165th General Assembly of the BIE

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) held its 165th General Assembly in Paris on 28 May 2019. Delegates representing the 170 Member States of the BIE attended the meeting, which notably featured reports by Organisers of ongoing and upcoming Expos.

The first part of the meeting included reports by the Presidents of the Administration and Budget Committee, the Executive Committee, the Rules Committee, and by the Vice-President of the Information and Communication Committee. Member States were also given an update from the World Expo Museum in Shanghai, which after two years of opening has already welcomed 900,000 visitors.

World Expos

The Organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai presented Member States with a progress report, delivered by Manal AlBayat, Chief Community Engagement Officer of Expo 2020 Dubai. Ms AlBayat gave an overview of the progress of construction on the site – with some parts already completed – and discussed the status of the pavilions of the 192 countries participating in the Expo. Delegates were also informed of Expo 2020’s promotional and engagement activities, including the Expo’s school programme, the launch of the global “Welcome the Future” campaign as well as a collaboration with footballer Lionel Messi.

The General Assembly was also the opportunity for the host country of the next World Expo – Japan - to present to Member States for the first time since Member States elected it as host during the previous General Assembly. Addressing delegates, Sadayuki Sakakibara, Ambassador for the Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, and Junichiro Kuroda, Deputy Director-General for World Expo 2025 of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, explained the measures taken by the Government of Japan in establishing an organising body and in preparing the Registration Dossier, which is set to be submitted to the BIE later in 2019.

Specialised Expos

Member States were given an update on the progress of Specialised Expo 2023 Buenos Aires, the first progress report since Argentina submitted its Recognition Dossier to the BIE Secretariat in January 2019. Gabriela Ricardes of the Ministry of Public Media and Contents System of Argentina indicated that Expo 2023 is taking on board the considerations of the BIE and Member States regarding the Dossier. She also announced that the Expo Organiser has recently launched a series of international ideas contests to gather proposals for the Expo’s pavilions, public spaces and contents.

Horticultural Expos

Officials from Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing presented the General Assembly with an overview of the event’s first weeks, during which time it has welcomed over 1 million visitors. Commissioner General Chen Zhou praised the “rich content” of the Expo and announced that 300 events have already taken place, out of a total of 2,500 activities set to be held during the course of the Expo. Liu Dongsheng, Vice Administrator of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, and Peng Hongming, Deputy Secretary General of the China Flower Association, also addressed the General Assembly, underlining the continuing efforts to promote the Expo as well as the development of the theme in supporting green development in China and further afield.

Following the recognition of Horticultural Expo 2021 Doha during the 164th General Assembly, Jamal Al Kaabi of Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment presented Member States with the progress of the Expo and revealed the Expo site, located in Al Bidda park, close to the centre of Doha. Fayqa Ashkanani emphasised the relevance of the theme, “Green Desert, Better Environment”, indicating that the Expo will raise awareness about desertification and showcase existing solutions to transform arid landscapes into fertile environments.

The General Assembly also heard about preparations for the following Horticultural Expo, Floriade Expo 2022 Amsterdam-Almere. Newly appointed Floriade Chief Executive Officer Peter Verdaasdonk informed Member States of the different layers of preparation for the Expo, adding that three countries have already confirmed their participation in the event. He announced that the second phase of planting on the site is complete as well as major infrastructure projects, and that plans are now underway to connect the site with a cable car.

Triennale di Milano

Open to the public since 1 March, the XXII Triennale di Milano was also presented to Member States, who were given an overview of the event’s opening and first months by Head of Program Laura Agnesi. Artistic Director Lorenza Baroncelli also addressed delegates, stating that the 22nd edition of the Triennale di Milano has received 170,000 visits in its first three months and that the exhibition is accompanied by a lively events programme including forums, national days, lectures and meetings.

More news to follow on all presentations made at the 165th General Assembly.