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The World Economic Forum; Zürich-Kloten, January 23, 2015

The Swiss Air Force, part 7; Text and Photograph's by Alex van Noye

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an annual meeting of the CEOs and other officials of the largest companies in the world. The participants of the World Economic Forum are international politicians such as presidents, prime ministers, ministers and other politicians, intellectuals and independent journalists.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss non-profit foundation which is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The forum defines itself as an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world. Political leaders, academic leaders and industrial leaders come together to shape global, regional and industrial agendas. The forum is best known for its annual winter meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss the most pressing problems of the world. The organization also holds six to eight regional meetings each year in locations such as Latin America and East Asia and in the future, two annual meetings in China and the United Arab Emirates. The foundation is next to meetings also producing a series of research of its members in sector specific initiatives. The World Economic Forum was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab. He was a German-born business professor at the University of Geneva. The forum was established as the European Management Forum which was later changed to the name World Economic Forum in 1987. The purpose of the forum was to offer the search for broadening vision and a platform for resolving international conflicts. Especially the business community was looking at this forum of international cooperation to stimulate the economy.

In the summer of 1971 Schwab invited 444 executives from Western European companies to attend the first European Management Symposium. This symposium was held at the Davos Congress Centre under the patronage of the European Commission and European industrial associations. He then founded the WEF as a non-profit organization which was established in Geneva and drew European business leaders to Davos for the annual meeting in January. Schwab developed a stakeholder management approach which had attributed his business success to managers who

kept active account to all the interests of not only shareholders, but also clients and customers and employees and the communities where the company resides. From 1974, the first political leaders were also invited to attend the annual meeting in January. Social and economic issues were cited to find a common solution to these global problems. During the WEF there have already been a number of important political events were a first step towards a proper solution to problems were taken. An example is, de Klerk and Nelson Mandela who shake hands at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum held in January 1992. Political leaders soon began to use the annual meeting as a neutral platform. The Davos Declaration was signed in 1988 by Greece and Turkey to help these countries which were almost in war with each other. At the annual meeting in 1994, the Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat made a principle agreement on Gaza and Jericho. These are all historical meeting between important world leaders.

The WEF is headquartered in Colony, and in 2006 the foundation opened regional offices in Beijing and New York City. The organization strives to be impartial and not tied to any political, partisan or national interests. The Foundation is committed to improving the state of the world. Until 2012 the foundation had an observer status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The foundations highest governing body is the Foundation Board of the WEF. During the five-day annual meeting in Davos every year more than 2500 participants from just under 100 countries are present in Davos. Approximately 1,500 members of these are business leaders from more than 1,000 top companies. In addition to these participants are generally also 219 public figures, including 40 heads of state and government, representing 64 ministers, 30 heads or senior officials of international organizations and 10 ambassadors. The foundation is funded by more than 1,000 member companies which are mostly global companies with more than five billion dollars in revenue. These companies are among the top companies in their sector or country of origin and have a leading role in shaping the future of their industry. Membership is adjusted to the level of involvement in activities around the Forum. The amount of contribution is increased if the participation in meetings, projects and initiatives rises. The WEF makes many of these parties to have many benefits through the network during the forum.

World leaders and other dignitaries participating in the WEF will all arrive by plane in Switzerland. The majority of participants will land at the international airport of Zurich. In one week more than 100 to 150 aircraft of both civil users and government aircraft will arrive. Often the aircraft which come in government service are military registered. Many planes which arrive are during the WEF parked at the airport of Zurich. Also this year there are aircraft temporarily parked after dropping off their passengers at the airbase Dübendorf. This airbase is located up to 20km from the city of Zurich and has more space to park the aircraft. Zurich is a large airport, but is not particularly large. Not all aircraft can be parked at the busy airport. Some of the planes, of mostly European participants will drop their passengers off at Zurich and then fly back to their own country. These aircraft are usually government planes which also perform many other operational tasks for the Air Force of the particular country. After the WEF aircraft come back to pick up their representatives again. The aircraft which remain in Zurich are often parked in various corners of the airport since the regular platforms are used by civilian airlines which have scheduled services to Zurich. The participants of the WEF are all scattered parked across the airport. For the photographers during the WEF is often a platform tour organized where all aircraft can be photographed. The aircraft are all photographed on the platform.

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