By Michel Haber
Paris, France: The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) held its 170th General Assembly in Paris on 20-21 June 2022, with delegates from the 170 member states attending in person for the first time since 2019. The assembly included the final report of Expo 2020 Dubai, updates on ongoing and upcoming Expos, and presentations from candidates for the Specialised Expo 2027/28 and World Expo 2030.
Representatives from the Administration and Budget Committee, the Executive Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Information and Communication Committee provided updates and reports, marking the start of the assembly.
The Expo 2020 Dubai delegation led by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum presented its final report. The World Expo, which received 24.1 million visits, was declared a success by H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, emphasizing its demonstration of the “value of true international cooperation”.
Looking towards the future, organizers of the Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, set to open in under three years, revealed that 120 countries and 7 international organizations have already confirmed their participation. The Commissioner General of the Expo, Ambassador Koji Haneda, also shared details about the expo’s content, themes, and a reveal of the Expo’s official character.
In the race for World Expo 2030, presentations were made by Italy, Saudi Arabia, and the Republic of Korea, outlining their respective visions. Italy proposed a World Expo in Rome under the theme “People and Territories: Urban Regeneration, Inclusion and Innovation.” Saudi Arabia proposed a World Expo in Riyadh themed “The Era of Change: Leading the Planet to a Foresighted Tomorrow.” The Republic of Korea proposed organizing the World Expo 2030 in Busan under the theme “Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future.”
Five countries – Thailand, Serbia, Spain, Argentina, and the United States – presented their projects for hosting the Specialised Expo in either 2027 or 2028.
For Horticultural Expos, Floriade Expo 2022 Amsterdam-Almere reported on its progress since its opening on 14 April. Member States were also updated on the status of the upcoming Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha Qatar. Looking further ahead, Japan revealed its application to host Horticultural Expo 2027 in Yokohama under the theme “Scenery of the Future for Happiness.”
The General Assembly also received a preview of the 23rd International Exhibition of Triennale Milano opening on 15 July, themed “Unknown Unknowns. An Introduction to Mysteries”.
The 170th General Assembly demonstrated the BIE’s commitment to the power of global expositions as platforms for international cooperation, showcasing innovation, and promoting global issues and shared values.