Feb. 2-5 in Montreal
More

Dissident Venezuelan General Resurfaces

Antonio Rivero has resurfaced after nearly a year in hiding, appearing at United Nations in New York
More

US Seeks to Break Up Drug Ring

Alleged drug ring accused of smuggling cocaine and laundering money from Venezuela to the United States
More

Senators Introduce Bill to End Ban on Americans Traveling to Cuba

Some Cuban American lawmakers strongly oppose Obama administration’s sudden shift in US policy towards Cuba, others say it is past time to end embargo
More

At Mexican Hospital, Rescuers Search for Blast Victims

At least 2 people killed and dozens wounded, including 22 children, when tanker truck explodes outside building
More

HRW: Security Measures Erode Human Rights Worldwide

New Human Rights Watch report cites Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, Israel and the United States among nations using security concerns to justify rights violations
More