Expo 2020 participants, partners react to year-long postponement
“Our path hasn’t changed course; it’s just a bit longer. The World Expo will still be amazing and bring out the best in humanity”
Expo 2020 Dubai has officially revealed a year-long postponement to the World Expo, which will now run from 1 October, 2021 to 31 March, 2022, and a number of participants what is touted as “the world’s greatest show” have shared their reactions to the announcement.
The change in dates were announced after a two-thirds majority of the Bureau International des Expositions’ (BIE) member states voted in favour of postponing the World Expo by a year. While the vote remains open until 29 May, the two-thirds threshold was surpassed within a week of voting opening on 24 April.
Reacting to the postponement decision, the commissioner-general for the France Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, Erik Linquier, said: “I recognise this responsible decision, which is the most suitable given the current international health crisis and demonstrates a collective will to keep everyone safe and healthy.”
Linquier added: “Through COFREX’s actions and with the support from our sponsors, France’s participation will be even more impactful. This extra year will give us the opportunity to further focus on the program and experience we want to create for our visitors on the France Pavilion. It is also our responsibility to contribute to and support post-crisis efforts to reboot the French economy.”
The commissioner-general of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai, Severi Keinälä said: “Finland is fully committed to participating in and contributing to a successful Expo 2020 Dubai. We must all work united to overcome the challenges of an imminent one-year postponement and to aim for the world’s greatest show next year.”
Paolo Glisenti, the commissioner general of Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Supporting the 12-month postponement’s decision of the opening of Expo, Italy is looking forward to working together with the Expo organizers and international participants in order to make it an even more successful event than imagined so far.”
With a BIE General Assembly impossible to stage due to COVID-19 restrictions, the BIE Member States voted remotely on the BIE Executive Committee’s recommendation for a delay as proposed by the UAE Government at the beginning of April and recommended by the BIE Executive Committee on April 21.
The commissioner-general of the Brazil Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, Sérgio Segóvia, said: “Our path hasn’t changed course; it is just a bit longer. The World Expo in Dubai will still be an amazing event that brings out the best of our humanity, and Brazil whole heartedly supports the decision to seek a postponement until 2021.”
Meanwhile, the commissioner-general of Egypt at Expo 2020 Dubai, Dr. Ahmed Maghawry Diab, said: “Egypt appreciates the efforts undertaken by the UAE Government and the BIE to convene Expo 2020 Dubai. Egypt is committed to a successful event as much as it is committed to all actions taken or to be agreed upon to ensure the safety of all international and domestic visitors.”
The ambassador of Chile to the UAE, and deputy commissioner general of Chile at the World Expo, HE Jorge Daccarett, said: “Chile supports the government of the UAE in its decision to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai; a decision that reflects the wise leadership of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, their generosity and their empathy for our nations in these difficult times.”
Commenting on the change in dates, Armenia’s Minister of Economy and the commissioner-general of Armenia at Expo 2020 Dubai, Tigran Khachatryan, said: “Armenia stands by the community of participating countries and supports the postponement of the Expo 2020 by one year. Together with the organizers and other participants we are looking forward to overcoming this crisis and continue the world’s greatest show in 2021.”