The World Economic Forum (WEF) will defer its 2022 annual meeting from January to early summer, it said on Monday.
The meeting, scheduled for Jan. 17-21 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, was postponed due to the “continued uncertainty over the Omicron outbreak.”
“Current pandemic conditions make it extremely difficult to deliver a global in-person meeting,” the WEF explained in a news release published on its website.
Preparations of the WEF annual meeting have been guided by expert advice and have benefited from the close collaboration of the Swiss government at all levels, the WEF said, adding that the transmissibility of Omicron and its impact on travel and mobility have made deferral necessary.
The health and safety of everyone involved in physical meetings have always been the Forum’s priority, it stressed.
“The deferral of the annual meeting will not prevent progress through continued digital convening of leaders from business, government and civil society,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.
According to the Forum, participants of the annual meeting will instead join a headline series of “State of the World” sessions bringing together global leaders online to focus on shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
“Public-private cooperation has moved forward throughout the pandemic and that will continue apace. We look forward to bringing global leaders together in person soon.” Schwab added.
Previously, the WEF has canceled its annual meeting for 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.