Organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai give backing to postponement

In a statement, Expo chiefs described the global coronavirus health pandemic as "fast moving and unpredictable".

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Expo 2020 dubai, Covid19, Coronavirus

Organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai have given their backing to a one-year postponement of the global event. 

In a statement, Expo chiefs described the global coronavirus health pandemic as "fast moving and unpredictable", and said they had a duty to act in the best interest of those taking part.  

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"Over the last several weeks, we have been working hard, both internally and in consultation with key UAE and international stakeholders, to review the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our plans and preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai.

"These are extraordinary times and we, in common with our other stakeholders, expect to experience many challenges over the months to come.

"We remain firm in our collective aim to deliver an Expo that is true to its time and to our shared, urgent priorities. But it is clear that this is not the right time.

"While everyone involved in Expo 2020 Dubai remains firmly committed, many countries have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and they have expressed a need to postpone Expo’s opening by one year, while they focus on overcoming this challenge.

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"In a spirit of solidarity and unity, we support the proposal to explore a one-year postponement made by the Steering Committee meeting. We will follow the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) processes on making the decision to delay Expo 2020 Dubai. The BIE will now work with its Member States and Expo 2020 Dubai to establish a change in dates."

A final decision on postponement can only be made by the BIE's General Assembly. Article 28 of the BIE Convention stipulates that a change of dates requires a two-thirds majority vote from the BIE Member States.

The statement added: "We have always aimed to host a World Expo that inspires people by showcasing the best examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation from around the world. We believe that now, more than ever, humanity needs to come together to remember what unites us.

"That remains the shared ambition of all of us involved in this Expo. This is not a cancellation, but we must also play our part in keeping everybody involved healthy and well."

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