Feature story

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2007

24 January 2007

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Some 2,400 people have made their way to Davos in Switzerland for the opening of the World Economic Forum Annual meeting 2007. Global leaders this year come from the top-most levels, with more than 800 CEOs, Chairmen and Chairwomen taking part and 24 heads of state and government. The overarching theme of this year’s meeting is “Shaping the Global Agenda, The Shifting Power Equation,” focusing in particular on political and socio-economic issues.

The programme will follow four main themes that figure prominently on the global agenda in 2007. These range from “Economics: New Drivers” and “Geopolitics: The Need for Fresh Mandates” to “Business: Leading in Connected World” and “Technology and Society: Identity, Community and Networks”.

UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot will be in Davos for the meeting where he will meet with numerous representatives from business, foundations and civil society and will participate in various events including a panel session on AIDS 2025. The session will explore different scenarios of how the AIDS epidemic could develop. Key themes will include the impact of large-scale efforts aimed at HIV prevention, the effectiveness of current approaches to AIDS treatment and the centralization of the provision of AIDS-related information.

In previous years the World Economic Forum in Davos has been instrumental in putting AIDS on high on the political and business agenda. In 2006 rock star Bono launched a new corporate initiative to create a sustainable and profitable brand – Product RED –designed to raise funds for AIDS in Africa.

AIDS and poverty topped the agenda of the meeting in 2005 where French President Jacques Chirac called for an international tax to raise money to fight AIDS and British Prime Minister Tony Blair urged participants to put poverty and AIDS in Africa at the top of their agendas.

In 2001, computer software billionaire Bill Gates pledged to donate US$ 100 million to the International Aids Vaccine Initiative and challenged global business leaders to follow his lead and donate money for research into an AIDS vaccine.

In Nelson Mandela’s poignant speech at the 1997 World Economic Forum he said that the challenge of AIDS could be overcome and called for the global community to ‘ join hands in a caring partnership for health and prosperity as we enter the new millennium’.

This year, most of the 223 sessions, workshops, panel discussions, lunches and dinners will be interactive to foster collaborative approaches to resolving issues. This approach also aims to encourage top leaders from business, politics, religious groups and non-governmental organizations to engage in shaping global, regional and industry agendas.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2007 will provide the opportunity for influential leaders from diverse fields and areas of the world to address concerns and build the effective, innovative communities needed to create new approaches.




Links:

Visit the World Economic Forum Website
Read 'BUSINESS and AIDS: Winning some fights but loosing the battle' by UNAIDS Executive Director, Dr. Peter Piot

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