Day 1: Kofi Annan's Davos diary

This year's World Economic Forum takes place against a very gloomy, uncertain background.

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Compared to the 40 heads of state and hundreds of political and business leaders heading to the World Economic Forum, I only have a short trip in front of me today. It is just 500km from my office in Geneva to Davos, although that's a long journey within Switzerland. For all of us, however, there will be plenty to reflect on while we travel. This year's WEF takes place against a very gloomy, uncertain background. It would be easy for what has been dismissed as a "Rich Men's Club" this week to be so pre-occupied with their own problems that they ignore those of the rest of the world. My role as this year's co-chairman is to help ensure this does not happen. It is vital for everyone that the discussions at Davos look outwards, not inwards. For what this unprecedented crisis has shown is no country, no matter how prosperous or powerful, can now alone protect itself against the challenges of an inter-connected world. We can only do this by working together. And solutions will not be effective or lasting unless they are seen to be fair. So we need to ensure the poorest in the planet - who will be hardest hit by the financial crisis - are not forgotten. The US Congress is discussing a US$825 billion (Dh3.03 trillion) stimulus package for the American economy this week. This compares with the G8 Gleneagles pledge to find an extra $50bn by 2010 to tackle global poverty - a promise still not met. We need to co-ordinate the global economic response so it supports jobs, incomes and opportunities in Africa and across the developing world. There must be the same new collective approach, based on the principles of fairness and opportunity for all, to the other challenges we face including climate change, food security and Africa. In every crisis, there is opportunity. At Davos, the task is to show we recognise our world has changed for good. *Kofi Annan