The residence of the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Rome was crowded with American and Italian business representatives and journalists, all eagerly awaiting the arrival of Secretary of State John Kerry and Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini. The business community had gathered to celebrate U.S.-Italian business ties and discuss opportunities at the Milan Expo 2015.
Earlier in the day, President Obama met with President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, highlighting the great friendship and strong partnership between the United States and Italy. They discussed the situation in Ukraine, our shared commitment to NATO, and boosting economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic. In the press conference afterward, President Obama announced to cheers that the United States would participate in Milan Expo 2015.
World Expos, also known as world fairs, have inspired millions of people for nearly 150 years. The Ferris wheel, telephone, diesel engine, touch screens, and even the ice cream cone all made their debut at a world fair. World Expos today are international fora for discussing global issues.
Milan Expo 2015’s theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” is timely. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, headquartered in Rome, estimates that nearly 842 million people suffer from chronic undernourishment. In addition, the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, requiring at least a 60 percent increase in global food production. The international community is working together to address this issue. The U.S. government, through the Feed the Future initiative, is a global leader advancing food security. By helping partner countries transform their own agricultural sectors to generate economic opportunities, the United States and its partners are helping reduce hunger, poverty, and malnutrition, while addressing the impacts of climate change on food security.
When Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Mogherini arrived, they highlighted the strong economic ties between the United States and Italy. Secretary Kerry explained how Milan Expo 2015 will highlight sustainability and food security, connect businesses, and showcase new ideas.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) March 27, 2014
The United States pavilion will be funded entirely by the private sector, as required by U.S. law. Our private partner is this effort is the Friends of the U.S. Pavilion Milano, a consortium of the James Beard Foundation, International Culinary Center, and American Chamber of Commerce in Italy. Our “Friends” are working hard to build a United States pavilion that will demonstrate American leadership and innovation in global food security, agriculture, and cuisine and promote enhanced trade and investment between the United States and Europe.
Twenty million visitors are expected to visit Milan Expo 2015. See you in Italy!
About the Author: Robert Palladino serves as Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Milan, Italy.