We ask the BIE to adopt the Diversity Charter for Equal Opportunities and Equalities in the Expos
Update – 28 November 2023: Today, the choice of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as the venue for Expo 2030 was confirmed. Despite strong concerns expressed by numerous humanitarian associations about human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, including the death penalty for gay people, Riyadh received the most votes from the members of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). In light of this dangerous decision, it’s more important than ever to demand that future EXPO editions be held in nations that reflect the values of inclusion, diversity, and safety of the LGBT+ community.
On the occasion of the closing ceremony of EXPO MILANO 2015 the “Diversity Charter for Equal Opportunities and Equalities in the Expos” was presented.
The document, the result of the work of civil society organisations and the administration of the Universal Exposition, explicitly asked the BIE (Bureau of International Expositions, the intergovernmental organization created to supervise Expos, contraction of international exhibitions) to adopt the charter in order to "contribute to the fight against all types of discriminations – based on gender, age, disability, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and any other ground – in future Expositions and to support initiatives aimed at enhancing diversity promoted by the Organiser".
Unfortunately, the evaluation criteria for a bid do not yet include initiatives or guidelines explicitly aimed at preventing discrimination against both workers and visitors. It is up to the sensitivity of individual organisers to ensure that the EXPO is effectively inclusive of all forms of diversity.
A few days before the start of EXPO in DUBAI, it is essential to urge both the BIE and its Member States to endorse the principles of the charter signed in Milan in order to
- define and implement guidelines that, starting from the top echelons, involve all levels of the organisation in respect of the principle of equal dignity and fair treatment in the workplace;
- promote the appraisal, in the Candidature Dossier submitted by the Government of the State wishing to organize an Expo, of the initiatives against all types of discriminations;
- ask the Expo organisers to report regularly to the Executive Committee of the BIE the advancements in the Expo preparation, with a specific focus on valuing people diversity;
- sustain Expo organisers to present a Special Regulation of the Event related to both the inclusion of workers and the welcoming of visitors usually not fully included in society;
- ask the Communication and Information Committee of the BIE to appraise the initiatives of Expo organisers and Participants aimed at educating and raising awareness on this topic;
- monitor periodically in the General Assembly the trend of actions taken by Expo organisers and Participants to promote equal opportunities and evaluate the impact of best practices;
- appraise, among the BIE awards, the initiatives taken by Official Participants that aim to promote diversity and inclusion.