United Nations Pavilion at Expo 2005 Aichi:more than 2,000,000 visitorsSome 2,100,000 people visited the United Nations Pavilion at Expo Aichi 2005, which closed its doors on September 25 in Aichi, Japan. The number of visitors surpassed original estimates.
The Expo was dedicated to theme of “Nature’s Wisdom” and UNESCO, lead agency of the United Nations System at the event, chose to “Celebrate Diversity” as the central theme of a visual representation of the work of 38 United Nations agencies, funds and programmes.
The centerpiece of the pavilion, a 255m2 video gallery, allowed the visitor to experience meeting the peoples of the United Nations and the impressive wealth and diversity of natural and cultural resources to be shared.
At the same time, this visual journey celebrated the work of the United Nations System in peace and security, cultural diversity, people and the environment and biodiversity. More than 5,000 students took part in the debates and guided tours on the themes of cultural diversity, biodiversity, the environment and peace organized at the Pavilion.
“From education to peace-building, from poverty reduction to prevention of natural disasters, the work of the United Nations system is of crucial importance,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. “I am sure that the visitors to the UN Pavilion have gone away with a strong impression of the vitality, dedication and engagement that inform our actions,” he said on the occasion of the closing ceremony at the United Nations Pavilion.
June 27, United Nations Day, marked one of the high points of the Expo. On that day, Mr Matsuura, represented the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, in commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter.
Over 3,000 people attended the opening ceremony. Among them were senior representatives from the Government of Japan, United Nations agencies in Japan, national pavilions at Expo Aichi, the private sector and civil society, as well as about 2,000 school children from 10 schools in Aichi Prefecture.
Cultural presentations of a selection of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity were held at Expo Dome throughout United Nations Day. The programme of performances included the Azerbaijani Mugham, Pansori epic chants of the Republic of Korea, Georgian polyphonic singing and dance, and the Japanese Ningyo Johruri Bunraku puppet theatre.
“In fulfilling its coordinating role for the United Nations Pavilion, UNESCO has sought to create an environment in which all parts of the UN system could work together and show how their actions are complementary. Above all, however, I hope that visitors’ interest in the United Nations – what it does, what it stands for, what it achieves - has been stimulated and developed,” concluded the Director-General.