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WEF Annual Meeting In Davos Could Serve As Opportunity To Bring Humanitarian, Development Issues Into Spotlight

IRIN: Director’s Dispatch: Aid and the elite
Heba Aly, director of IRIN News

“…[T]he real concern with [the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in] Davos goes beyond the hypocrisy of eating canapés while discussing hunger or paying thousands of dollars for a mattress on a floor in a shared room. [Non-profits] are aware of the well-trodden critique: that for all the willingness of today’s titans of technology and finance to put climate change and income disparity center stage, their eagerness to solve the world’s problems lasts only as long as the solutions don’t threaten their own wealth and power. Those fears can run deeper ‘on the inside,’ for instance that even the presence of civil society at gatherings like Davos risks legitimizing an approach that avoids real transformation of the system — a system that underpinned the rise of the elite and caused most of the world’s problems in the first place. … But in attending meeting after meeting, I am realizing that these opportunities are what you make of them. It’s up to those of us who have a seat at the table to ensure our presence isn’t just window dressing. As a media organization, for instance, it is up to us to effectively use this platform to bring the stories of those affected by crises to the so-called elite. We have an opportunity to provide newer players in this space access to the critical debate around ideas that can inform their behaviors, and to inform all those seeking to better understand the issues — regardless of their motivations…” (2/7).