On 25-29 January, global leaders from business, government, civil society, and academia convened at the World Economic Forum (WEF) – this time held in a virtual format given the current circumstances – to discuss the social, economic, and political issues that are driving the new and challenging context that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a special focus on the consequences of the pandemic and the solutions to drive a robust recovery, other topics of discussion also included digitalisation, new technologies, the future of work and climate change.
Like many previous years, liberals were present in this year’s forum: Prime Ministers Alexander De Croo (Belgium) and Mark Rutte (Netherlands), as well as Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and ALDE Party member D66 party leader Sigrid Kaag, and European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson were all taking part in different panel discussions.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) participated in a discussion on transforming food systems and land use. In his intervention, Rutte stressed that digitalisation and skilled innovation are key to achieve an efficient food system and underlined the key roles that the United Nations, science and data, as well as businesses play to ensure this.
Food access, like COVID-19 and climate change, is an issue on which international cooperation is crucial. From 9.00 I’ll be taking part in a @wef panel discussion on this subject.— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) January 27, 2021
Watch live: https://t.co/WNCl4XhEyV.
Poverty, the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, conflict and other problems mean 840 million people worldwide are not assured of access to enough food. That is why existing food systems have to be transformed. pic.twitter.com/W7t27CjLay— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) January 27, 2021
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) shared his views on the future of humankind in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his intervention, De Croo stated that one of the side-effects of the pandemic is the ‘infodemic’ and called for more voices of experts to fight the false information. “This is a moment not to talk about trust but to show that we can be trustworthy”, he said referring to both private and public sectors.
Glad to participate in the launch of @ProfKlausSchwab's new book at the start of this year's digital World Economic Forum.— Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) January 25, 2021
COVID-19 should be a turning point towards building more resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies.#WEF21 #DavosAgenda https://t.co/hYHK2QfTPW
Minister Sigrid Kaag took part in a debate on the resilience of the international trade system where she stressed that the reform of the Word Trade Organization (WTO) is crucial to restore the level playing field and to revive the multilateralism. “We [the EU] are a multilateral player and we heavily rely on the WTO to be efficient, transparent and effective. So, leadership matters in this regard”, she said. Other topics discussed included the distribution of vaccines and the EU-China trade deal.
Fixing the international trade system starts with fixing the @WTO and resetting the US-EU trade relationship. Good discussion this afternoon at #WEF21 https://t.co/6TTXX00ctT pic.twitter.com/M1I8wwjpLk— Sigrid Kaag (@SigridKaag) January 29, 2021
European Commissioner Kadri Simson participated in a session focused on the policies and practices needed to scale up the clean energy transition. In her intervention, she pointed out that political willingness, technological solutions and financing are the key elements to accelerate the transition. Moreover, she underlined that in the aftermath of the pandemic, placing green values at the heart of the economic recovery is essential.
Despite the challenges of 2020, we quickly realised that #COVID presents us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to put a rocket under #energytransition. This is why we are putting #greentransition at the heart of #recovery.— Kadri Simson (@KadriSimson) January 27, 2021
Accelerating Clean Energy Transitions @ #DavosAgenda pic.twitter.com/LLUeKZbX0v
For more information about the event, visit here