UN-HABITAT terms Shanghai World Expo as "fantastic opportunity"

15:27, March 23, 2010      

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The official of the UN Human Settlement Program (UN-HABITAT) has said the upcoming Shanghai World Expo will be a "fantastic opportunity" for the UN to work as one organization, and it will promote international cooperation as well.

"For the UN, the Expo is a fantastic opportunity to work as one organization," said Jeanette Elsworth, public information officer for UN-HABITAT, when referring to the theme of the UN Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, "One Earth, One UN".

She told Xinhua in an exclusive interview recently that over 40 UN agencies and partner organizations will exhibit their work in the UN Pavilion, showcasing that each does on urban issues and how they work together on related issues.

"The benefit for the international community is greater cooperation moving into the future and a raised awareness of the work that the UN, and other organizations do," said Elsworth.

She noted, "This is the first time that the World Expo will be held in a developing country. This shows the international community that times are changing."

"The international community will be able to see the best of what's on offer from all around the world, both in developed and developing countries," Elsworth added.

The public information officer believed that the Shanghai World Expo would be a very exciting event as 70 million people are expected to visit it in six months. "It is an opportunity for different countries, companies and organizations to showcase the very best of what they do around the world," she added.

Elsworth also said this is the first time that the World Expo has an urban theme, "Better City, Better Life".

"This recognizes the fact that more than half of our population now lives in cities, and this is growing daily. Urbanization provides numerous opportunities but it also poses various problems, many of which are linked to the provision of services and the sustainable use of our environment into the future," she pointed out.

Elsworth stressed the World Expo will provide people with the opportunity to reflect on this and for world leaders to come together to debate how best to tackle these issues so that everyone can benefit from urban life.

The official said as the UN agency on urban issues, the UN- HABITAT welcomes the theme of the Shanghai World Expo as an overdue recognition of the importance of urbanization to both human development and to the environment.

"The organization, scale and technology of the Expo is very impressive. This year, there will be a 'virtual expo' online so that people who aren't able to travel to Shanghai can also share the wealth of the experience and knowledge on display. It is great that China is leading the way in technology such as this which will hopefully make the Expo very successful," she said.

The Shanghai World Expo is an international exposition that will take place from May 1 to October 31 this year and cover a surface of more than 5 square km in Shanghai, under its main theme of "Better City, Better Life".

It is expected to attract 70 million people from the public and private sectors, civil society, international organizations and others.

Source: Xinhua
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