By Khurram Schahzad
Pakistan is among the participating countries.
The Pakistani flag flies high on the main street of Milan, near the Duomo, together with the flags of the other participating countries. It is such an important sign for the Pakistani community living in Milan and Italy
On February 8th 2012, Pakistan was the 72nd country to confirm its Official Participation at Expo Milano 2015, the next Universal Exposition to be held in Milan, Italy, from May 1st to October 31st 2015. The Pakistani flag flies high on the main street of Milan, near the Duomo, together with the flags of the other 123 countries that have confirmed their participation, and is a source of pride for the Pakistani community in Italy.
Milan was chosen by the Bureau International des Expositions in 2008 to be the hosting city of the 2015 Universal Exposition. The first Universal Exposition was held in London in 1851 and was such a success that other nations were encouraged to organize similar events, for example the Paris Expo in 1889 for which the Eiffel Tower was designed and built. The last Universal Expo was held in Shanghai in 2010.
The theme of the next Universal Exposition in Milan is “Feeding the planet, energy for life” based on the idea that everyone on the planet should have access to healthy, safe and sufficient food and water. Pakistan is one of the largest producers of rice in the world and, during a recent visit of a delegation of the Italy-Pakistan Business Forum at the Headquarters of the Milan Expo, the management showed enthusiasm and encouragement for the Pakistani participation. Expo Milano 2015 will be instrumental for the Pakistani Food and Agriculture sector and will give it the opportunity to showcase its potential to the world.
On March 5th 2013, Ms. Tehmina Janjua, the Ambassador of Pakistan in Italy, was appointed Commissioner General of Expo 2015. Expo Milano 2015 has proposed an innovative idea to Pakistan,that is that it should participate as a country in the monothematic Rice Cluster. Clusters represent an innovative solution for those countries that do not want to develop an independent self-built space at the Universal Exposition of Milan. Instead, the countries involved can develop a theme that unites them, sharing with others not only the space, but also their cultural and gastronomic traditions and technologies. If Pakistan agrees to this solution, Expo 2015 will provide a 125 square metre exhibition space free of charge inside the Rice Cluster.
Expo Milano 2015 is preparing to welcome over 20 million visitors and one billion cyber-visitors. Approximately 130 participating countries are expected, along with international organizations, the civil society and multinational corporations.
Expo 2015 will represent a communications and promotion venue for primary producing communities from all over the world, farmers, food firms, the logistics and distribution chain, the restaurant and catering industry, research centres, and any company seeking to make the most of innovation and production technologies that generate a healthy food product. In addition to this, Italy is a country that is identified with excellence in the field of food quality. This ingredient of Italian excellence stems from centuries of experience.
The Expo theme “Feeding the planet, energy for life” aims at arousing awareness of the global hunger challenges. Indeed, Italy is the headquarters of the three United Nations agencies active in the fields of food, agriculture and hunger: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The United Nations is thoroughly committed to Expo 2015 and they have declared that Expo 2015’s theme could not have come at a better time in order to help communicate the UN “Zero Hunger Challenge” and to sustain the Millennium Development Goals which all the 193 United Nations member states agreed to achieve by the year 2015. The UN, to which the nutrition subject is particular dear, will play a special role in helping countries focus on global challenges.
Expo 2015 will be an occasion for the frontiers of science and technology to exhibit and share their experiences and technologies for the preservation of biodiversity, the protection of the environment, the safeguard of food quality and the education of people to eat for health and personal well-being. Expo 2015 will provide an opportunity for identifying the best practices and securing new dependable sources of food in parts of the world afflicted by famine, where agriculture is under-developed or threatened by deforestation, desertification, or drought, or where inland and marine fish stocks are dwindling.
The organizers believe that Expo Milano 2015 will be an extraordinary universal event displaying tradition, creativity and innovation in the area of nutrition. It will bring together many themes and set them out in a new light. Expo’s mission is to propose concrete solutions to ensure the right to healthy, safe and sufficient food for the global population.
Expo 2015’s legacy will be the guidelines that will allow the world to meet the nutritional challenges of the next millennium.