World leaders head for Davos as global social contract faces crisis: WEF founder

Updated 2018-01-17 09:19:03 Xinhua

Founder and Chief Executive of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Klaus Schwab gestures at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan. 16, 2018. (Xinhua/Xu Jinquan)

Founder and chief executive of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Klaus Schwab on Tuesday said after decades of prosperity, the global social contract is endangered.

Acknowledging an "unprecedented" global interest in the 48th WEF in Davos, Schwab said some 70 heads of state and government and 38 heads of international organizations would debate "creating a shared future in a fractured world" -- the theme of this year's forum from Jan. 23-26.

"Governments, business and civil society can't alone address the multifold challenges we have on the global agenda. We need collaboration," said Schwab.

"In my opening speech I will call for a qualitative easing," said Schwab, noting that at the time of the financial crisis ten years ago he said it would be followed by an economic crisis and then a "social crisis."

"We are moving out of the financial and economic crisis, but we are stuck in the social crisis," he added.

This year Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will open the forum, while U.S. President Donald Trump will close it, according to organizers.

Borge Brende, the president of the WEF, said, "The world is faced with some real systemic changes. In a multi-polar world the regions are important. Challenges can only be dealt with in a collaborative and multi-stakeholder way."

The forum will have 400 sessions with 3,000 participants and 12 Nobel laureates coming.

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