February 2nd, 2009 06:48 EST
World Economic Forum Finds Footing in Crisis
Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 1 February 2009 The world`s business and government leaders only have a short time to develop effective solutions to the current economic crisis, participants at this year`s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting were told. In the closing plenary, participants joined members of the Forum`s Global Agenda Councils to formulate a message to key international decision-makers, such as the heads of government and ministers who will gather in April for the G20 summit. The message from the Annual Meeting is that leaders must continue to develop a swift and coordinated policy response to the most serious global recession since the 1930s: global challenges demand global solutions.
Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab said: We have to address all the issues simultaneously and not forget any of them, like climate change. We have to involve all the stakeholders of global society in this process so that they feel responsible. Above all we need to restore confidence in our systems. "
Throughout the five days of the Annual Meeting participants worked on a number of objectives:
" Supporting governments and governance institutions, particularly the G20
" Ensuring that global challenges are examined in a holistic way, including climate change and water security
" Beginning a process to develop recommendations on how the structure and strategies of international cooperation can be updated
" Improving the ethical basis for business as a constructive social actor
" Restoring confidence in the future
For more details on detailed outcomes of the Annual Meeting click here
Participants at today`s closing plenary painted a sobering picture of a rapidly darkening economic landscape, in which the pain of rising unemployment, home foreclosures, bankruptcies and poverty are only beginning to be felt.
This is the time to see courageous leadership on the part of the G20, " said Maria Ramos, Group Chief Executive, Transnet, South Africa and Co-Chair of World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009. The time for words is over; this is the time for implementation and action. If we come back in six months or a year and are still talking about the same things, we will have failed. And the social unrest we will have to deal with will be absolutely dramatic. "
Klaus Schwab cautioned participants not to raise their expectations for the April G20 summit too high, noting that in London, leaders will focus on immediate, technical responses to the financial and economic crisis. The Forum, he noted, is preparing the launch of a new initiative to address the numerous longer term issues raised by the crisis, particularly the need for a complete overhaul of the existing global governance institutions. We need to redesign our systems in a proactive, collaborative way, " Schwab said. We all have to work together. "
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (http://www.weforum.org).