Sunday, 17 January 2021

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Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life: Milan Expo opens tomorrow


30 April 2015 – Tomorrow, the Milan Expo 2015 will commence. Running until October 31st, the Expo will showcase 140 countries’ technological efforts in terms of food production, with the aim of fostering an international dialogue about global challenges involving nutrition and natural resources.

The Expo, which will feature 1.1 million square meters of exhibition area and is expected to welcome over 20 million visitors, takes place at a crucial time for the UN, with the post-2015 global Development Agenda being launched.

Themed “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, the Expo focuses on the contradictions in today’s world: on one hand, 870 million people are undernourished. On the other hand, there are many people affected by diseases related to poor nutrition or too much food.

Zero Hunger Challenge: the UN at Milan Expo

The emphasis for the UN is the challenge to build a world where everyone has access to safe, sufficient, and nutritious food, and can lead a healthy and productive life without compromising the needs of future generations. 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon states, “The UN is proud to be here to highlight the cause of food security”.

To this end, we have chosen the theme “The Zero Hunger Challenge ∙ United for a sustainable world”. The objective of our presence is to ensure that when discussing food and food production, the catastrophe of 805 million people who still suffer from hunger is not forgotten or left unmentioned.

Showcasing this, the UN will not have a single pavilion but a horizontal presence, with content spread across numerous areas of the Expo site. 

Eighteen giant spoon installations (see picture) comprise the UN presence, representing the five pillars of the Zero Hunger Challenge, women’s empowerment and gender equality and other UN content related to Expo’s thematic areas.

What’s ahead

In addition, for the UN system as a whole, three longstanding international days will be the basis for a range of activities during Expo 2015. These include: World Environment Day (5 June), World Humanitarian Day (19 August and World Food Day (16 October).

Another Expo 2015 initiative with strong links to the UN system is an international competition for best sustainable development practices in food security.

The organizers issued a call for submissions to the competition last year, and a submission on the System for Rice Intensification (SRI) – which aims to increase the productivity of irrigated rice by changes in plant, soil, water and nutrient management – has been selected as one of 18 winning entries.

IFAD and its partners have promoted SRI in Madagascar and other countries for almost two decades, with impressive results. A photo installation in the exposition’s Pavilion Zero will showcase their work.

More information

To keep abreast of the UN’s presence at the Milan Expo, follow the dedicated Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Will you be visiting the Expo? From tomorrow, you will be able to download “Get to Zero”– the UN’s game for Expo Milano 2015 – for free, and help us to get the number of hungry people in the world to zero.


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