By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will not attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland due to a scheduling issue, his spokesman confirmed Wednesday.
Guterres will instead attend an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Stephane Dujarric told reporters after earlier confirming that the secretary general would be in attendance at the invitation-only annual gathering of business leaders, politicians and NGO chiefs.
The UN will instead be represented by senior officials and a number of agency heads, according to Dujarric.
“Davos is sometimes a little complicated to do business at, but it is an important place for us to be. That's why the UN is represented,” he said.
Over 3,000 participants from more than 110 countries and more than 340 public figures, including more than 70 heads of state and government and 45 heads of international organizations, are attending the forum, for which security is expected to cost nearly $10 million.
Also in Davos are 10 heads of state from Africa, nine from the Middle East and North Africa, and six from Latin America, plus 40 Western leaders.
*Betul Yuruk contributed to this report from the United Nations