World Economic Forum ‘will defer’ Davos meeting over Omicron fears

The World Economic Forum (WEF) said on Monday it “will defer its annual meeting in Davos… in the light of continued uncertainty over the Omicron” variant of coronavirus.

The high-powered meeting scheduled for January 17-21, which usually draws leading figures from business, politics and diplomacy, will instead be held in “early summer”, the organisers said.

Last year’s edition was cancelled because of the pandemic and Swiss authorities have recently stepped up health restrictions sharply to control a fifth coronavirus wave.

“Despite the meeting’s stringent health protocols, the transmissibility of Omicron and its impact on travel and mobility have made deferral necessary,” the WEF said.

The body will instead organise online “State of the World” sessions to get global leaders talking.

Forum chief Klaus Schwab promised “continued digital convening of leaders from business, government and civil society”.

“We look forward to bringing leaders together in person soon,” he added.

The Davos meeting in January 2021, held virtually because of the pandemic, came at the height of wrangles over vaccine distribution between wealthy and worse-off countries and the manufacturers.

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Agence France Presse
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