Davos 2011 - Highlights - Thursday 27 January


Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations Calls for cooperation to fight chronic disease

“Chronic disease causes 6 out of every 10 deaths worldwide,” said Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations. It is no longer just a rich man’s problem; more than 80% of these deaths occur in developing countries. However, only 3% of development assistance goes to chronic diseases. “To fix the priorities, we must place non-communicable disease high on the development agenda.” 

Executives from the food and pharmaceutical industry - Richard Clark, Chairman, Merck, and Kendall Powell, Chairman and CEO, General Mills - committed to closer collaboration than ever with government and non-governmental organizations.

One exciting development is in the field of telehealth and mobile medicine, where high mobile telephone penetration in the developing world can be used for prevention and health promotion. “This is already happening for treatment of diabetes and detecting cardiac arrhythmia – it is not a pipe dream”, said Paul E. Jacobs, Chairman and CEO, Qualcomm.
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European leaders at the Annual Meeting 2011 European Leaders Call for Greater Eurozone Transparency and Structural Reform

Europe is recovering from the financial crisis more slowly than expected. Growth for the Eurozone is projected to be 2% below the global average for 2011. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, European Central Bank President Jean Claude Trichet and Nick Clegg, British Deputy Prime Minister said that the Eurozone needed to strengthen its identity and make structural reforms if it wanted to continue to compete in a world that is rapidly changing. 
Papandreou told Davos participants that Greece had managed to make significant structural reforms over the last year, dramatically overhauling its pension system, tax regulations and improving transparency by putting government records on line. 

Trichet said that while the monetary union had stabilized Europe’s currency to an inflation rate that is less than 2%, the lowest inflation in 50 years, Europe had been less successful when it comes to economic union. “We have a lot of work to do there,” said Trichet. 
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Nicolas Sarkozy, President of FranceSarkozy: Vision for the G20

Addressing the participants of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011, Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, framed his vision for the G20 by noting that, "We are 11 years into the 21st century, yet we are still functioning with the rules of the 20th Century." We have entered an age where it is ever more important to talk and listen to each other, to identify the collective common interest, and find news ways of thinking to help us build the future.

Over the past 18 months, at the brink of the precipice, there was little choice behind the decisions made by the G20; it is now time to keep cool heads as the decisions get tougher. The G20 must be productive, and its agenda will focus on three major risks: sovereign debt, monetary and financial imbalance, and the impact of inflation on growth and the soaring price of commodities.

When asked by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, whether the euro has the capacity to survive, he said that, for the 17 member countries, the euro is a magnificent symbol of lasting peace. There is a need to deepen and integrate the defence of the euro and never turn away from it.
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James Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase at the Annual Meeting 2011The Next Shock: Are we Better Prepared?

The global economy faces many challenges, not least the burden of sovereign debt, concluded a panel including McKinsey managing director Dominic Barton and James Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase. Population growth and rapid urbanization in the developing world risk depleting natural resources. In the West, job losses and wage deflation threaten social instability as does the growing spectre of youth unemployment. Dimon said criticism of banks was misplaced. “There is good and bad in banking just as there is in the media sector.”
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Susilo Bambang YudhoyonoThe Big Shift

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia, set out his vision for “sustainable and balanced” growth in the 21st Century. The 2011 ASEAN Chair told Davos participants in a plenary address that “the world is undergoing major shifts.” He outlined three new realities: the rise of emerging economies; the imperative for peace and security; and climate change which underscores the need for a new low-carbon economy. He urged leaders to foster a “21st century globalism which should do away with dogmatism.”
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Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad YunusProfessor Yunus' message from Bangladesh to Davos

Social Entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director of the Grameen Bank, sent a message from Bangladesh to World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011 participants, promoting the cause of social business. Yunus drew a line between “selfish business” that maximizes profit and “social business” that focuses on other benefits such as development. The two can coexist, he said, but sharing norms and dreams means pushing a new image of humanity. Best known for his engagement in microcredit, Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 together with the Grameen Bank. Muhammad Yunus is on the Board of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
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