Expo 2020 panel deliberations on right track - GulfToday

Expo 2020 panel deliberations on right track


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

The spread of coronavirus COVID-19 is having a major impact on global public, social, and economic health. The solidarity shown by the international community as it navigates through the consequences that have resulted from the unprecedented global crisis is heartening.

In this background, Expo 2020 organisers and steering committee participants are right in exploring postponement of the event by one year in view of COVID-19 impact worldwide.

Since being named the host of the prestigious World Expo 2020 Dubai, the UAE authorities have left no stone unturned and taken innumerable steps to make the international gathering extraordinary, especially since it will be the first to be staged in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, MEASA, in the 168-year history of the event.

It is appropriate that the committee has collectively agreed to explore with the BIE, the World Expo governing body, the possibility of a one-year delay to the opening of Expo 2020.

In UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, Reem Al Hashemy’s words: “The global situation is fast moving, and remains unpredictable. Over the last several weeks, we have been consulting with key UAE and international stakeholders to review the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our plans and preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai.”

“While they remain firmly committed to Expo 2020, many countries have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and they have therefore expressed a need to postpone the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai by one year, to enable them to overcome this challenge. The UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai have listened. And in the spirit of solidarity and unity, we supported the proposal to explore a one-year postponement at today’s Steering Committee meeting. We look forward to welcoming the world, which we are certain will only come out of this pressing challenge stronger, and more resilient than it ever was.”

Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions, BIE, has also welcomed Expo 2020 organiser’s approach and the Steering Committee’s recommendations.

As he put it: “The World is facing extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances and we all expect the challenges to continue in the months to come. Today’s agreement by the organiser and the members of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Steering Committee to explore options for a one-year delay to the opening of the World Expo is welcome.”

“In the spirit and in accordance with the Paris Convention of 1928, any decision on the World Expo needs to be collaborative and agreed upon collectively in a vote of the countries that form the BIE.  The UAE’s decision to support a one-year postponement demonstrates pragmatism, openness, and commitment to delivering an Expo that lives up to our shared ambition.”

The distress caused by the coronavirus has directly or indirectly affected each and every individual on the planet.

Pragmatism calls for taking the right decisions at the right time.

Concerted efforts are being taken by all affected countries to suppress the virus and to minimise the social and economic impact of the pandemic.

The UAE’s ability to transcend challenges and connect nations to the region is unparalleled.

The UAE’s noble aim is to deliver a World Expo which holds true to its founding purpose: providing an inclusive global platform to address shared challenges, and seek solutions in the spirit of international cooperation and global solidarity.


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