By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 20, Dec 2021, 20:36 pm IST | UPDATED: 25, Dec 2021, 19:23 pm IST
The World Economic Forum on Monday said it has decided to defer its Annual Meeting 2022 in the Swiss Alpine ski resort town of Davos in the light of continued uncertainty over the Omicron outbreak.
The Annual Meeting, which was scheduled to take place in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland between January 17-21, 2022, is now planned for early summer.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) held its last Davos summit, attended by top leaders from across the world, in January 2020, just before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, while the 2021 meeting could not take place due to the outbreak.
The Geneva-based entity, which describes itself as an international organisation for public-private cooperation, had first planned to shift the 2021 annual meeting to another location in Switzerland and then to Singapore, before finally cancelling it.
In a statement on deferring the 2022 meeting to early summer, the WEF said participants will instead join a headline series of 'State of the World' sessions bringing together global leaders online to focus on shaping solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.
"Current pandemic conditions make it extremely difficult to deliver a global in-person meeting. Preparations have been guided by expert advice and have benefited from the close collaboration of the Swiss government at all levels," it said.
The WEF said despite the meeting's stringent health protocols, the transmissibility of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and its impact on travel and mobility have made deferral necessary.
"The health and safety of everyone involved in physical meetings -- participants, collaborators and the host community -- have always been the Forum's priority," it said.
"The deferral of the Annual Meeting will not prevent progress through continued digital convening of leaders from business, government and civil society," said Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
"Public-private cooperation has moved forward throughout the pandemic and that will continue apace. We look forward to bringing global leaders together in person soon," he added.
Among others, more than 100 leaders from India, including union ministers, chief ministers and CEOs, had already been registered for the Davos Annual Meeting 2022, for which 'Working Together, Restoring Trust' was decided as a theme.
It was billed as the 'first truly global opportunity for leaders from business, government and civil society to come together again and set the agenda for a sustainable recovery' in a post-pandemic world.