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Bureau International des Expositions
Formation 22 November 1928
Type Expositions
Headquarters France Paris, France
Membership 154 members
Honorary President H.E. Jian-min Wu
Website http://www.bie-paris.org/

The Bureau of International Expositions (Bureau International des Expositions in French), also known popularly by its acronym the B.I.E., is the governing body of world's fairs (international expositions).

Contents

Founding and purpose

The B.I.E. was established by an international convention signed in Paris on 22 November 1928, with the following goals:

1. to oversee the calendar, the bidding, the selection and the organisation of World Expositions;

2. to establish a framework allowing countries to cooperate under the best conditions as organisers of Expositions or as participants through national pavilions.

To date, 154 member countries have adhered to the BIE Convention.

The B.I.E. regulates two types of expositions: Registered Exhibitions (commonly called Universal Expositions), and Recognized Exhibitions (commonly called International or Specialised Expositions).

At least one world's fair after the B.I.E.'s creation, the 1964 New York World's Fair, was held without B.I.E. sanction or governance. While it lost money, it was attended by at least 50 million people and numerous countries participated that left behind some structures that still remain.

Universal Expositions

Since the start of the 21st century, Universal Expositions may occur every five years, lasting six months, on '5' and '0' ending years, i.e. Expo 2005 in Aichi, Expo 2010 in Shanghai, Expo 2015 in Milan. Countries, international organizations, civil societies, and corporations are allowed to participate in Universal Expositions. The themes of Universal Expositions are broad and pan-humanistic in nature, and the participants must design and build their own pavilions, however, there are exceptions where the Expo Authority at a Universal Exposition constructs pavilion buildings or joint pavilion buildings to maximise participation and alleviate representation costs for developing nations. Examples of themes of recent Universal Expositions include "Man and His World" for Expo '67 in Montreal, and "Discovery" for Seville Expo '92, and examples of joint pavilion buildings for a Universal Exposition is the Plaza of America at Seville's Expo '92 which was constructed by the Seville Expo Authority to maximize participation at the fair by South American nations. The Plaza of Africa at Seville was constructed for the same purpose.

Universal Expositions are also massive in scale, sometimes 300 or 400 hectares in size (Montreal's Expo 67 was 410 hectares, Osaka's Expo 70 was 330 hectares, Seville's Expo 92 was 215 hectares. Shanghai's Expo 2010 is 500 hectares), and Pavilions participating at a Universal Exposition are also large, sometimes 5,000 to 10,000 square metres in size, mini city blocks in themselves and sometimes more than several stories in height. (The Australia Pavilion for Shanghai 2010 is 5,000 square metres, the British Pavilion sits on a 6,000 square metres lot, as does the Canadian Pavilion. The flagship Chinese National Pavilion has 20,000 square metres of exhibition space.) Shanghai Expo 2010 will allow three types of Pavilion structures, (i) designed and constructed by the participant; (2) individual Pavilions designed and constructed by the Expo Authority for rent to the participant; (3) joint pavilions designed and constructed by the Expo Authority for rent to developing nations.

Also due to the fact that they are usually held in major centres of world population, Universal Expositions have been known to average 200,000 persons per day of visitors - or more - and some 50 to 70 million visitors during their six month duration. Montreal's Expo 67 attracted 54 million visitors, Osaka's Expo '70, 64 million visitors, and the recent Seville Expo '92, 41 million visitors. Shanghai's Expo 2010 is expected to attract 80 million visitors.

As a result, transport and other infrastructure at a Universal Exposition is an important concern (Seville's Universal Exposition of 1992 boasted cable car, monorail, boat, and bus) and the overall cost for hosting and being represented at a Universal Exposition is quite high, compared to the smaller International/Specialised scale Expositions.

International/Specialised Expositions

Since the start of the 21st Century, International/Specialised Expositions may occur between Universal Expositions and last from six weeks to three months in duration, i.e. Expo 2008 in Zaragoza (Spain), Expo 2012 in Yeosu (South Korea). Countries, international organizations, civil societies, and corporations are allowed to participate but the exposition must have a precise character for its theme. An example of a theme of a recent International Specialised Exposition is the 1988 World Exposition, popularly known as World Expo 88 of Brisbane, Australia, which had as its theme "Leisure in the Age of Technology". The pavilions are built by the hosts and not the participants, and there is no rent for pavilions. Nevertheless, the largest pavilion may be no larger than 1000 square meters, and the site of the fair must not exceed an area of twenty-five hectares. For this reason International/Specialised Expositions are cheaper to run than Universal Expositions, and more money is spent on content of the pavilion as opposed to its design. Nonetheless, there are exceptions where a participant designs and constructs its own Pavilion where ethnic work is involved, i.e. bush huts for islands of the South Pacific, a pagoda for Nepal or Japan or Thailand, etc. A nation or organization does not need to be a member of the B.I.E. to be represented at a B.I.E. Exposition.

