The projection explored the forces of nature that are people and planet, as well as the beauty, intelligence and fragility of our world Image Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elías

New York: World leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Monday were left “awestruck” by a “first-of-its-kind” immersive projection by Expo 2020 Dubai – now Expo City Dubai – that carried a message of urgent action on environmental sustainability.

Taking to his Twitter account on Tuesday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, highlighted the efforts exerted by the UAE as part of its contribution to save the future of the planet.

“Part of the UAE’s message to the United Nations will be about its contribution to save the future of planet Earth – a message that was prepared by our distinguished Expo team, to be conveyed before the world leaders,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

The projection brought Expo’s “impactful storytelling expertise” and its Al Wasl dome’s technological capabilities to the UN’s Headquarters in a collaboration for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Moment – the UN’s annual spotlight on the Global Goals.

Call for action

Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and CEO, Expo City Dubai Authority, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai welcomed more than 24 million visits against the backdrop of a global pandemic, setting a benchmark for what can be achieved when there is a joint commitment to making a positive impact. Following the example of the leadership of the UAE, who have led the charge in rallying people to drive action on causes both locally and around the world, it spread a powerful message that each of us can create a ripple effect with our actions.”

She added: “It is in this spirit that we continue this journey, engaging with an international audience at the UNGA and helping build a community of advocates who believe in collaboration with a purpose. We are honoured to bring the creative talents of the Expo team to the UN, and to see their capabilities recognised on the global stage.”

‘Tomorrow is too late’

Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai inspired the world to come together and keep the promise of the SDGs. For the SDG Moment in 2022 we bring some of that extraordinary spirit and creativity to New York and the UNGA. I am optimistic that collectively we can scale solutions with partners like the UAE for people and for the planet. We’re out of time. Tomorrow is too late. Yet together, today, we can create a better future for all.”

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Cinematic experience

The immersive cinematic experience explored the forces of nature that are people and planet and the beauty, intelligence and fragility of the world we inhabit. The experience also conveyed the immense potential that can be realised when humanity and nature collaborate, with a flurry of virtual post-its from ‘the world’s to-do list’ sharing some of the real pledges from Expo 2020 visitors on the actions to support the SDGs.

The SDG Moment then set the scene for the ‘Transforming Education Summit’, with the projection switching to a story of children from all over the world, who have and do not have access to knowledge or technology to reach their fullest potential.

Convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the SDG Moment provides a platform to showcase the bold actions and solutions needed to achieve the goals by 2030.