UN signs the participation contract for Expo Milano 2015

The United Nations organization signed the participation contract for Milan Universal Exposition earlier this afternoon at Rome’s Sheikh Zayed Centre, the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). “Today our project is making important steps ahead in both international involvement and contents,” Commissioner of the Government of Italy for Expo Milano 2015 Giuseppe Sala said, signing the document together with UN’s Commissioner-General for United Nations Participation in Expo 2015, Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General for Forestry at FAO.

Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Kanayo F. Nwanze and the Director of the Government Partnerships Division at the World Food Program (WFP), Claudia von Roehl, attended the ceremony which FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva opened.

Today’s signature boosts the cooperation between the UN and the company organising the Universal Exposition. Expo 2015 S.p.A. has been actively working with the UN-Expo 2015 Team, the team made up of representatives of FAO, IFAD and WFP to coordinate the participation of the various UN-affiliated agencies in the event.

For the first time the United Nations organization will not have its own pavilion but will have cross sections inside the exhibition site. The UN will develop specific contents for the Zero Pavilion and Thematic Areas and will organise ad hoc events, starting with the UN-Expo Days, entire days dedicated to the UN activity. In cooperation with the Countries and Civil Society Organizations, the UN can organize meetings and create thematic routes crossing the Pavilions.

"This new model of UN involvement in World Expositions is based on a strategic partnership approach between the host country Italy, Expo 2015 Milano and the UN, and is one that should be continued in future editions of Expo," said Eduardo Rojas-Briales, the UN Commissioner-General for Expo 2015 and FAO's Assistant Director-General for Forestry."

“The UN was the first international organization to have joined the Official Participants list of Expo Milano 2015 and is the first to have signed the participation contract,” Giuseppe Sala said. “I am very proud of this result and, most of all, of seeing here today, on this special occasion, representatives of the three agencies – FAO, IFAD and WFP – which strive to ensure food and nutrition worldwide and which will lead the UN’s participation in Expo Milano 2015. This cooperation is yet another proof of the global interest in the Universal Exposition’s theme. ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ encompasses a challenge that sees us all united: ensuring each and every one of us healthy, safe and sufficient food amid sustainable development.”