Underlining the importance of energy, in particular for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for urgent action to ensure that everyone has access to clean, affordable and efficient energy so that they can rise to their full potential.
"Energy is vital to our lives [...] Access to energy helps children to study at night, farmers to grow more crops and hospitals to provide better care," said the Secretary-General in his message to EXPO 2017, which opened today in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana.
In his remarks, the UN chief also noted that the theme of this year's Astana EXPO, 'Future Energy', is all the more important given that energy in today's world comes from many sources that contribute to climate change.
"It reminds us that the world must take urgent action to ensure that everyone has access to clean, efficient and affordable sources of energy [...] I hope this EXPO will help us resolve to contribute to more sustainable world," added Mr. Guterres.
Being held from 10 June to 10 September, the World's Fair EXPO 2017 explores the possibility of scaling up the world's sustainable energy production, promoting energy security and efficiency, as well as encouraging the use of renewable energy around the globe.
The UN exhibit, a particular highlight at the EXPO, showcases technology and ideas that help the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through sustainable energy.
"Given the urgency of the situation, the focus is going to be squarely on practical solutions," said Cihan Sultanoðlu, the UN Commissioner-General for the Organization's participation in EXPO 2017, reminding participants of the simultaneous need to make sure every woman, every man, every girl, and every boy has access to affordable and clean energy by 2030, while keeping temperatures within 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Several UN entities, including the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) will host events, release findings and showcase their work on how to mobilize investments to achieve breakthroughs on universal access to energy, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.