Davos World Economic Forum: “The stakes are too high for more empty gestures”

Ahead of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, which begins on 16 January, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard said:

“In the last few years, it’s as if Pandora’s box has been pried open unleashing untold crises on the world.  We find ourselves facing challenges that often overlap and intertwine – the climate crisis; a global pandemic; armed conflicts; the latest of the industrial revolutions – tech – ripe for exploitation; widespread food insecurity; a global economy delivering unimaginable wealth to a bare few while low wages or unemployment leave millions on their knees.

“Regrettably, many of the globally staged gatherings set up to solve these problems have merely become forums for virtual signalling with few or no concrete outcomes.

Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International's Secretary General

“In order to ensure this year’s event in Davos isn’t relegated to the same fate, the highly influential elites attending must reflect on why they are there. Their focus should be to push forward tangible solutions that we already know work, rather than opting to protect the existing global economic system at any cost. Side events and panels should be filled with conversations on new taxes for fossil fuel companies, on incentivising human rights consistent green energy provision.

They should be addressing endemic corruption, ending tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, tackling inequalities – including racism and sexism – at their very root, starting with their own board rooms and cabinet offices. The stakes are too high for more empty gestures.”

Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International's Secretary General

Agnes Callamard will be attending Davos from 16th January.