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World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum, based in Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland, is an NGO, founded in 1971. The WEF's mission is cited as "committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political and other leaders of society to shape global and industry agendas", it is a membership-based organization, membership is made up of the world's largest corporations. The WEF hosts an annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland; the meeting brings together some 3,000 business leaders, international political leaders, economists and journalists for up to five days to discuss global issues, across 500 public and private sessions. The organization convenes some six to eight regional meetings each year in locations across Africa, East Asia, Latin America, India and holds two further annual meetings in China and the United Arab Emirates. Beside meetings, the organization provides a platform for leaders from all stakeholder groups from around the world – business and civil society – to collaborate on multiple projects and initiatives.

It produces a series of reports and engages its members in sector-specific initiatives. The WEF was founded in 1971 by a business professor at the University of Geneva. First named the European Management Forum, it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987 and sought to broaden its vision to include providing a platform for resolving international conflicts. In the summer of 1971, Schwab invited 444 executives from Western European firms to the first European Management Symposium held in the Davos Congress Centre under the patronage of the European Commission and European industrial associations, where Schwab sought to introduce European firms to American management practices, he founded the WEF as a nonprofit organization based in Geneva and drew European business leaders to Davos for the annual meetings each January. Events in 1973, including the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed-exchange rate mechanism and the Arab–Israeli War, saw the annual meeting expand its focus from management to economic and social issues, for the first time, political leaders were invited to the annual meeting in January 1974.

Political leaders soon began to use the annual meeting as venue for promoting their interests. The Davos Declaration was signed in 1988 by Greece and Turkey, helping them turn back from the brink of war. In 1992, South African President F. W. de Klerk met with Nelson Mandela and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the annual meeting, their first joint appearance outside South Africa. At the 1994 annual meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat reached a draft agreement on Gaza and Jericho. In late 2015, the invitation was extended to include a North Korean delegation for the 2016 WEF, "in view of positive signs coming out of the country", the WEF organizers noted. North Korea has not been attending the WEF since 1998; the invitation was accepted but after the January 2016 North Korean nuclear test on 6 January, the invitation was revoked, the country's delegation was made subject to "existing and possible forthcoming sanctions". Despite protests by North Korea calling the decision by the WEF managing board a "sudden and irresponsible" move, the WEF committee maintained the exclusion because "under these circumstances there would be no opportunity for international dialogue".

In 2017, the WEF in Davos attracted considerable attention when for the first time, a head of state from the People's Republic of China was present at the alpine resort. With the backdrop of Brexit, an incoming protectionist US administration and significant pressures on free trade zones and trade agreements, President Xi Jinping defended the global economic scheme, portrayed China as a responsible nation and a leader for environmental causes, he rebuked the current populist movements that would introduce tariffs and hinder global commerce, warning that such protectionism could foster isolation and reduced economic opportunity. In 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the plenary speech, becoming the first head of state from India to deliver the inaugural keynote for the annual meet at Davos. Modi highlighted global warming and protectionism as the three major global challenges, expressed confidence that they can be tackled with collective effort. In 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gave the keynote address at the plenary session of the conference.

On his first international trip to Davos, he emphasized liberal economic policies despite his populist agenda, attempted to reassure the world that Brazil is a protector of the rain forest while utilizing its resources for food production and export. He stated that "his government will seek to better integrate Brazil into the world by mainstreaming international best practices, such as those adopted and promoted by the OECD". Environmental concerns like extreme weather events, the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation were among the top-ranking global risks expressed by WEF attendees. Headquartered in Cologny, the WEF has offices in New York and Tokyo. In January 2015 it was designated an NGO with "other international body" status by the Swiss Federal Government under the Swiss Host-State Act. On October 10, 2016, the WEF announced the opening of its new Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco. According to the WEF, the center will "serve as a platform for interaction and impact on the scientific and technological changes that are changing the way we live and relate to one another".

