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News > International
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Forum picks NYC over Davos
graphic November 7, 2001: 12:02 p.m. ET

World Economic Forum moves from Davos to New York for 2002.
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  • World Economic Forum
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    NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in 2002 will be held in New York City in a move designed to confront head-on global issues in the wake of Sept. 11 and also ease security concerns.

    The forum said Wednesday the meeting will take place from Jan. 31, 2002 to Feb. 4 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, the first time the meeting has left Davos, Switzerland since its inception in 1971.

    "In these extraordinary times, greater international cooperation is needed to reverse the global economic downturn, eradicate poverty, promote security and enhance cultural understanding," said Professor Klaus Schwab, president of the World Economic Forum, in a statement.

    "As the world's financial capital and the site of the recent terrorist attacks, there could be no better place than New York City to confront these issues," Schwab said.

    "We are not turning our back on Davos," Andre Schneider, the WEF's executive director, said. "The strongest message against terrorism is to hold the WEF in New York."

    The forum plans to return to Davos in 2003.

    Schneider also indicated that holding the event in one hotel in New York rather than spreading it out over several locations in Davos would also make security arrangements easier.

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    Swiss Economy Minister Pascal Couchepin said the decision to move the WEF was a sign of solidarity with New York. "The condition for a return of the WEF to Davos is sufficient security," he added.

    Concern over Switzerland's ability to guarantee the safety of the participants - which in the past have included business leaders such as Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and political heavyweights ranging from Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to then-U.S. president Bill Clinton - grew after the September 11 attacks.

    While New York was itself the target, the city is well-accustomed to top-level gatherings of business and political leaders and hosts the headquarters of the United Nations, and so has plenty of experience in providing security.

    Sometimes-violent anti-globalization protests, which left one demonstrator dead at a summit of wealthy nations in Genoa, Italy, last summer, also fueled opposition to holding the conference in Davos. graphic


    -- from staff and wire reports

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