Remarks by President Yoon Suk Yeol at the 172nd general assembly of the International Bureau of Expositions (BIE)2023.06.21
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honored to present Korea’s promise for the citizens of the world and future generations at today’s 172nd BIE General Assembly.
I highly commend the BIE’s leadership. Since its founding in 1928, the BIE has greatly contributed to the world’s economic growth through free trade.
World Expos played a crucial role in facilitating trade. They also helped to reach solutions for humanity’s pressing crises and challenges. Their visions inspired us.
But the world today is facing new uncertainties and complex crises like never before.
War and conflict, WMD and terrorism not only threaten world peace but even civilization itself.
Digital divide and economic inequality endanger sustainable peace and growth of the international community.
2.9 billion people, or 37% of the world population, lack access to digital tools and the internet.
Climate change is becoming an existential threat to humanity.
Last year, the average global temperature rose 1.15ºC
above pre-industrial level. Over the past decade, the pace of sea level rise has more than doubled than the 1990s.
More than 200 million people had to leave their homes due to extreme weather like torrential rains, heat waves, and droughts.
The impact of climate, health, and food crises is critical for the Global South. The Global divide is widening.
To address humanity’s urgent challenges, we must act now.
Busan is a gateway to the Eurasian continent. It is a maritime city reaching the oceans.
It is a city of adventure. A city of the future.
The World Expo Busan will be a solutions platform addressing humanity’s complex and urgent challenges.
The Busan Expo will be a venue creating new business opportunities.
Korea’s state of the art digital technology will provide a fantastic stage for exchange.
The war 70 years ago once turned Korea to ruin. But thanks to the help of the international community, Korea transformed itself into an economic powerhouse full of high-tech industriesand innovative technologies.
Korea wishes to give back to the international community what it has received thus far.
Korea is fulfilling 1,258 ODA projects with Member States of the BIE.
Through the “Busan Initiative,” Korea will share its development experiences with the international community. Korea will lead in tackling humanity’s challenges.
Furthermore, the World Expo Busan will be a culture expo.
Cultural diversity will be respected. Everyone will be equally treated
It will be an expo where every nation can freely express its unique culture, tradition, and skill.
Korea is committed to providing the largest ever assistance package for more than 110 Member States that are participating.
Also, the Busan Expo will be a platform of ideals for future generations.
We must pass on a clean and safe earth, and sustainable peace and prosperity to future generations.
We need to build a world full of bigger dreams and visions.
Through the Busan Expo, the young generations of the world will learn how to work together as a community.
Korea has already accumulated plenty of experience by hosting two Specialised Expos – the 1993 Daejeon Expo and the 2012 Yeosu Expo.
Korea is also a country that has hosted mega-events like the 1988 Summer Olympics, the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Korea is a qualified candidate.
Korea has been fully investing in preparing for the Busan Expo. We will make it the best World Expo of all time.
Central and local governments, companies and citizens, all political parties,and more than 7.5 million overseas Koreans are truly united in their wish for the Busan Expo.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The 1851 London Expo and the 1900 Paris Expohave each served to spreadthe British industrial revolution, and French arts and culture to the world.
The 1962 Seattle Expo has been a catalyst for opening a new space era.
The 2000 Hanover Expo has helped economies and industries turn their focus from technology first to nature and environment.
And, the 2030 Busan Expo will be remembered as one shifting our priority from competition to solidarity.
Busan is ready.
We are united.
Let’s transform our world and navigate toward a better future.
See you in Busan in 2030.