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Speaker Newt Gingrich said of the World Economic Forum (WEF), " [It] is a remarkable social invention which brings together more people from more places in a more efficient manner than any place I have seen. This is a truly remarkable and vital week that opens up many opportunities for the entire planet." Hillary Clinton called the WEF, "the World Economic, Political and Social Forum."

For 28 years, Professor Klaus Schwab, the originator of the WEF, has been bringing the world's power leaders together. This year's theme was "Priorities for the 21st Century - Managing Volatility." The Forum's mandate is to bring the captains, kings and (now) queens of industry together to hobnob with the leaders of both the UN nation-states and the United Nations international structure in order to form (business) partnerships. Their motto is "Committed to Improving the State of the World." It was the WEF that said in 1987 to give "Gorbachev a chance," which they say, contributed to the end of the Cold War. Mr. Gorbachev, who started holding his own annual meetings in 1995, calls them the "Gorbachev State of the World Forum." He, too, courts multinational corporations, a number of which paid up to $250,000 ($50,000 minimum) for the honor of supporting his first Forum.


Among the beautiful, rich, and brainy were eight members of the Trilateral Commission, forty-four members of the Council for Foreign Relations, three who were members of both, sixty-nine with a current or past affiliation with the United Nations system, nine Fulbright/Rhodes Scholars and eight from the Royal Institute for International Affairs which endeavors to carry out the legacy of Cecil Rhodes in re-uniting America with Britain.* These represent 8.92% of the 1,580 participants in the Participants Handbook. Another 333 or 21% have PhDs. The largest number of PhDs are in economics (102) with law coming in second (61). Is this the "brain trust" which Gorbachev called for at his 1995 State of the World Forum? Lastly, two members of the group are members of the Socialist International: Gro Harlem Brundtland, recently designated to head of the World Health Organization, and Shimon Peres, a member of the Israeli Parliament.

The WEF - the Seat of the world's power

International journalist and businesswoman Joan Veon remarked, "When I went to the UN mega- conferences in Cairo, Copenhagen, Istanbul and Rome, I thought I was at the seat of power, when I went to the IMF/World Bank and the Group of Seven/Group of Eight meetings, I thought I was at the seat of power, when I went to the International Organization of Security Commissions (IOSCO - considered "the United Nations of Security Commissions," i.e. stock exchanges), I felt I was getting close. When I went to the World Economic Forum, I realized I was at the apex of the world's power."

Public-Private Partnerships is the Purpose of the WEF

The purpose of the World Economic Forum is to bring together both government and business to create partnerships. For example, in an interview which Joan Veon conducted with Sven Sandstrom of the World Bank, she asked him about public-private partnerships. Public private partnerships are a way of creating investment by business in government through a business partnership agreement for profit. He said that they had: made progress with numerous international business groups, were working with the International Forestry Commission and was also in the process of establishing a commission on large dams with chief executive officers of construction and power companies along with non-government organizations who represent civil society.


The World Economic Forum held over 200 workshops in six days in order to apprise the participants of the state of the world as they see it. The topics included medicine, death/dying, spirituality, cloning, geopolitics, the US in the 21st Century, the Euro and the Common Market, "Governing globalization," Asia and the Asian crisis-- what needs to be done, corporate governance and the role of the CEO in the 21st century, the centerless corporation, regional meetings on NAFTA, Europe, China, Asia/Middle East, global warming and educating tomorrow's global citizen, to name a few.

US Participants to the WEF

Those attending from United States government included First Lady Hilary Clinton, HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Orin Hatch (R-UT), Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA) and Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) as well as Speaker Newt Gingrich. CEO's from corporations which originate in the U.S. included, CocaCola, Sara Lee, DuPont, TRW, 3M, ARCO, the Perot Group, Texaco, U.S. West (all of these are part of the Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum), along with Philips Petroleum, Pepsi, Xerox, P&G, Kemper International, Ford Motor, Case Corporation, and Dow Chemical to name a few. In an interview with the CEO of Case Corporation, he said he came to the WEF because there was no other place where you could get the feel of what was happening in the world in one week.

Major Theme - Managing Volatility - The Final Step to Total World Integration

Since July 1997, Asia has been experiencing a loss of confidence in the value of their currencies. The Finance Minister of Malaysia has blamed George Soros for selling their currencies in such huge amounts that they have crashed. Another likely scenario could be that the Koreans, Japanese and Malaysians would not play global ball with the world's international financial institutions. Since the world's monetary system is in the hands of private corporations, called central banks, a currency crash (in which all the central banks sold the currency of these countries at the same time) was pre-planned in order to help them decide to sign the World Trade Organization's Financial Services Agreement on December 12. This Agreement basically allows all of the world's banks, insurance companies and brokerage firms to buy and invest anywhere in the world.

The answer to managing volatility from all of the experts, whether they were from the UN system---the World Bank/IMF/ UN/World Trade Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) or industry such as George Soros, economic and financial experts, and the Bank for International Settlements is that the UN system has to be given greater power in their ability to react to international crisis not only on an international level but also on a national level. In addition to strengthening the global oversight capacities of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), it was recommended over and over again that the banking rules which they have issued for large international banks now be applied to the banks located inside of a country. What this really means is that the final integration between the international infrastructure which has been evolving since 1945 and now the local/national level of every country be combined into one---an empowerment of world government.

Gingrich and Clinton call for a new paradigm

This empowerment theme of further integration between the global and the local was also born out by Speaker Newt Gingrich and First Lady Hillary Clinton. Newt called for a "very deep and profound reform of our educational system, the establishment of a lifetime learning system, a new vision and paradigm," in addition to an international police force. Hillary Clinton reinforced the mergers of the economic, environmental and social which is being facilitated by the UN system. She said, "[A]s we go into the 21st Century, if we can keep in mind the balance of power among these three spheres that effect all our lives and if we can look for ways to work cooperatively together, then I think the doomsayers and the pessimists will be proven wrong." She called, as her husband did in his State of the Nation speech, for public private partnerships. She said, "It is impossible to think of any corporation, no matter how large or any government, no matter how powerful, addressing [the needs of civil society] alone. Whether we like it or not, we are more interdependent today than we have every been. I believe that interdependence is a good development. And it should be respected by governments and businesses alike."

The theme which has been enforced by the World Economic Forum is that we are one, there are no borders any longer-- as a result of the Internet, knowledge is borderless and money is borderless since $1.2T moves around the world daily looking for the highest return or quickest play. Therefore, we are one and must act for the good of the whole which means the empowerment of the UN system as it seeks more power in expanding its domain from the global to the local, where you and I live.

Interestingly enough, it was brought to my attention that this conference, in keeping with the lunar cycle, began on the Jewish Feast of the New Moon, January 28 and ended the day of the crescent moon, 2/3/98. At 5,000 feet up in the mountains, there was more than talk, negotiations and sash-shaying going on. The meeting in Davos, at the very least, defines the political, economic and business agenda for the year.

*Please read my book, Prince Charles the Sustainable Prince, please call for a courtesy copy.