The International Specialized Exhibition Astana EXPO-2017 aims to draw the attention of the world community to energy challenges in developing countries.
Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General, stated: “I hope that Astana EXPO-2017 will get to a new focus with the special means to these countries that it will result in an announcement of important initiatives.”
Mr. Acharya delivered a speech at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, where a high-level event took place devoted to Kazakhstan’s contribution to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal in the sphere of energy, followed by a presentation on EXPO-2017.
Mr. Acharya pointed out that many developing countries have oil and gas reserves, yet access to electricity remains a major challenge. He explained that in least developed countries (LDCs) and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) only 44.5% and 55% of population respectively have access to electricity. At the same time, all these countries have tremendous untapped potential in hydropower, solar energy and wind power.
Ruslan Zhemkov, a representative of EXPO-2017, delivered a comprehensive presentation on the progress of preparations for the exhibition and post-exhibition use of the venues. The participants learned about Kazakhstan’s national policy on enhancing energy efficiency, developing alternative energy and ensuring universal access to modern energy sources.
They were also informed about the initiative of the Kazakhstan President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to open an international center for the development of green technologies in Astana under the auspices of the UN.
It is widely known that many national governments are already adopting comprehensive measures in this area. They are strategically transforming their energy systems by improving their policies and project implementation on the spot. Holding the Future Energy exhibition in Astana is Kazakhstan’s contribution to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7: Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for All and the implementation of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. It is planned that the government of Kazakhstan will support delegations from 60 countries that will arrive in Astana to participate in EXPO-2017.
The event was attended by ambassadors and permanent representatives to the UN as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations and the scientific and business community. The participants exchanged opinions on the coordination of efforts of the UN, national governments, businesses, the society and other stakeholders with a view to accomplishing their shared goal – ensuring access to energy for all by 2030.