Some of the world's most powerful and influential political and business leaders got down to business today at the Swiss alpine resort of Davos, as the World Economic Forum kicked off.
Live Earth music event to demand action on climate change will be held on June 18 across seven continents, including Antarctica, former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore and pop star Pharrell Williams announced today.
After a welcome reception and concert last night that included a performance by renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, the various panel discussions and debates got underway this morning.
The yearly gathering is being attended by more than 2,500 participants from 140 countries, including 40 heads of state, and comes at a time of renewed terror threats after the recent attacks in Paris.
Global leaders including US Secretary of State John Kerry, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and China's Premier Li Keqiang will join business chiefs such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg.
Irish participants include Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who will arrive this evening, Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Digicel chairman Denis O'Brien.
Mr Kenny will attend a private dinner this evening, and will take part in a panel discussion tomorrow morning entitled 'Europe's twin Challenges: Growth and Stability', alongside Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb and Sigmar Gabriel, German Vice Chancellor and Federal minister of Economic Affairs and Energy.
It is understood the Taoiseach will also take part in a dinner organised by the IDA tomorrow night in Davos, at which about 40 company representatives will attend. The IDA will also be conducting a series of investor meetings.
Ahead of the dinner, IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan said the Davos gathering provided an excellent platform for the IDA to attract further investment into Ireland.
''IDA Ireland will meet with a number of existing client companies to discuss new opportunities for investment within their Irish operations, as well as targeting companies that have not yet set up in Ireland to discuss the advantages of doing business here,'' Mr Shanahan said.
''Participation at Davos increases Ireland's profile internationally and places the country on the world stage.''
Companies attending the Summit fall into IDA's target sectors including life sciences, technology, and financial services.
Archbishop Martin will contribute to two sessions, including one entitled 'Mastering the Machines: Are we masters of our fate or will technologies take over?'.
Ahead of the gathering today, Mr O'Brien, who is the largest shareholder in Independent News & Media, told Bloomberg that the trade relationship between Russia, the US and Europe was the greatest geopolitical issue facing the world's economy.
''The US and Europe have the wrong approach on Russia,'' he said.
''The big issue here is whether the EU, the US and IMF will help Ukraine prevent a default. If Europe doesn't stand firm with the Ukrainians, the country will melt down.''
He also predicted he Fed will not increase rates until later this year or the beginning of next year.