USA membership and representation

Only three world's fair events have been sanctioned by the B.I.E. in the United State since World War II: the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle (1962), HemisFair '68 in San Antonio, and the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. The USA had its membership of the B.I.E. withdrawn in June 2001. The cause was the non allocation of funds by the U.S. Congress for two years. Also, Congress is not allowed to allocate funds for representation of a United States Pavilion at a World Exposition. The new rulings state that the funding must be provided by private enterprise, with the representation being endorsed by Congress - not an automatic procedure. A recent example is the USA Pavilion at Seville's Expo '92, which was funded primarily by Amway, and endorsed by Congress. Another example is the present representation for Shanghai 2010, which is under scrutiny by Congress: although private enterprise funding has been speculated to have been secured, Congress is yet to decide as to whether it is in the United States interests that the planned representation can go ahead.

However, no concrete reason for failing to pay membership has been given by the United States Congress, sometimes hinting that it was political that the United States is now no longer a member of the B.I.E. The online news source "Ranger" reported, "Indeed, world's fairs were seen as a joke by many; the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, for instance, was the subject of ridicule in the 1996 episode of The Simpsons entitled 'Bart on the Road.' This bad impression, a drive to save taxpayer money and increasing nationalism in America resulted in then-Secretary of State Colin Powell withdrawing the United States from the body governing World's Fairs, the Bureau of International Expositions, in 2001." [1]

In a letter from April 20, 2006, the secretary general of the B.I.E. said, "As you are aware, the United States government withdrew from the B.I.E. in June 2001. Citizens realize and would welcome the strong impact a world's fair can have on their city, state and country. It would be wonderful to, once again, attend an exhibition in the United States." [2] Participation in the BIE is controlled by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

See also

References

  1. ^ San Antonio changes after HemisFair '68, speaker says
  2. ^ Letter from the B.I.E. Secretariat to David Oats

External links

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Bureau International des Expositions
File:BIE
Formation 22 November 1928
Type Expositions
Headquarters Paris, France
Membership 157 members
President Jean-Pierre Lafon
Website http://www.bie-paris.org/

The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) (English: International Exhibitions Bureau) is the governing body of World and International Expos.

Contents

Founding and purpose

The BIE was established by the Convention Relating to International Exhibitions, signed in Paris on 22 November 1928, with the following goals:

  • to oversee the calendar, the bidding, the selection and the organization of World Expositions; and
  • to establish a regulatory framework under which Expo organizers and participants may work together under the best conditions.

To date, 157 member countries have adhered to the BIE Convention.

The BIE regulates two types of expositions: Registered Exhibitions (commonly called World Expos) and Recognized Exhibitions (commonly called International or Specialized Expositions).

Member states

157 countries are member states of the BIE.[1]

Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, People's Republic Of China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa-Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic. Of Korea, Democratic Republic Of Congo Denmark Djibouti DOMINICA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ECUADOR EGYPT EL SALVADOR EQUATORIAL GUINEA ERITREA ESTONIA FIDJI FINLAND FRANCE GABON GAMBIA GEORGIA GERMANY GHANA GREAT BRITAIN GREECE GRENADA GUATEMALA GUINEA GUINEE-BISSAU GUYANA HAITI HONDURAS HUNGARY ICELAND INDONESIA IRAN ISRAEL ITALY JAPAN JORDAN KAZAKHSTAN KENYA KIRGHIZISTAN KIRIBATI KUWAIT LAO PEOPLE’S DEM. REP. LEBANON LIBERIA LIBYA LITHUANIA MADAGASCAR MALAYSIA MALDIVES MALI MALTA MARSHALL ISLANDS MAURITANIA MAURITUS MEXICO MONACO MONGOLIA MOROCCO NAMIBIA NAURU NEPAL NETHERLANDS NICARAGUA NIGER NIGERIA NORWAY OMAN PAKISTAN PALAU PANAMA PARAGUAY PERU PHILIPPINES POLAND PORTUGAL QATAR REP. OF KOREA REP OF SERBIA ROMANIA RUSSIA RWANDA SAN MARINO ST. KITTS AND NEVIS ST. LUCIA ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES SAMOA SAUDI ARABIA SENEGAL SEYCHELLES SIERRA LEONE SLOVAKIA SLOVENIA SOLOMON ISLANDS SOUTH AFRICA SPAIN SRI LANKA SUDAN SURINAM SWAZILAND SWEDEN SWITZERLAND SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC TAJIKISTAN THAILAND TIMOR-LESTE TOGO TONGA TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO TUNISIA TURKEY TUVALU UGANDA UKRAINE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA URUGUAY UZBEKISTAN VANUATU VENEZUELA VIETNAM YEMEN

USA membership and representation

Only five world's fair events have been sanctioned by the B.I.E. in the United State since World War II: the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle (1962), HemisFair '68 in San Antonio, Expo '74 in Spokane, Washington, the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee and the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans, Lousiana. The USA had its membership of the B.I.E. withdrawn in June 2001. The cause was the non allocation of funds by the U.S. Congress for two years. Also, Congress is not allowed to allocate funds for representation of a United States Pavilion at a World Exposition. The new rulings state that the funding must be provided by private enterprise, with the representation being endorsed by Congress - not an automatic procedure. A recent example is the USA Pavilion at Seville's Expo '92, which was funded primarily by Amway, and endorsed by Congress. Another example is the present representation for Shanghai 2010, which is under scrutiny by Congress: although private enterprise funding has been speculated to have been secured, Congress is yet to decide as to whether it is in the United States interests that the planned representation can go ahead. The United States Congress has not provided a specific reason for failing to pay membership.

