Swiss president believes global democracy has reached a tipping point

17 January 2023 14:02

Greater Zurich

Davos - Alain Berset has warned that global democracy is increasingly vulnerable. In view of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the President of the Swiss Confederation spoke of the greatest crisis in the post-war order in his speech to mark the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation, gave a special address at the World Economic Forum on January 17. In his speech to attendees, he expressed his view that the post-war order is currently experiencing “its greatest crisis”. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is also an attack on international law and multilateralism, Berset explained.

However, this crisis runs deeper still, according to Berset: “We find ourselves at a tipping point. Democratic institutions are being weakened. In certain places, the rule of law is under threat – even in some democratically constituted states. And the rule of law is also at risk of eroding in the international system”. For this reason, Berset concludes that: “Business as usual is no longer an option: We must take steps to defend steadfastly the foundations, that are a prerequisite for civilised coexistence”.

Berset also believes that business has a duty to fulfil. For too long, the sole focus has been on efficiency and prosperity, with social fairness pushed into the background. Inequality is on the rise. In particular, countries that were already somewhat fragile have been further weakened by the Covid pandemic and the consequences of the Ukraine war. These countries are now crying out for help, otherwise they run the risk of becoming failed states. Self-interest and supporting those weaker than ourselves are now one and the same thing, Berset underlines.  

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is taking place January 16-20, 2023, in Davos. stk

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