The UN HUB at Expo 2020 Dubai

Millions of visitors from across the globe can enjoy an exceptional experience at Expo 2020 Dubai by discovering other cultures and the world. This year’s event is convened under the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” with a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As such, Expo 2020 Dubai is an auspicious occasion for the world to come together to build solidarity, explore innovations and pursue hope for a better future. 

Apart from the 192 country pavilions, a site that was created in the desert also hosts special pavilions that are centred around the themes of opportunity, mobility and sustainability. The United Nations (UN) has a dedicated space, the UN Hub at Mission Possible pavilion, which highlights the positive impact of the United Nations across the globe, and the need for multilateralism to tackle humanity’s biggest challenges. 

The UN Hub offers an interactive exhibition journey that is focused on key elements of the SDGs, specifically on water, food and energy. The idea behind the Mission Possible pavilion is to depict how the potential of communities and individuals can be unlocked to build the future we all want and deserve. Visitors of the UN Hub are ‘guided’ by the three individuals who share their projects, which were implemented with minimal resources, showcasing how local efforts can contribute to the global good and a life-changing impact. 

The Peruvian engineer Abel Cruz shares a story of how to harvest fog and turn it into water, addressing water shortages in this way. To promote sustainable farming and healthy eating practice, Mariam Al Juneibi who is a UAE National unfolds the basics of regenerative agriculture and encourages visitors to grow their vegetables on a simulated farm in a game format. Finally, the third track of the Hub is guided by Fatma Juma Haji, who helps to create sustainable energy in Zanzibar and teaches other women to install solar panels.

A cross-cutting message of the stories shared is to inspire all visitors to seek solutions to the issues we all face. Regardless of age and gender everyone can be an agent of change and has the power to make a difference. Even the smallest lifestyle change can have a profound impact. With the help of showcasing small-scale but effective initiatives, the UN Hub strives to raise awareness on the crucial importance of working together to overcome the challenges that matter to the future of people and the planet. 

To conclude visitors’ fascinating experience, the Pledge Room offers people an opportunity to commit to a course of action that will make a difference in their own and their community’s lives. Once people have committed, their pledges are transported to a representation of the ‘garden’ located on the ceiling of the room. 

An interactive and thought-provoking journey that the UN Hub offers not only addresses the most fundamental global challenges of our time but also reflects the values of multilateralism and highlights the role of joint actions towards the SDGs. Only through multilateralism and partnerships, we can achieve our common agenda for a better world in this critical Decade of Action. The United Nations’ physical presence at the Expo 2020 Dubai is an extraordinary opportunity to create lasting engagement as the World Expo brings together the planet in one place to reimagine tomorrow.

Daria Ruban, Anti-Corruption Collective Action Program Coordinator

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