Humanizing Technology Tops the Agenda During Davos Day Four

Sustainability and support for the vulnerable topped the leadership messages on the fourth day of The Davos Agenda. World leaders introduced a very human angle to the meeting and its theme, Harnessing the Technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, focussing on the need to ensure that society’s disadvantaged, along with poorer nations, are treated fairly and inclusively.

H.M. King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan called for a rethink and reinvention of globalization, multilateralism and the international community, placing “equity, inclusivity and dignity at the heart of what they stand for.” The king suggested that the world needed “re-globalization” for a “sustainable, equitable and green recovery that puts the well-being of our peoples and our planet first.” He also spoke of the need to treat the vaccine for COVID-19 as a “global good” and called on world leaders to both ensure “low-income and poor countries are not left at the end of the waiting line” and help safeguard the health and well-being of refugees.

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, highlighted how his government had worked to ensure that India did not face a “tsunami of cases” of COVID-19, as many had initially feared, by focusing on developing “COVID-specific health infrastructure” and “making full use of technology for testing and tracing.” He also praised the population, arguing that by being patient they had transformed “this fight against coronavirus into a people’s movement.” With its own cases falling, the country is keen to help other nations. “May the entire world be healthy,” he said, citing an Indian prayer. In particular, he revealed that while India has two vaccines available, it is working to make more so that it can “help nations faster and on a bigger scale.”

Colombian President Ivan Duque addressed the issue of harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, talking about the importance of artificial intelligence in helping his country recover from the effects of the pandemic. In addition to using technology, he added that “we also believe this is the right avenue to provide human capital.” To this end, Duque talked about “building smart regulation”, creating “smart infrastructure”, developing “an ethical framework” and, by 2030, creating biodiverse cities – as part of the Forum’s BiodiverCities project. Through these developments, the president revealed his ambition to “make Colombia the Silicon Valley of Latin America.”

Alberto Fernández, President of the Argentine Republic, said that his government is focused on rebuilding in a socially inclusive and sustainable manner, and in accordance with the Paris Agreement, to “improve living conditions and guarantee the rights of our inhabitants.” He emphasized the importance of the agreement reached with private creditors to restructure Argentina’s debt, as well as the constructive, continuing conversations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as a solid foundation for a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable future.

He revealed that his “efforts while chairing Mercosur seek to consolidate a sustainable, solidary and digital community and aims to advance Mercosur’s international negotiations with the EU, EFTA [European Free Trade Association], Canada, Israel and others.” The president committed his country to integrating “further into global value chains through technology 4.0” and welcomed the reconstruction of multilateralism by further including the private sector under the premise of multi-solidarity.