Friday, January 21, 2005

Blair Opens WEF in Davos

  GENEVA - British Prime Minister Tony Blair will address the opening session of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in the Swiss alpine resort of Davos and is expected to lay out his priorities as president of the G8 group of nations for 2005.

  The G8 in 2005 will focus particularly on climate change, the WEF said.  "The Forum has been especially happy to give its help and support to Mr. Blair's initiative on global warming," said Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

    Blair will also take part in a special session on Thursday to discuss "The G8 and Africa: Rhetoric or Action?" along with former US president Bill Clinton, South African President Thabo Mbeki, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. The session will concentrate on the issue of debt relief for poorer nations.

    More than 20 heads of states, 70 cabinet ministers and a thousand senior business executives from 96 countries are expected to gather in Davos for the WEF annual meeting under the theme of "Taking Responsibility for Tough Choices."

    Created in 1971 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the WEF describes itself as a global community of business, political, intellectual and other leaders of society committed to improving the state of the world

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