Critical eyes will remain on the World Economic Forum (WEF)

Zurich, 07.11.2001 - The WEF is to hold its annual meeting from January 31 to February 5 in New York, not in Davos where it has always been until now. For the Berne Declaration and Pro Natura (Public Eye on Davos supporting organizations) this move does not indicate any positive change in the WEF, as the concept of the meeting was not considered in the decision. Their demands - global social and environmental criteria for economic development, and open and democratic fora in which economic policy is made - have still not been met.

These demands will follow the WEF to New York, perhaps in a “Public Eye on New York”. The Swiss Public Eye support organizations criticize that despite growing criticism of the WEF annual meeting, this decision has merely resulted in a change of venue. The WEF remains an elitist institution for the worlds largest companies, designed to strengthen the influence of private companies on international policies. At the WEF annual meeting ­ away from the public eye ­ global topics are discussed and pointers for economic policies set. New York will be no different. Berne Declaration and Pro Natura campaign for globally valid social and environmental criteria for the world economy, which require political changes. They demand that international economic policies are discussed in public, transparent and democratically legitimate fora. That Switzerland no longer sees itself capable of guaranteeing the security of the WEF annual meeting shows it is high time for a wide ranging public debate. For the third year running, this public debate on the economic globalization process was to be promoted in the “Public Eye on Davos” conference, parallel to the WEF annual meeting. The conference will now not take place in Davos as planned. However Berne Declaration and Pro Natura, together with the international Public Eye partners, will keep a critical eye on the activities of the WEF, and are working on transferring the Public Eye conference to New York.