The world's political and business elite gather for their annual meeting in the glitzy Swiss ski resort of Davos from Wednesday, with the shadow of recent attacks in France and ongoing global conflicts looming large.
French President Francois Hollande and US Secretary of State John Kerry will be among the 2,500 movers and shakers thrashing out the burning issues of the day next to the frozen slopes, exactly two weeks after the deadly attacks on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The bloodshed in France, which left 17 people dead, and Western countries' efforts to prevent returning jihadists planning attacks on home soil will be high on the agenda of the four-day Davos meeting.
Alongside top European and US leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel -- whose country recently foiled an attack -- the topic will be broached at a global level with Iraqi leaders including Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and Kurdish leader Massud Barzani.
The raging Ukraine conflict will also feature high on the agenda, with President Petro Poroshenko addressing the gathering, after Kiev accused Russian forces of attacking its soldiers in the country's separatist east and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also making the trip up the mountain.
"Both terrorism and geopolitics are likely to cast their shadows on this year's meeting. Both are serious threats to political stability in Europe and in the Middle East and North Africa," Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS, told AFP.