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“New isolationism” cited as issue for World Economic Forum

January 21, 2015 - SWITZERLAND

Heads of state, executives and economists from 90-plus countries will grapple with "new isolationism" when they meet for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. WEF founder Klaus Schwab coined the expression in a recent warning about the slow breaking up of the global Internet and a retreat from globalization.

The Forum's 2014 Global Gender Gap Report drops a second WEF-identified problem--and potential subject for disagreement-- into the agenda.

Recent events suggest that the Israel-Gaza and Russia-Ukraine conflicts could be the political "hot potatoes" at the 2015 forum as world leaders sometimes often use the gathering to air grievances and rally support for their viewpoint.

The WEF report is one of several studies and campaigns seeking to highlight gender inequality issues. The rankings showed the Nordic countries at the top of the list of countries with the smallest gender gap, with Rwanda in the top 10 for the first time. Reacting in October, 2014, to Rwanda's attaining top 10 status, Britain's Guardian newspaper explored whether measures such as parliamentary quotas for women are the most efficacious way to close the gap.

The Geneva-based WEF holds regional forums throughout the year, and the regional proceedings are also taken up in Davos.

World Economic Forum

Klaus Schwab: Inside the World Economic Forum (WSJ 4 Sep 2014)

Leahy: NSA surveillance 'not making us safer'(The Hill 22 Jan 2014)

Talkpoint: can quotas in parliament close the gender gap? (Guardian 31 Oct 2014)

Date written/update: 2014-11-03