Davos VIP dropouts

January 26, 2010

The world’s top politicians are dropping out from the WEF‘s highly publicised list of top VIPs.

wefprepareLast-minute cancellations happen more or less every year, but this year it’s at an alarming rate.

Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama, mired in domestic political turmoil and facing busy Parliament sessions at home, has pulled out of  the forum and is sending his strategy minister Sengoku instead.  Afghan President Hamid Karzai  has decided not to make a detour from London where he’s due to attend a conference on Afghanistan this week.

While Davos offers a unique opportunity to network with the global elite, world leaders may be busier extinguishing political fires at home.

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, assessing U.S. proposals for restarting talks with Palestinians , also pulled out, while Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President of Nigeria, is still receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia for a heart condition.

UN Emergency Relief  Coordinator John Holmes also has other priorities than schmoozing in the ski resort: helping out the earthquake-struck Haiti.

Other high-profile dropouts include the prime ministers of Pakistan, Kenya and Egypt,  Iraq’s Foreign Minister,  Middle East envoy Tony Blair and the Crown Prince of Dubai.

Coincidentally, a survey by PR firm Weber Shandwick showed that former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s philanthropic summit was the most popular venue for chief executives last year and the WEF tumbled to No. 4 from the top spot.

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