GENEVA (AP) — Most European countries are sending their heads of state or government to this month's gathering of world leaders and power brokers in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, while high-level delegations are expected from China, the United States, Japan and Russia.
Organizers of the World Economic Forum said Tuesday that the largest-ever number of participants — more than 2,500 — will attend the January 21-24 forum, including 300 heads of state, heads of government and government members, along with 1,500 business leaders from more than 140 countries.
The forum said there will be "significant participation from all crisis-hit areas in the world" and that it will offer some official and unofficial dialogues to stimulate peace-making efforts. There also will be a special gathering of trade ministers.
It said a number of African heads of state, most of the leaders from ASEAN countries and high-level delegations from key Latin American countries also will attend, as will 14 Nobel laureates and the heads of all the world's major international organizations.
Among the expected participants are Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
This year is meant to help leaders navigate a world in which they are "facing challenges that are unprecedented in their complexity, velocity and interconnectedness," said the forum's founder, Klaus Schwab.
There will be special emphasis, at U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's request, on some of the world body's major priorities, such as its post-2015 anti-poverty agenda and on building consensus toward an international climate deal in Paris later this year.
Co-chairs of this year's meeting include World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.