166th General Assembly of the BIE

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) held its 166th General Assembly in Paris on 27 November 2019. Delegates representing the 170 Member States of the BIE attended the meeting, which included the reports of recently closed Expos, presentations of upcoming Expos, elections to the presidency of the BIE and the nomination of a new Secretary General.

Presidency of the 166th General Assembly of the BIE

World Expos

The Organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai presented Member States with a progress report, delivered by Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director of the Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau. Mr. Al-Ali presented an overview of the advanced status of preparations for the next World Expo, indicating that all Expo 2020-built infrastructure is complete, and offering a glimpse of some of the content visitors can expect. He also underlined the importance of the upcoming International Participants’ Meeting, taking place in Dubai on 29-30 November.

Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director of the Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, addresses the 166th General Assembly of the BIE

The General Assembly also heard from Organisers of the following World Expo – Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai – about progress being made, one year after Japan was elected host country. Delegates were informed about Expo 2025’s governance structure as well as the advancement of its Registration Dossier by Expo 2025 Ambassador Sadayuki Sakikbara and the Secretary General of the Japan Association for Expo 2025, Hiroyuki Ishige.

Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai Ambassador Sadayuki Sakikbara addresses the 166th General Assembly of the BIE

Specialised Expos

Member States were given an update on the progress of Specialised Expo 2023 Buenos Aires by the Minister of Public Media and Contents System, Hernán Lombardi, the Ambassador of Argentina to France, Mario Veron Guerra, and Public Media and Contents System Secretary Gabriela Ricardes. The delegation notably presented Member States with the winner of the Expo’s visual identity contest as well as the projects selected following a contest to design the Expo site’s major pavilions.

Minister of Public Media and Contents System Hernán Lombardi addresses the 166th General Assembly of the BIE

Horticultural Expos

Following the closing of Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing in September, Expo representatives presented the General Assembly with a final report of the event, which welcomed 9.34 million visitors during its 162-day run. CCPIT Vice Chairman Zhang Shenfeng, Expo 2019 Executive Deputy Director General Zhou Jianping and China Flower Association Deputy Secretary General Peng Hongming underlined the success of Expo 2019 and its lasting impact on China and the world.

CCPIT Vice Chairman Zhang Shenfeng addresses the 166th General Assembly of the BIE

Having received the BIE flag during the Expo 2019 Beijing closing ceremony, Organisers of the next Horticultural Expo, Expo 2021 Doha, presented an overview of the progress being made. Expo 2021 Secretary General Mohammed Ali Al Khoori and Expo Affairs Expert at Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Fayqa Ashkanani, expanded on the Expo’s theme and subthemes and announced that invitations to participate are now being sent to countries through diplomatic channels.

Expo 2021 Doha Secretary General Mohammed Ali Al Khoori addresses the 166th General Assembly of the BIE

The General Assembly also heard about preparations for the following Horticultural Expo, Floriade Expo 2022 Amsterdam-Almere. Agricultural Counsellor at the Netherlands’ Embassy in France, Cindy Heijdra and Chief Operations Officer for the Expo, Sven Stimac, informed delegates about the content of the Expo and the growing numbers of international participants.

Agricultural Counsellor at The Netherlands’ Embassy in France, Cindy Heijdra, addresses the 166th General Assembly

Triennale di Milano

Following the closing of the XXII Triennale di Milano, themed “Broken Nature”, on 1 September, representatives of Triennale Milano Laura Agnesi and Marco Sammicheli presented the General Assembly with a final report of the event, which gathered over 280,000 visitors. Member States were also informed about the launch of the reflection process to determine the theme of the 23rd edition of the Triennale, which is set to take place in 2022.

Triennale Milano International Exhibition Manager Laura Agnesi addresses the 166th General Assembly of the BIE

BIE

The 166th General Assembly was also the occasion for Member States to nominate a new Secretary General, and to elect a new President of the General Assembly as well as the four Presidents of the Committees, and the members of the Committees.

The reports of the four BIE Committees were presented to Delegates. During the report of the Administration and Budget Committee, Member States approved the nomination of Dimitri Kerkentzes as Secretary General of the Organisation. On 1 January 2020, Mr. Kerkentzes will succeed Vicente G. Loscertales, who has served as Secretary General since 1993.

Dimitri Kerkentzes (left) and Vicente G. Loscertales (right)

Elections were held to the Presidency of the General Assembly of the BIE, and to determine the composition of each of the BIE’s four Committees, as well as their respective Presidents. Jai-chul Choi (Republic of Korea) was elected President of the General Assembly for a two-year term, succeeding Steen Christensen (Denmark) who has held the position since 2015. Alain Berger (France) was elected President of the Executive Committee, Moin-Ud-Din Ahmad Wani (Pakistan) was elected President of the Rules Committee, Patrick Specht (Germany) was elected President of the Administration and Budget Committee, and Murager Sauranbayev (Kazakhstan) was elected President of the Information and Communication Committee. The full list of the members of each Committee can be accessed here.

More news to follow on all presentations made at the 166th General Assembly.