AS IT HAPPENED: Davos 2020 Day Three – G20, AI, gender balance and health top the bill

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The World Economic Forum 2020 will run until Jan. 24. (File/AFP)
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Adel Al-Jubeir, speaking on a World Economic Forum panel about the situation in the Middle East, said Iran should stop ‘meddling’ in Iraqi affairs and worry about its own people. (Screenshot: WEF)
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Gebran Bassil - one of the targets of angry Lebanese protesters in recent months - was involved in a very awkward interview during Day Three of WEF. (WEF/Flickr)
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Updated 23 January 2020

AS IT HAPPENED: Davos 2020 Day Three – G20, AI, gender balance and health top the bill

  • Government ministers from Saudi Arabia speaking ahead of Kingdom hosting high-profile G20 Riyadh summit
  • Discussions about health technology, digital economy, gender equality, and the disability movement

DAVOS, Switzerland: Thursday saw Day Three of the 2020 World Economic Forum get underway, which included government ministers from Saudi Arabia speaking ahead of the Kingdom hosting the high-profile G20 Riyadh summit in November.

There were also discussions about health technology, digital economy, gender equality, and the disability movement among many other global issues.

Follow Arab News coverage below:

18:30 - And that's a wrap on the third day of talks in Davos. We hope you enjoyed our coverage throughout the week. See you next year!

18:00 - Day Three's panels are closed out by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who, like many this week, has used his address to call for action on climate change...

17:15 - Artificial intelligence has been one of the big talking points this week in Davos, with discussions revolving around where AI fits in with the ever-changing employment roles for humanity. Here are some handy Arab News infographics on the subject...

16:45 - In case you missed it, Gebran Bassil - one of the targets of angry Lebanese protesters in recent months - was involved in a very awkward interview earlier today during a controversial panel. You can read more about it here...

16:00 - "I know everyone thinks Davos is all about lushing it up in the Alps with the global elite, but actually — if you take it seriously — it is very hard work. I don’t expect any sympathy..." - Arab News' man on the ground in Davos has shared the lowdown on what happens at WEF once the panels come to a close of an evening...

Read his account here...

15:15 - Adel Al-Jubeir, speaking on a World Economic Forum panel about the situation in the Middle East, said Iran should stop ‘meddling’ in Iraqi affairs and worry about its own people...

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jubeir tells Iran to stop ‘meddling’ in Iraqi affairs

14:30 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in no mood to mince her words on the Iran nuclear deal, saying it's the best option for the Islamic Republic but any violations would not go unpunished...

14:00 - Speaking during a hard-hitting panel discussion the controversial Gebran Bassil said Lebanon’s youth were calling for an end to the country’s current political system in favor of a secular one.

12:00 - This year’s G20 Summit in Riyadh was also discussed, with a look into some of the topics that will be on the agenda.

WEF president, Borge Brende, revealed to delegates that the next Middle East summit will be held in Saudi Arabia in April.

11:15 - Gender disparity continues to be a problem around the world a panel discussion was told. The issue remains through industry, politics and culture.

10:15 - The day started with a discussion on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in healthcare - would the loss of a human interface help or hinder patient care?


3,000-strong African force planned against Sahel extremism

Updated 28 February 2020

3,000-strong African force planned against Sahel extremism

  • The force would be a significant new player in the Sahel where fighters linked to Al-Qaeda and the Daesh group killed thousands of people last year
  • The decision by African leaders comes as the United States considers cutting its military presence in Africa while urging African solutions to African problems

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: African leaders have decided to work on deploying 3,000 troops to West Africa’s troubled Sahel region as extremist attacks surge, an African Union official said Thursday.
The force would be a significant new player in the sprawling, arid region south of the Sahara Desert where fighters linked to Al-Qaeda and the Daesh group killed thousands of people last year — at times working together in an unprecedented move.
The decision by African leaders comes as the United States considers cutting its military presence in Africa while urging African solutions to African problems. That has sparked pressure from worried security allies including France and regional countries as well as a rare bipartisan outcry among lawmakers in Washington.
Smail Chergui, the African Union commissioner for peace and security, relayed the new troop decision that was taken at the recent AU summit during a meeting Thursday with visiting European Union officials.
The AU continental body is expected to work with the West African regional counterterror force G5 Sahel as well as the West African regional body ECOWAS, which has formed peacekeeping units in the past, Chergui said.
ECOWAS in September announced what Chergui called a “very bold” plan to counter extremism in the region, including mobilizing up to $1 billion through 2024.
“As you see and recognize yourself, the threat is expanding and becoming more complex,” Chergui said. “Terrorists are now even bringing a new modus operandi from Afghanistan and Al-Shabab” in Somalia.
It was not immediately clear what the next steps would be in forming the AU force for the Sahel, which has become the most active region in Africa for extremist attacks.
The force would join France’s largest overseas military operation, the 5,100-strong Barkhane, and the 15,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force in Mali, one of the hardest-hit countries in the attacks along with Burkina Faso and Niger.