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Davos Forum 2024 start: Main topics, participants, and what to expect for Ukraine

Davos Forum 2024 start: Main topics, participants, and what to expect for Ukraine World Economic Forum in Davos (photo:

Today, on January 15, the World Economic Forum starts in Davos. Politicians from over 100 countries, business leaders, and public figures will gather to discuss global threats and challenges. Among the key topics are the conflict in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine, and the technological breakthrough of artificial intelligence.

For more details on the Davos 2024 program, its participants, and when Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to speak at the forum, read the article by RBC-Ukraine below.

Sources used in preparation: information from the official WEF website, articles by Reuters, CNBC, Euronews, Bloomberg.

Main points:

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) events will take place from January 15-19 in Davos, Switzerland.
  • Among the participants are over 60 heads of states and governments, 40 foreign ministers, representatives of major international organizations, about 300 public figures, and 1000 companies.
  • The Ukrainian delegation will be led by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, scheduled to speak on January 16.
  • The forum's agenda includes discussions on global security threats due to the war in Ukraine and the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas terrorists, overcoming economic challenges, developing artificial intelligence, creating jobs, and climate strategy.

What is WEF

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has been taking place for 54 years in the heart of the Swiss Alps at the ski resort of Davos.

This international initiative was initiated in 1971 as a platform for public and closed discussions among world leaders, heads of leading international organizations, and business leaders.

The discussions focus on acute global issues and events, economic development, formulation of strategies, ways of cooperation, and environmental issues.

Форум у Давосі 2024 розпочинає роботу. Головні теми, учасники та чого чекати Україні

Photo: The Davos Forum has been taking place for 54 consecutive years (photo:

Forum program

The theme of WEF 2024 is Rebuilding Trust, as the forum aims to restore collective action among world leaders in times of global challenges and strengthen fundamental principles of transparency, consistency, and accountability.

As noted by the president of the forum, Borge Brende, this year's session in Davos takes place against the most challenging geopolitical and geoeconomic backdrop in the last decade.

Brende expressed hope that the outcome of WEF would improve communication among global business leaders, governments, and civil society, so they can work together to harness technological progress in industry, science, and society to the fullest.

The agenda is focused on four key directions:

Achieving security and collaboration in a divided world

This block will be dedicated to discussing ways to address security crises amid ongoing armed conflicts, such as the war in the Middle East and Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of global cooperation in identifying, preventing, and managing conflict risks.

Creating jobs for a new era

The focus will be on promoting job creation, especially in countries where high unemployment persists due to slowed economic growth and the prolonged consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, the strategy should be people-centric and prevent brain drain.

Artificial intelligence as a driving force for the economy and society

The forum will discuss technological advancements (5/6G and quantum computing). A separate theme will focus on the risks of AI development and ways to use it for societal benefit. Participants will delve into regulatory challenges for AI and how to make artificial intelligence safe and effective for businesses and society.

In the WEF's Global Risks Report for the next 2 years, misinformation, which can be created and disseminated through artificial intelligence, ranked first. Davos experts emphasize that this has already led to explosive growth in manipulated information and so-called synthetic content – from sophisticated voice cloning to forged websites.

Форум у Давосі 2024 розпочинає роботу. Головні теми, учасники та чого чекати Україні

Disinformation at the top of global risks in the next 2 years (photo:

Long-term strategy for climate, nature, and energy conservation

This segment will address climate issues, particularly discussing the strategy for achieving carbon neutrality. This approach aims for zero carbon emissions into the atmosphere by 2050, ensuring that humanity has access to affordable and secure resources such as water, energy, and food.

Over 100 world leaders. Who among the participants of WEF

At WEF 2024, key global leaders will be in attendance. Heads of government, foreign ministers, and finance ministers from around 100 countries will represent their nations.

From the United States, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will be present, with Sullivan delivering a special address.

France will be represented by President Emmanuel Macron, Poland by President Andrzej Duda, and Serbia by Aleksandar Vučić. Prime Minister Mark Rutte will attend from the Netherlands, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo from Belgium, and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez from Spain.

Among the representatives of the Global South in Davos, leaders from Asian, African, and Latin American countries will be present. The visit of the newly elected President of Argentina, Javier Milei, is expected.

From Israel, President Isaac Herzog will attend Davos. The leaders of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are also expected to visit, acting as intermediaries in the armed conflict between Israel and Hamas.

China will be represented in Davos by its second in command after Xi Jinping – Premier Li Keqiang. He is the highest-ranking Chinese official to attend the WEF, engaging in discussions with global business and political leaders following the visit of China's President in 2017.

Participants from international organizations include:

  • European Commission – President Ursula von der Leyen
  • United Nations – Secretary-General António Guterres
  • World Health Organization (WHO) – Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
  • NATO – Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) – Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva
  • World Bank – President David Malpass
  • World Trade Organization (WTO) – Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

It's known that among the business representatives at the forum will be Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the company behind the development of the ChatGPT AI chatbot. Also, the CEO of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Albert Bourla, will attend Davos.

Representatives of Russia will not be present at Davos neither from the political nor the business spheres. Since 2022, the World Economic Forum has been conducted without participants from the aggressor country.

Ukraine at the WEF and Zelenskyy's speech

The Ukrainian delegation, headed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will be present at the World Economic Forum in Davos. WEF President Børge Brende announced the personal visit of the Ukrainian leader to Switzerland.

President Zelenskyy's special address is scheduled in the forum's program for Tuesday, January 16, from 14:15 to 15:00 local time (13:15-14:00 Kyiv time). He will speak as part of the panel discussion on Achieving security and cooperation in a fractured world.

Форум у Давосі 2024 розпочинає роботу. Головні теми, учасники та чого чекати Україні


On the eve of the forum, the president announced that he is preparing to present Ukraine's positions and opportunities, which are shared by everyone worldwide striving for stability and freedom.

"We are preparing to present our position, our opportunities – common opportunities for everyone in the world who wants to leave a world to their children where stability prevails, and freedom matters. Our values, not the madness of one dictator or another," said the president.

Additionally, on January 16 at 17:30 in Davos, a discussion titled Ukraine's Horizons will commence, dedicated to the situation in Ukraine and overcoming challenges during nearly two years of full-scale Russian aggression.

"While the country prepares to commence official negotiations for EU accession and strengthen closer ties with NATO, how can Kyiv intensify its efforts in recovery to support economic and political ambitions?" – as stated in the panel discussion description.

Speakers include Head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak, U.S. Special Representative for Economic Recovery in Ukraine at the U.S. Department of State Penny Pritzker, President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Hanke Bruins Slot, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain Jose Manuel Albares Bueno, and Professor at Yale University Timothy Snyder.

Additionally, during the forum from January 15 to 18, the Ukrainian House in Davos will be operational, hosting discussions with the participation of Ukrainian political and public figures, global politicians, experts, and businessmen, and cultural events.

Bloomberg recently reported that American partners plan to discuss with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the Davos forum a plan for further conduct of the war.

Moreover, on January 14, a fourth meeting of national security advisors was scheduled on the sidelines of the WEF to discuss the Ukrainian peace formula.