163rd session of Bureau International des Expositions General Assembly features presentation of Baku's bid to host World Expo 2025

Paris, June 14, AZERTAC

The 163rd session of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) General Assembly in Paris has featured a presentation by Baku bidding to host World Expo 2025.

The event heard presentations from members of the Azerbaijani delegation led by Prime Minister Novruz Mammadov.

The event started with Prime Minister Novruz Mammadov’s speech. The Prime Minister hailed the Azerbaijani government’s and society’s support for Baku Expo 2025.

“World Expos are a unique showcase for diversity, based on equality and respect. They offer the international community a valuable opportunity to meet for international cooperation. Let me assure you that the Republic of Azerbaijan shares the BIE’s values and vision. Now we stand ready to write history together. For Azerbaijan. For World Expo. For the BIE. My guarantee is that Azerbaijan will be the greatest possible partner for the BIE. This is a responsibility we don’t take lightly. Hosting a World Expo for our nation is a national priority. Expo 2025 Baku enjoys the full backing of the Government of Azerbaijan, and support from all sections of society. For our nation, hosting Expo will be the realisation of our potential. For centuries our country has been at the crossroads of continents and civilizations. It is a commercial, political and cultural bridge between East and West, North and South. For two thousand years, the ancient Silk Road passed through modern-day Azerbaijan. Like World Expos, the country has contributed to shaping history, culture and tolerance. Different ethnic groups and religions have been coexisting in Azerbaijan for centuries in an atmosphere of peace, harmony and mutual respect. We are a secular, multicultural and multi-faith society. And we are proud of it. Today Azerbaijan is recognised as one of the world’s centres of inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue. We create international platforms to promote better understanding between people of different cultures and religions that allow us to address some of the problems faced by the world. They include the biennial Baku International Humanitarian Forum; and the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, supported by the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. Expo Baku is fully aligned with our national strategy to invest in developing human capital as the central driver of national growth,” PM Mammadov said.

“Since independence in 1991, Azerbaijan has been on an extraordinary journey. Inclusive and sustainable growth has changed the shape and direction of our country. Hosting Expo will allow us to showcase this exceptional progress to the world. The decision to propose the theme ‘Developing human capital, building a better future’ is based on our experience and on the measures we have implemented to evolve and grow. Our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. In 2015, Azerbaijan was honoured with the South-South Award for successful implementation of the UN Millennium Development Goals, including improvement of the welfare of the population. Throughout Azerbaijan’s history, the flow of travellers along the Silk Road has earned the country its unique reputation as a land known for its unparalleled level of tolerance, rich culture and genuine creativity. If our bid is successful, we will be the first city in the whole region of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Caspian to host a World Expo. Expo in Baku will offer the BIE a chance to engage with new audiences in a new market. It will offer the chance to write new history, in a new region, in a new era. And it will offer the people of Azerbaijan the chance to show that we can be one of the best possible partners for the BIE. Baku stands proudly as a symbol of all that our nation offers the world. The silhouette of the city extends over seas and civilisations. Baku is a crossroads in both place and time… Where East meets West. Where the past meets the future. And where a new story is ready to be written. On a new stage and in a new market. In the biggest, fastest-growing city in the Caucasus region. Ladies and gentlemen, our ambition to host World Expo in Baku comes from the heart. Our proposed theme is of urgent and truly global importance. We’re ready to allocate all necessary funds for the site’s construction and operation, and we’re willing to comply with the terms of all BIE contracts and regulations. It is our belief that Baku is the right city, at the right time. The time for Baku is now,” he added.

Azerbaijan’s Minister of Finance Samir Sharifov highligthed the conditions created for the convenience of the accredited participants of the Expo, ASAN Viza regime, and the major international events hosted by Azerbaijan.

Member of the working group on Baku’s bid for World Expo 2025 Maryam Gafarzade gave detailed information about the theme chosen by Azerbaijan for the World Expo.

“Developing human capital, building a better future” is our theme dedicated to the most precious assets to preserve and invest in… human beings themselves. We want to propose an architecture of meaning that will help demonstrate human capital as a universal system that applies to people everywhere – but is different, dependent on the development of their countries. We’ve developed three sub-themes that redefine the central theme in an original and stimulating way: ‘Talent: the future of education’, ‘Vitality: the future of health’ and ‘Achievement: the future of work’. As seen here on screen, we have placed these sub-themes in a ‘reference grid’ of concentric circles. The individual is always at the centre, around which everything else revolves,” she said.

In his remarks, Assistant to the First Vice-President of Azerbaijan, head of the Azerbaijani Delegation to the Bureau International des Expositions Elchin Amirbayov shared the plans for the Expo 2025 Baku site and hailed the importance of confidence in Azerbaijan. “The land, owned by the Government of Azerbaijan, is about 20 kilometres east of the city, with a plot size of 295 hectares. It’s less than 30 minutes’ drive from central Baku and just 10 minutes from the international airport. The Expo site will offer an authentic and natural visitor experience, in a unique and beautiful setting. For every participating nation, of every size and budget, we’ll provide a solution for their needs and, just as importantly, for visitors’ expectations. The Expo Village is an integral part of the plan, designed to provide world-class accommodation and meet the needs of participants.

For Azerbaijan, for the Caucasus region and for all countries across the globe, Expo Baku is a chance to stand tall and proud on the world stage with a clear confident voice and a message that reflects the very essence of humanity. Building on our relationship with the BIE, and our successful participation at six previous Expos, I hope you feel that a World Expo hosted in Baku will be a new, exciting and engaging experience for all participants and visitors. Above all, Baku will provide a flawless festival of mind and body for everyone,” he said.

The event then featured the screening of promotional films on Azerbaijan.

The next session of the Bureau International des Expositions General Assembly to be held in November 2018 will feature the election to determine the host city of the World Expo 2025.

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On the sidelines of the 163rd session of the Bureau International des Expositions General Assembly, Azerbaijan’s Prime Minister Novruz Mammadov met with President of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions Steen Christensen, BIE Secretary General Vicente Lossertales, BIE Deputy Secretary General Dimitri Kerkentzes, and heads of delegations to the Bureau International des Expositions. xhibitions

Prime Minister Novruz Mammadov was interviewed by M6 TV channel of France.

Shahla Aghalarova

Special Correspondent

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