The World Economic Forum in Davos, a town in the Swiss Alps, is underway. It kicked off on Jan. 16. Business and political leaders have gathered, including several delegates from the U.S., such as Gregory Meeks, the Congressman from New York’s 5th District.
The annual event has the theme this year of “Cooperation in a Fragmented World.” On the agenda this year, climate change, the Ukraine war, food security, energy, and the global economy.
Meeks, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, met in May 2022 with a United Nations to address the grain shortage in Ukraine resulting from the Russian invasion that is also impacting the African continent, The Grio reported. According to Meeks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the issue with him and other members of the United States delegation that traveled to Ukraine and Poland.
The 2022 trip with congressional leaders, including Nancy Pelosi, shored up his support for the U.S. war funding for Ukraine. Meeks, a Democrat, is a key figure for Ukraine War support, but can he be trusted on reparations.
In 2019, when asked about his stance on reparations during an interview with CNN, Meeks said he was for it. He pointed out he had been a co-sponsor of the late Rep. John Conyers H.R. 40 reparations study bill. H.R. 40 was first introduced by Conyers, a Democrat, in 1989. He re-submitted the bill every year until he retired in 2017.
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Meeks did not say if he supported Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, also a Democrat, when she reintroduced the bill in 2018 after Conyers retired.
“When you look at the scenario of the ugly institution of slavery in this country there should be something…to correct the wrongs,” Meeks told CNN. “I think we need to study (reparations).” When asked if he supported cash reparation, Meeks did not answer directly but seemed to allude that reparations could be in the form of student debt relief. “Look at the struggle for paying for college…(the high) student debt for people whose ancestors had been slaves.”
Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., participates in a panel at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Nov. 11, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)