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Good morning, this is Paula. The World Economic Forum opens its annual meeting in Davos today amid a backdrop of rising pessimism amid global challenges and doubts over the organisation's raison d’être.

Meanwhile, at the Palais des Nations, a $3.1 humanitarian response plan appeal for Ukraine will be launched as Russia’s invasion enters its third year. And a Pakistani doctor and senator will become the first woman to head Gavi.

photo journaliste

Paula Dupraz-Dobias


Today’s reason for hope

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World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab speaks during the 53rd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 17 January 2023. (Keystone/Gian Ehrenzeller)

🏔️ Davos 2024: Wef kicks off big meet amid doubts and pessimism. Set to run under the catch-all title of “Rebuilding Trust”, the World Economic Forum’s flagship event will again draw world leaders from politics and business to what has become a sprawling networking event. But how much of what is discussed in the mountain resort remains relevant amid pressing global challenges?

Geneva Solutions (EN)

What else to watch this week

💵UN’s plan to help Ukraine. The UN will launch this morning its 2024 response plan for Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis, both within the country and in the region, as the Russian invasion enters its third year.

In numbers. The UN says it needs $3.1 billion to assist 8.5bn people in Ukraine, out of 14.6 million who will need aid this year. Around 6.3 million people have fled the country while roughly four million are displaced within its borders. According to the UN’s coordinator in Ukraine, “hundreds of thousands of people living in occupied areas close to the front line, where needs are most urgent” remain mostly out of their reach.

VIP list. UN aid chief Martin Griffiths will be joined at the Palais des Nations by the head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi. Ukrainian deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk is also expected to be in Geneva for a few days for the launch of the plan and to knock on the doors of Geneva’s main humanitarian players to plead for her country’s cause.

🚸UN body to probe Russia on children taken from Ukraine. UN independent experts will this call on Russia to answer to allegations that it has forcibly deported and transferred thousands of children from Ukraine since its invasion in February 2022, as part of a review of how it is implementing a key treaty on children’s rights.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which is holding its 95th session from 15 January to 2 February, will review Russia as well as Bulgaria, Senegal, Lithuania and South Africa. A large Russian delegation, led by deputy labour and social protection minister, Alexey Vovchenko, and including its ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, is expected to attend. OHCHR

International Geneva Moves

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  • Gavi appoints Pakistan senator as new CEO. Sania Nishtar, a Pakistan medical doctor and senator, will become the next chief executive of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance on 18 March just as the organisation prepares to launch its replenishment campaign in June. The long-anticipated appointment will make Nishtar the first woman to lead the organisation. Nishtar, who has several decades of experience in public health and has worked with the UN, was one of the three top candidates for the role of WHO director general in 2017, but lost to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
    Devex (EN)

Also on the agenda

📌 15 January | Is sustainable finance a utopia? Unctad secretary general Rebeca Grynspan, Swissaid-Geneva president Laurent Jimaja, and economist Derek Queisser de Stockalper will discuss, during this lunchtime debate, the importance of sustainable finance and whether a financial sector that prioritises the environment, social well-being and good governance is a realistic expectation.

Geneva Press Club (FR)

📌 18 January | Children’s rights, a journey of resistance. After the 75th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights in December, this event asks, what about children’s rights, and 34 years after it came into force, are countries living up to their obligations under Convention of the Rights of the Child? Claire Brisset, former journalist, Unicef director and child rights defender for the French government, will discuss.

Swiss Forum for International Affairs (EN)

For more events, visit the Genève Internationale website.

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