U.S. President Donald Trump will head to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting next week amid a looming Senate impeachment trial and concerns over his handling of relations with Iran.
Trump’s attendance at the Jan. 21-24 event in Davos is his first since 2018. The U.S. didn’t send a delegation last year due to a government shutdown. This year’s group also includes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
Iran won’t be attending as it deals with rising protests following the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane last week. President Hassan Rouhani is under intense international pressure over the incident. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is still scheduled to attend.
“Today the world has become much more complex and it needs complex answers,” said WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab. “The issues today cannot be solved by governments, businesses or civil society alone. It needs collective action.”
This year’s theme will be “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg will take part again after telling Davos attendees last year that “our house is on fire.” Trump has previously mocked Thunberg, saying on Twitter that she has “anger management” issues.
“We will use this special birthday to address head on the urgent global challenges facing us,” Schwab said. “The world is in a state of emergency and the window to act is closing fast.”
Other figures heading to Davos include European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. A host of central bankers are going, including Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and Bank for International Settlements chief Agustin Carstens.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to skip the event, which is the 50th anniversary of the WEF’s annual meeting, though Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is due to take part.
The gathering will also include Hong Kong’s beleaguered Chief Executive Carrie Lam, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, and Vice Premier of China Han Zheng.
(Updates with Greta Thunberg in fifth paragraph)
–With assistance from Catherine Bosley.