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COVID-19 precaution: Dubai seeks Expo 2020 delay by one year

 

Expo 2020 organisers explore postponement of the event by one year in view of COVID-19

 

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Business
 
March 31, 2020
 
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COVID-19 precaution: Dubai seeks Expo 2020 delay by one year
 

Expo 2020 Dubai has convened a second virtual meeting of its Steering Committee, with representatives of the countries taking part in the event, as part of ongoing consultations that the impact of coronavirus, COVID-19, will have on global preparations of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Participating countries briefed the Steering Committee on the global precautionary measures that have to be taken to ensure the health and safety of all those involved in the preparation of this mega event.

The Steering Committee reviewed with grave concern the major impact that the spread of COVID-19 is having on global public, social, and economic health. The members reaffirmed their solidarity with the international community as it navigates through the ramifications that have resulted from this unprecedented global crisis.

Expo 2020 Organisers reaffirmed the United Arab Emirates commitment to working hand-in-hand with its international partners to deliver a World Expo which holds true to its founding purpose: providing an inclusive global platform to address shared challenges, and seek solutions in the spirit of international cooperation and global solidarity. The global platform that Expo 2020 will provide will be needed more than ever.

The Committee collectively agreed to explore with the BIE, the World Expo governing body, the possibility of a one year delay to the opening of Expo 2020. The Bureau International des Expositions, BIE, will now work with its Member States and Expo 2020 Dubai organisers to establish a change in dates. A final decision on postponement can only be made by the BIE's Executive Committee and the General Assembly. Article 28 of the BIE Convention stipulates that, a change of dates requires a two-thirds majority vote from Member States of the Organisation.

Elaborating on the decision, Reem Al Hashemy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai said, “The global situation is fast moving, and remains unpredictable. Over the last several weeks, we have been consulting with key UAE and international stakeholders to review the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our plans and preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai.

While they remain firmly committed to Expo 2020, many countries have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and they have therefore expressed a need to postpone the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai by one year, to enable them to overcome this challenge. The UAE and Expo 2020 Dubai have listened. And in the spirit of solidarity and unity, we supported the proposal to explore a one year postponement at today's Steering Committee meeting. We look forward to welcoming the world, which we are certain will only come out of this pressing challenge stronger, and more resilient than it ever was.”

"We will follow due BIE processes on making the decision to delay Expo 2020. We remain firm in our collective commitment to deliver an Expo that's true to its time and to our shared, urgent priorities. We believe that in light of this global challenge, humanity needs to come together to remember what unites us. That remains the collective ambition of all those involved in this Expo," she added.

Expo 2020 Dubai organisers will continue to assess the situation and consult closely with all stakeholders in Dubai, the UAE and internationally.