UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will advocate for the cause of inclusive development and resilience as she joins global leaders at the 46th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from 20 to 23 January 2016. The overarching theme of this year’s meeting is “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” – how to make rapid change work for inclusion, security and prosperity.
At the event, the Director-General will bring her advocacy to more than 40 heads of state and government as well as 2,500 leaders from business and civil society. She will emphasize the need to make sure that the multiple technologies that are transforming societies at an unprecedented pace are shaped and harnessed to leave no one behind and build resilience on the basis of shared values and ethical principles.
“This year’s theme dovetails with the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement adopted in 2015,” explains the Director-General. “Fundamentally, it is about how we lead change, collaborate and innovate to empower people and make this a peaceful and inclusive development revolution.
“Whether based on education, gender, jobs, health or resources, inequality is one of the gravest threats to our common future. In the face of polarization, fragmentation and exclusion, we must respond with human-centered policies that empower all women and men, strengthen the capacity of governments and rally the multilateral system around shared narratives, solidarity and understanding to protect what is common to us all – our culture, our humanity, our planet.”
“This begins with education and skills and calls for a special focus on narrowing the gender gap, especially in the growth sector constituted by professions requiring a background in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is our message in Davos -- the 4th Industrial revolution must be a development revolution."
The Forum’s annual Gender Gap Report finds that across health, education, economic opportunity and politics, this gap has closed by only 4% in the past decade, suggesting it will take another 118 years to close the gap completely.
On the occasion of the 2016 Annual Meeting, the Forum’s Founder, Professor Klaus Schwab, has published a book on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” that outlines its drivers, impacts and policy challenges. The Forum’s Global Risks Report 2016 calls for action to build resilience, citing the failure of climate change mitigation and adaption, weapons of mass destruction, the water crisis and large scale migration rates as the four top risks affecting the future.
In the course of the Annual Meeting, Ms Bokova will participate in events on education and skills; cultural heritage under attack; girls’ and women’s empowerment, and the humanitarian crisis.