The World Economic Forum claims to be impartial and that it is not tied to any political, partisan, or national interests. Until 2012

Mars Exploration Joint Initiative

The Mars Exploration Joint Initiative is an agreement signed between United States' space agency, NASA, Europe's space agency, ESA to join resources and expertise in order to continue the exploration of the planet Mars. The agreement was signed in Washington D. C. in October 2009, between NASA administrator Charles Bolden and ESA director-general Jean-Jacques Dordain. In its hey-day it resulted in a synergy between NASA Mars Science Orbiter and the Aurora ExoMars program, the combination of a flexible collaborative proposal within NASA and ESA to send a new orbiter-carrier to Mars in 2016 as part of the European-led ExoMars project. One of the goals was for NASA to provide to Atlas V launches for ExoMars, however in the early 2010s planetary exploration in the USA was not given enough money to fund this plan. Under the FY2013 budget President Barack Obama released on 13 February 2012, NASA terminated its participation in ExoMars due to budgetary cuts in order to pay for the cost overruns of the James Webb Space Telescope.

With NASA's funding for this project cancelled, most of ExoMars' plans had to be restructured. Discussions between NASA and ESA began in December 2008, driven by the ESA Ministerial Council's recommendation to seek international cooperation to complete the ExoMars mission and to prepare further Mars robotic exploration missions. At the same time, NASA was reassessing its Mars Exploration Program portfolio after the launch of its Mars Science Laboratory was delayed from 2009 to 2011; this provided NASA and ESA with an opportunity to increase cooperation and expand collective capabilities. The U. S. and Europe have taken the view that they can achieve more together scientifically at Mars if they combine their expertise. And with both parties' current Mars programmes experiencing financial pressures, the shared approach means the exploration schedule of a mission every two years can be maintained; the executive board recommended NASA and ESA to establish MEJI, spanning launch opportunities in 2016, 2018 and 2020, with landers and orbiters conducting astrobiological, geological and other high-priority investigations, leading to the return of soil and rock samples from Mars in the 2020s.

Under the FY2013 Budget President Obama released on February 13, 2012, NASA was forced to pull out of joint Mars missions with Europe due to budgetary cuts, in order to pay for the cost overruns of the James Webb Space Telescope. The proposal for the Financial Year 2013 reduced the planetary science budget from $1.5bn to $1.2bn. The cuts may plunge the field into its biggest crisis since the 1980s and is considered to lead to the loss of up to 2,000 high-tech jobs. On February 29, 2012, the U. S. House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees NASA funding, rejected the space agency's request to begin shutting down its joint Mars-exploration effort with the European Space Agency, until the issue can be debated thoroughly; the committee believes that "so radical a change in policy needs and deserves to be considered by a process, more rigorous and more inclusive than the reprogramming notification."Regardless of the final outcome by the House Appropriations subcommittee, NASA will continue with its own Mars exploration projects: Mars Science Laboratory, MAVEN orbiter, Mars 2020 rover, InSight lander.

In April 2018, a letter of intent was signed by NASA and ESA that may provide a basis for a Mars sample-return mission. It is unclear if this is a new initiative or a restart of the original Mars Exploration Joint Initiative; the two agencies would need to draw up the mission architecture, would be seeking commercial partners to collaborate on any sample-return mission. In its original version, the MEJI vision would have encompassed the following launch opportunities: 2016: A European-led orbiter, to study trace gases, including methane in Mars' atmosphere; the mission would put a static meteorological station on the surface. Europe would handle the entry and landing of this station - a capability it has yet to demonstrate. 2018: A European rover would be dispatched to Mars. The U. S. would provide the entry and landing system as being used by the Mars Science Laboratory. 2020: Under consideration is a network of small landers focused on geophysics and the environment. NASA would provide Atlas V launch rockets in 2018 ExoMars missions.

The ultimate aim is a mission to return Mars rock and soils to Earth: the Mars sample return mission, some time in the 2020s

Otar Korgalidze

Otar Korghalidze is a former Georgian professional football player and manager. During his playing career Korgalidze played for various clubs in Georgia, Austria and Estonia, he spent several seasons in the Soviet Top League and Soviet First League with FC Guria Lanchkhuti, FC Dinamo Tbilisi and FC Torpedo Kutaisi. Korgalidze scored 3 goals in 8 games during his short spell at Flora Tallinn. Otar Korgalidze retired in 2000, his last club was FC Kuressaare. He is a former member of the Georgia national football team. Following his playing career, Korgalidze was a manager for FC Sioni Bolnisi, his son Levan Korgalidze played for the Georgia national football team