World Economic Forum to kick off Monday, focuses on COVID-19 crisis management

Doaa A.Moneim , Sunday 24 Jan 2021

The WEF's 2021 round will be held in Singapore, instead of Switzerland, due to the COVID-19 pandemic

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum (WEF), which will kick off on Monday and run till Friday, is expected to shed light on COVID-19 and its associated impacts on the global economy, vaccine distribution, and climate change actions.

On December, the WEF announced that it will move its 2021 gathering from Switzerland to Singapore because of the pandemic.

This is the second time the forum will be hosted outside Switzerland since its inception in 1971, marking its debut in Asia.

According to the WEF’s online platform, the pandemic has demonstrated that no institution or individual alone can address the economic, environmental, social, and technological challenges the world is facing, adding that the world is at a critical crossroads in 2021.

In addition, COVID-19 has accelerated systemic changes that were apparent before its inception, it added.

The WEF is expected to host heads of state and of government from the G20 and international organisations giving special addresses on the state of the world, as well as engaging in dialogue with business leaders from around the world.

It will also host industry leaders and public figures discussing in leadership panels how to advance and accelerate public-private collaboration on critical issues such as COVID-19 vaccination, job creation, and climate change, among others.

In addition, the WEF’s international business council will share its insights and recommendations from global, regional, and industry initiatives in impact sessions.

Moreover, the WEF will mark the launch of its Great Reset Initiative and begin the preparation of the special annual meeting that will be held in the spring.

During January, the WEF issued its 16th edition of the Global Risks Report 2021, which marked the COVID-19 pandemic as one of biggest challenges the world has faced in 2020 and continues to experience in 2021 in terms of risks.

It noted that the risk posed by infectious diseases is now ranked at number one, while in 2020 it came in 10th place.

In 2020, the world witnessed the global risk of COVID-19, which exacerbated a number of challenges while distracting from others, according to Saadia Zahidi, the WEF’s managing director.

In the short-term, COVID-19 deepens some clear and present dangers: livelihood crises, eroding social cohesion, and diminishing global trust.

In the long-term, however, existential challenges persist, including adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, reining in geopolitical conflicts, and managing both digital divides as well as the effects of accelerated technology advancement.

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