The BIE remains open to participation from the United States. In a letter from April 20, 2006, the secretary general said, "As you are aware, the United States government withdrew from the B.I.E. in June 2001. Citizens realize and would welcome the strong impact a world's fair can have on their city, state and country. It would be wonderful to, once again, attend an exhibition in the United States." [1]Participation in the BIE is controlled by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The online news source "Ranger" reported, "Indeed, world's fairs were seen as a joke by many; the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, for instance, was the subject of ridicule in the 1996 episode of The Simpsons entitled 'Bart on the Road.' This bad impression, a drive to save taxpayer money and increasing nationalism in America resulted in then-Secretary of State Colin Powell withdrawing the United States from the body governing World's Fairs, the Bureau of International Expositions, in 2001." [2]

Universal Expositions

Since the start of the 21st century, Universal Expositions may occur every five years, lasting six months, on '5' and '0' ending years, i.e. Expo 2005 in Aichi, Expo 2010 in Shanghai, Expo 2015 in Milan. Countries, international organizations, civil societies, and corporations are allowed to participate in Universal Expositions. The themes of Universal Expositions are broad and pan-humanistic in nature, and the participants must design and build their own pavilions, however, there are exceptions where the Expo Authority at a Universal Exposition constructs pavilion buildings or joint pavilion buildings to maximise participation and alleviate representation costs for developing nations. Examples of themes of recent Universal Expositions include "Man and His World" for Expo '67 in Montreal, and "Discovery" for Seville Expo '92, and examples of joint pavilion buildings for a Universal Exposition is the Plaza of America at Seville's Expo '92 which was constructed by the Seville Expo Authority to maximize participation at the fair by South American nations. The Plaza of Africa at Seville was constructed for the same purpose.

Universal Expositions are also massive in scale, sometimes 300 or 400 hectares in size (Montreal's Expo 67 was 410 hectares, Osaka's Expo 70 was 330 hectares, Seville's Expo 92 was 215 hectares. Shanghai's Expo 2010 is 528 hectares), and Pavilions participating at a Universal Exposition are also large, sometimes 5,000 to 10,000 square metres in size, mini city blocks in themselves and sometimes more than several stories in height. (The Australia Pavilion for Shanghai 2010 is 5,000 square metres, the British Pavilion sits on a 6,000 square metres lot, as does the Canadian Pavilion. The flagship Chinese National Pavilion has 20,000 square metres of exhibition space.) Shanghai Expo 2010 will allow three types of Pavilion structures, (i) designed and constructed by the participant; (2) individual Pavilions designed and constructed by the Expo Authority for rent to the participant; (3) joint pavilions designed and constructed by the Expo Authority for rent to developing nations.

Also due to the fact that they are usually held in major centres of world population, Universal Expositions have been known to average 200,000 persons per day of visitors - or more - and some 50 to 70 million visitors during their six month duration. Montreal's Expo 67 attracted 54 million visitors, Osaka's Expo '70, 64 million visitors, and the recent Seville Expo '92, 41 million visitors. Shanghai's Expo 2010 is expected to attract 80 million visitors.

As a result, transport and other infrastructure at a Universal Exposition is an important concern (Seville's Universal Exposition of 1992 boasted cable car, monorail, boat, and bus) and the overall cost for hosting and being represented at a Universal Exposition is quite high, compared to the smaller International/Specialised scale Expositions.

The Expo 1998 Lisbon, was considered by the BIE the best Expo ever presented to the public.

International/Specialised Expositions

Since the start of the 21st Century, International/Specialised Expositions may occur between Universal Expositions and last from six weeks to three months in duration, i.e. Expo 2008 in Zaragoza (Spain), Expo 2012 in Yeosu (South Korea). Countries, international organizations, civil societies, and corporations are allowed to participate but the exposition must have a precise character for its theme. An example of a theme of a recent International Specialised Exposition is the 1988 World Exposition, popularly known as World Expo 88 of Brisbane, Australia, which had as its theme "Leisure in the Age of Technology". The pavilions are built by the hosts and not the participants, and there is no rent for pavilions. Nevertheless, the largest pavilion may be no larger than 1000 square meters, and the site of the fair must not exceed an area of twenty-five hectares. For this reason International/Specialised Expositions are cheaper to run than Universal Expositions, and more money is spent on content of the pavilion as opposed to its design. Nonetheless, there are exceptions where a participant designs and constructs its own Pavilion where ethnic work is involved, i.e. bush huts for islands of the South Pacific, a pagoda for Nepal or Japan or Thailand, etc. A nation or organization does not need to be a member of the B.I.E. to be represented at a B.I.E. Exposition.

See also

References

  1. ^ [dead link] Letter from the B.I.E. Secretariat to David Oats
  2. ^ San Antonio changes after HemisFair '68, speaker says

External links


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