Expo 2020: Exposition may be postponed by one year

Many countries have requested delay until 2021. Decision soon.

(ANSA) - Rome, March 31 - The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) has been asked to explore the idea of postponing the opening of the Universal Exhibition by 12 months, according to a statement.
    This decision was taken Monday during a teleconference between the 32 members of the Expo 2020 Steering Committee - including the Commissioner for Italy's participation, Paolo Glisenti - the Secretary-General of the BIE and the Expo 2020 organisers. The meeting was attended by Reem Al-Hashimy, the Minister of State for International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates and Director General of Expo Dubai 2020.
    "Many countries have been hit considerably by COVID-19 and have therefore expressed the need to postpone by one year the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai to enable them to overcome the current situation," said Reem Al-Hashimy. "The UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai heard their requests and, during the meeting of the Steering Committee, welcomed with a spirit of solidarity the proposal to explore the one-year postponement. "We look forward to welcoming the entire world, which we are certain will emerge from this emergency stronger than ever".
    "We are at the centre of a global crisis and, in this phase, the possibility of the Expo is an opportunity for strengthening relations and international cooperation more than ever," said Glisenti. "Italy will continue to prepare its participation in the Universal Exhibition together with all the institutions, partners and sponsors, to turn this event into an important opportunity for relaunching Italy's productive system and to attract investments and tourism flows to the country. From this perspective, the Expo will play a decisive role in the effort to support businesses during the recovery of the economic and productive activities in the wake of the health emergency".
    The procedure now entails that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates submits to the BIE a formal proposal with the new dates of the Exhibition and that two-thirds of the 160 member states of the BIE vote in favour of the postponement.
    During Monday's meeting it was also decided to recommend all participating countries to complete the works for the construction of their pavilions and put these in safe conditions, where possible within the relevant deadlines.
   

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