May 24, 2019

Davos 2019 World Economic Forum – Globalisation 4.0

By Corneliu Pivariu.

The annual edition of the World Economic Forum took place – at Davos – between 22nd-25th of January, 2019, a global event which we follow closely every year.

This year’s meeting has brought to Switzerland more than 3,000 personalities of the political, economic and financial, and media fields and other or, summing up, the planet’s plutocracy and all the circles connected to it. The fact that around 60% of the participants come from five countries only is interesting, too, a situation we noticed, with similar percentages, during other important international conferences we attended over the years.

As is already customary since several years, the relevant documents went public a short time before the meeting, among them the 14th edition of Global Risks Report, a document not always accepted without objections by the circles of world geopolitical analysis, and which has nevertheless its specificity and represents a useful analysis instrument of global evolutions in the economic, climate, geopolitical, social and technological fields.

According to this report, the most likely five events happening in 2019 are, in an orderly fashion: major climate change; failure of the environment protection policies  and adapting to climate change; natural disasters; data theft and fraud; cyber attacks.

As far as the impact of risks is concerned, we find on the first five places: weapons of mass destruction, failure of the environment protection policies and adapting to climate change; extreme weather events; water crisis; natural disasters.

As compared to the situation ten years ago, we notice that the environment risks replaced the economic ones (in 2009 the global economic and financial crisis was in full swing) while the weapons of mass distruction, which were not placed on the first five places until 2012, are considered in 2019 to be on the first place as far as impact is concerned.

Among the geopolitical risks, the most important and probable ones are the following: profound social instability; failure of national policies; failure of regional or global policies; unforced migration on a large scale.

As evolutionary trends, the most dangerous ones are considered the following: climate change; the deterioration of the environment; an increased polarisation of societies; increased cyber dependency; polarisation and disparity in stockpiling wealth; population ageing and another five tendencies of lesser levels than the aforementioned ones.

We mention among the main factors that marked the Davos meeting agenda:

–  Japan’s prime minister submitted his country’s resolve, as G20 chairman, to launch the agenda for data governance at global level and mentioned that it will take place on the background of the Osake Process and under the WTO auspices;

–  More than 70 countries confirmed their intention of launching negotiations in the framework of WTO for convening the elements pertaining to e-commerce in order to reduce costs and a greater participation to global digital economy;

–  Pursuing the multilateral diplomatic dialogue in order to further peace efforts on the main conflicted global issues, Western Balkans and Syria included. The Forum agreed upon setting up a community of public-private leaders for a special dialogue on the Israeli-Palestinian relations. Worth noticing in this respect is a coming international meeting to take place in Jordan during 6th-7th of April, which may become a global summit for peace and reconciliation;

–  The Center Network for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, set up in 2017, announced its expansion following the adherence of more than 100 governments and businesses, including five G7 members. UNICEF, OHCHR and  WFP are the first international organisations to join it;

–  The Indian State of Andhra Pradesh adopted a platform for the UAVs operators  in cooperation with 10 civil aviation authorities, eight government international organisations and 23 private companies;

–  A range of other measures in the digital and cyber field has been adopted, including setting up higher standards for protecting privacy and interoperability.

We noticed, for the first time since the 1990s, a Romanian participation to WEF, in the person of the vice-prime minister for implementing strategic partnerships -Ana Birchall.

WEF becomes thus more and more a global cooperation platform and less an important international annual conference which may have an ever greater influence on the evolution towards a globalised world.

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