The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) held its 174th General Assembly on 18 June 2024 via videoconference. Delegates representing the 184 Member States of the BIE attended the online meeting, which included reports on past and upcoming Expos.

The first part of the session featured reports from the meetings of the four committees of the BIE; the Administration and Budget Committee, the Executive Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Information and Communication Committee.

World Expos

A progress report of World Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai was delivered to Delegates, with just under 300 days until its opening. The Commissioner-General of the Expo, Ambassador Koji Haneda, informed Delegates that preparations are “progressing steadily” on the Expo site, adding that next week’s International Participants Meeting, to be held in Nara Prefecture, will allow countries to accelerate their readiness. The General Assembly was told about the status of country pavilions following a series of groundbreaking ceremonies, and was provided with an update on the Virtual Expo, which will allow everyone to experience the pavilions. Hiroyuki Ishige, Secretary General of the Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition, indicated that press and public tours are being organised to the Grand Ring, which have proved very successful, and noted that engagement is high, with the number of volunteers having been increased to 30,000 after the Organiser received an unprecedented number of applications.

 

Ambassador Koji Haneda, Commissioner-General of Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, addressing the 174th General Assembly of the BIE

For World Expo 2030, a delegation representing Expo 2030 Riyadh delivered its first presentation to the BIE General Assembly since Saudi Arabia was elected host country during the previous session. Eng. Abdulaziz Alghannam, Director General of Riyadh Expo Office at the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC), stated that Saudi Arabia has been working every day since the election to realise the Expo 2030 Riyadh vision, and that it will be a World Expo “built by the world, for the world”. Member States were informed by Mazen Alfuraih, Senior Director, Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Ghida Alshibl, Head of Expo Project Management, RCRC about the plans to turn the Expo project into a reality. Initiatives to engage international participants in this process, such as the Participant Lab and the Expo Collaborative Change Corner (Expo 3C) were also presented to Delegates.

Eng. Abdulaziz Alghannam, Director General of Riyadh Expo Office at the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC), addressing the 174th General Assembly of the BIE

Specialised Expos

Representing Specialised Expo 2027 Belgrade, the CEO of the organising entity Dušan Borovčanin presented an overview of the progress made in the past year since Serbia was elected host country. He underlined the opportunity that the Expo presents not only for Serbia but for the Western Balkans region, adding that the next Specialised Expo aims to contribute towards humanity as a whole. Following the submission of the Recognition Dossier to the BIE in February 2024, the Expo Organiser continues to work closely with the BIE and Member States with the aim of achieving formal Recognition before the end of the year. Mr. Borovčanin concluded with a focus on the planned tangible and intangible legacy of Expo 2027 Belgrade, which will include a national centre for the promotion of sport, a centre for musical experimentation and an incubator for innovation and creativity.

Dušan Borovčanin, CEO of the Expo 2027 Belgrade organising entity addressing the 174th General Assembly of the BIE

Horticultural Expos

With Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha having closed its gates on 28 March 2024, Member States were presented with a final report of the event, which received over 4.2 million visits. Qatar’s Ambassador to France, H.E. Sheikh Ali Bin Jassim Al Thani expressed his gratitude to the BIE and its Member States for their contribution to Expo 2023 Doha, adding that the event “brought together nations, cultures and ideas, fostering a spirit of unity and collaboration that transcends borders”. The Secretary General of Expo 2023 Doha, Dr. Fayqa Ashkanani, offered Delegates an overview of the Expo’s high points, such as Qatar National Day, AgriteQ, National Day celebrations, the Official Awards and the closing ceremony. She indicated that with 77 international participants as well as dozens of national and private sector partners, the first Horticultural Expo in the Middle East saw over 7,000 theme-related activations during the course of its 179 days.

Dr. Fayqa Ashkanani, Secretary General of Expo 2023 Doha, addressing the 174th General Assembly of the BIE

Regarding the next Horticultural Expo, Member States were given an update on the preparations for Expo 2027 Yokohama, which will mark its 1,000-day countdown on 22 June. Having been appointed Commissioner-General in April 2024, Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa indicated that the Government of Japan is engaged in efforts to secure significant international participation in Expo 2027 Yokohama, which is themed “Scenery of the Future for Happiness”. The General Assembly was given an update of Expo preparations, including the planning of the Expo site’s five villages that will be developed in coordination with Expo participants. In terms of momentum-building activities, the Expo Organiser’s Executive Advisor, Saito Jun, indicated that it is currently in the raising awareness phase, and that this is accompanied by the organisation of outreach events such as the Green x Expo 2027 Co-Creation Forum in Tokyo, school projects and special promotional exhibits.

Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa, Commissioner of Expo 2027 Yokohama addressing the 174th General Assembly of the BIE

International Exhibition of Triennale Milano

A delegation from Triennale Milano presented an update on the 24th Triennale Milano International Exhibition, which will take place between May and November 2025 under the theme “Inequalities”. The Director General of Triennale Milano, Carla Morogallo, underlined the Exhibition’s overarching aim of showcasing projects and best practices that can be used to address inequalities. The President of Triennale Milano and Commissioner of the 24th International Exhibition, Stefano Boeri told the General Assembly that the content of the exhibitions will be co-created with academic partners from Bocconi University and Politecnico di Milano, and dialogue is ongoing with dozens of countries to shape the contents of the International Exhibition, with a focus on showcasing examples from specific cities. He noted that spatial and sensorial tools will make the Exhibition as accessible as possible, adding that visitors will be presented with a multidisciplinary perspective of “Inequalities” centered around maps, stories and projects.

Stefano Boeri, President of Triennale Milano and Commissioner of the 24th International Exhibition, addressing the 174th General Assembly of the BIE