Time for action: Expo 2020 will bring together youth, change makers and governments to tackle major global issues

  • By ; Wasem Emam


    ·        HE Reem: ‘We must collaborate and commit to take action to resolve global issues’

    ·        World’s Greatest Showcase to bring the world together to advance climate action

    ·        Events to inspire and enable everyone, including youth, to make a difference


    CAIRO, 19 January 2020 – The world’s most pressing challenges, including climate change, poverty, inequality and environmental degradation, will be addressed by Expo 2020 Dubai through events that aim to bring the world together in a spirit of optimism for our future.


    With hundreds of participants and millions of visitors, Expo 2020 will be The World’s Greatest Showcase of human brilliance and achievement, and wants to inspire ordinary people – especially the region’s large youth population – to believe in our ability to solve these major issues.


    Expo 2020 programming dedicated to addressing these issues was unveiled in a keynote speech by Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau and Chair of the UAE National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, at the fifth annual Sustainable Development Goals in Action Forum, held in Abu Dhabi on 16 January 2020.


    Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is our chance to bring the world together in a spirit of optimism for the future. Globally, we face a number of major challenges. We must resolve them by coming together to share ideas and commit to take action.


    “Our programming at Expo 2020 aims to illuminate the role of individuals, governments, companies and organisations to collectively work to solve some of our biggest challenges. We are sharing our ambition and optimism with the world, and are calling for people to come together to discuss and address global issues, such as sustainability and climate change.”


    Specially-designed events will align with nine thematic weeks that will be part of the Expo, aimed at encouraging international cooperation on topics covering Climate, Urban Development and Cities, Travel and Exploration, the Sustainable Development Goals, Health and Wellness, Innovation, Agriculture and Livelihood Development, Women and Girls, and Water.


    Dedicated events including seminars, workshops and talks, will be hosted during the six months of Expo 2020 to celebrate achievements and amplify the message of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – a set of global objectives to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and address climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind – and mark the United Nations Decade of Delivery, a final active push to achieve the 2030 Agenda.


    The programming also includes a climate change-focused event that will bring together a grass-roots assembly of influencers and young change makers to further advance the conversation, and encourage action on climate and sustainability issues that are leading to an increase in natural catastrophes, such as the Australian bush fires.


    Expo 2020 believes addressing climate change and sustainability issues requires a bottom-up approach that capitalises on the energy, expertise, and ambitions of the general public, especially youth, from around the world. Participants will be encouraged to share their message, solutions and expertise in a bid to inspire change at both an individual and global level.


    The event will take place during Expo 2020’s Climate Week, 1-7 November 2020, and aims to have a global impact beyond 2021, forming part of Expo 2020’s legacy. It will be held immediately before the next UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26, expected 9-19 November 2020), with the aim of informing and inspiring COP 26 policy makers with their thoughts and ideas.


    Other dedicated events will also bring together Expo 2020’s diverse global stakeholders, including countries, non-profits, international organisations, corporates, academic institutions and multilaterals, to advance international cooperation.


    This programming builds on Expo 2020’s existing efforts in bringing the world together to facilitate action towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


    Expo 2020’s Global Best Practice Programme spotlights tangible solutions that can be replicated, adapted and scaled for greater global impact. The programme will showcase 25 development projects providing tangible solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges to millions of visitors at Expo 2020.


    Expo Live, Expo 2020’s USD 100 million global innovation and partnership programme, already supports 120 Global Innovators from 65 countries whose solutions are helping to improve people’s lives, preserve the planet, or both.


    Many of the projects supported by Expo 2020 are already making a positive impact. For example, Land Life Company, which is both an Expo Live Global Innovator and part of the Global Best Practice Programme, and has a mission to help reforest degraded land, has already planted close to one million trees in 13 countries and is planning to plant one million more in the UAE before Expo 2020 opens.

    Meanwhile, the Expo 2020 World Majlis series, including the most recent session held on 12 January to address sustainability, actively convenes leaders, visionaries, change-makers and youth to generate conversation on some of the world’s most important topics.


    Thousands of respondents in the Global Optimism Outlook Survey, commissioned by Expo 2020 Dubai and conducted by YouGov in mid-2019, said the health of the planet significantly outweighed the desire for improved technologies, connectivity speeds, and robotics. Open dialogue, communication and collaboration between individuals and communities were also cited as priorities for the future. 


    With more than 200 participants and 25 million expected visits, Expo 2020 Dubai will be the largest event ever held in the Arab region. Running for six months, from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, it will be the greatest show of human brilliance, ingenuity and innovation ever seen.


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