Activities of Secretary-General in Switzerland, 15-18 January

On Monday, 15 January, Secretary-General António Guterres flew to Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

On Tuesday, 16 January, his programme at the Forum began with a series of meetings with leaders from Governments and the private sector.  He first held a bilateral meeting with Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State of the United States.

In a press encounter prior to the meeting, the Secretary-General reiterated the importance of the partnership between the United States and the United Nations.

During the meeting, among other topics, they discussed the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Later that day, the Secretary-General met with the Prime Minister of Jordan, Bisher Kasawneh, and with the caretaker Prime Minister of Lebanon, Najib Azmi Mikati.  On Tuesday evening, the Secretary-General attended a dinner organized by the Global Investors for Sustainable Development.

On Wednesday, 17 January, the Secretary-General delivered a special address to the World Economic Forum on the state of the world.

In his remarks, he said it is good to see Davos highlighting the global crisis in trust, adding that this is the result of a paradox facing our world.  We seem powerless to act in the face of the existential threats of runaway climate chaos and runaway development of artificial intelligence without guardrails.

Geopolitical divides are preventing us from coming together around global solutions, the Secretary-General added.  But, he also said, he is confident we can build a new multipolar global order with new opportunities for leadership, balance and justice in international relations.

Rebuilding trust is not a slogan or a public relations campaign, the Secretary-General said.  It requires deep reforms to manage geopolitical tensions in a new era of multipolarity.  (See Press Release SG/SM/22109 and watch the video here.)

Throughout the day, the Secretary-General continued to meet with Government and business leaders, including Klaus Schwab, the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum; Viola Amherd, the President of Switzerland; Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland; Nick Clegg, the President of Global Affairs at Meta; and Ilan Goldfajn, the President of the Inter-American Development Bank.

Other bilateral meetings focused on the situation in the Middle East, including the Secretary-General’s meetings with the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani; the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani; and the Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg.

The Secretary-General also joined an informal lunch gathering of World Economic Leaders held under the theme:  Restoring faith in the global system.

In the afternoon, the Secretary-General was joined by Amandeep Gill, his Technology Envoy and members of the Advisory body on Artificial Intelligence for a press encounter on the work of the Advisory body.

That evening, the Secretary-General met with Israelis formerly held hostage in Gaza, as well as families of hostages still in captivity.

On Thursday morning, 18 January, the Secretary-General travelled to Thun, also in Switzerland, where he took part in the annual retreat with his Special Representatives and Special Envoys.

That evening, the Secretary-General went to Zurich, and departed from there for Uganda on Friday morning, 19 January.

For information media. Not an official record.