The United Nations at Milan’s Expo 2015

With a unique “horizontal presence”

Given the global implications of Expo 2015’s theme of “Feeding the planet, energy for life”, it’s obvious that the United Nations Organisation should be deeply involved in the exhibition.

But visitors will find no “UN pavilion”; instead, for the first time in the history of world expositions, the UN will have a “horizontal presence" with content spread throughout the Expo site.

A UN Zero Hunger Itinerary will link UN content, from Pavilion Zero – where the link between Expo’s theme and the mission of the UN will be most evident – through Biodiversity Park, the Children’s Park, the Future Food District, the nine thematic clusters, country pavilions and the civil society area, Cascina Triulza.

The UN itinerary at Expo 2015
The UN itinerary at Expo 2015

A large part of the UN itinerary will be made up of several UN spaces in Expo Milano’s main thematic areas, recognisable by their giant spoons in the shade of blue instantly associated with the organisation.

By visiting the UN spaces, visitors can discover through videos, photo stories, infographics and maps how the UN system works to eradicate hunger and guarantee a sustainable future for the planet: the Zero Hunger Challenge. Above all, by following the itinerary they can discover how to take part in the challenge.

Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012, the Zero Hunger Challenge is his personal vision of a world without hunger – a global call to action. It states that hunger can be eliminated in our lifetime, and has five pillars: zero stunted children less than 2 years old, 100 per cent access to adequate food all year round, all food systems to be sustainable, 100 per cent increase in smallholder productivity and income, and zero loss or waste of food.

The challenge was not envisioned as a plan but rather as a call to action: eradicating world hunger is a goal that concerns everyone, said Ban. The objective of the UN presence at Expo is to ensure that when discussing food and food production, the catastrophe of 805 million people who still suffer from hunger is not forgotten or left unmentioned.

The UN has also chosen to highlight the issue of women’s empowerment considering the fundamental role that they play in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

The organisers of the UN presence at Expo 2015 have produced a book on their aims and intentions on how to meet the Zero Hunger Challenge which can be read online or downloaded for reading later, for distribution or for preparing for a visit.