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Expo Milano 2015, the universal exposition in Milan, was inaugurated on 1 May. The central theme of the six-month event – 'Feeding the planet, Energy for life' – is meant to foster an international dialogue about global challenges involving nutrition and natural resources. For the first time in the history of World Expositions, the UN will not have a pavilion but instead a horizontal presence with content spread throughout the Expo site. This opportunity to exhibit and simultaneously interact with visitors throughout the entire Expo 2015 site provides greater visibility for the UN System, its activities, important goals and challenges, and best practices in fields related to food and nutrition.
For IFAD, Expo Milan 2015 provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the role of smallholder agriculture in sustainably feeding the planet. It also means ensuring continued support for investments in inclusive rural transformation – in the form of development aid, loans and grants, remittances from migrants working abroad, and other financing mechanisms. Toward this end, IFAD Staff will be involved in a number of Expo events including, a high-level event on the post-2015 agenda, a meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of countries, the Global Forum on Remittances and Development, an event on "food and finance", and selected events related to gender, sustainable development, cooperatives, and microfinance.
At the Expo opening ceremony on Friday, IFAD was represented by AVP, SKD Josefina Stubbs, who has been appointed as one of two UN Deputy Commissioner-Generals to represent the UN Commissioner-General in High-Level Meetings and Media Events that will be organized at the Expo site .