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Upcoming World Expo Occasion To Showcase 'One UN'

Upcoming World Expo occasion to showcase 'One UN,' says head of UN Pavilion

26 March 2008 - The head of the United Nations Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 said that the event offers an opportunity to show how the various agencies in the UN system can work together as one and also provides an occasion to promote the efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Over 10 UN agencies will take part in the upcoming Expo, which will take place from 1 May to 31 October 2010 and expects to have 70 million visitors.

The Expo's theme - "Better City, Better Life" - is "at the heart of what the UN is doing," said Awni Behnam, the UN Commissioner General for the Shanghai Pavilion, referring to the quest to achieve the MDGs, eight anti-poverty objectives with a target date of 2015.

In an interview with the UN News Centre, he voiced hope that the Pavilion will "show what the UN system is capable of in assisting countries to achieve these targets."

The Expo is also a chance to display how all UN agencies can join forces for a "single mission," Dr. Behnam noted, with the Pavilion showing how "each organization has its own uniqueness, but all feeding into one aspiration and one hope."

The new Commissioner General, originally from Iraq, served with the UN for nearly three decades and was appointed to this post by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Citing Dr. Behnam's "proven leadership in organizing large international events," Mr. Ban said, "I am confident that your contribution to this endeavour will result in yet another successful participation of the United Nations in an international exposition."

Dr. Behnam, who will be responsible for the UN Pavilion, said he looks forward to working closely with Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the lead agency for coordination of the world body's participation in the Shanghai Expo.


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