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Ban, Wen attend Summit to bid farewell to Expo

UNITED Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended the Summit Forum of the Shanghai World Expo, which is set to be closed later today.

The gala, the first World Expo held in a developing country, drew 246 participated countries and international organizations.

Wen Jiabao said the Expo 2010 Shanghai China had been a splendid event and added a glorious chapter to the Expo history.

Calling the event "eye-opener" and "unforgettable", the Premier expressed heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the Chinese government and pay high tribute to all people who had participated in, supported and contributed to the first Expo held by a developing country.

Since the Expo opened on May 1, there have been more than 70 million visitors, a record high in the Expo history. For the first time, a virtual online Expo was launched, opening a new window for more people to be part of the Expo

"Undeterred by the searing heat or soaking rain, they(visitors) waited patiently in long lines to witness this much anticipated event... Through such extensive participation, Expo 2010 Shanghai has truly brought together people around the globe," he said.

Within a land area of six square kilometers, the Expo Site has become a global village where people could not only see on display rare cultural treasures of the world, for example, the bronze chariot and horse sculpture from China's Qin Dynasty, the statue of Athena from Greece and the masterpiece of French impressionist painters, but also got a taste of the quintessence of the world's diverse cultures through more than 20,000 cultural events.

The forum is the highest-level event in the series of Expo forums and the finale of the 184-day Expo, calls for joint efforts in tackling common issues arising from and challenging urban development worldwide.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the Chinese government, the city of Shanghai and the International Bureau of Expositions deserve the highest praise as the Shanghai World Expo brought nations together and celebrated global diversity.
"Since May of this year, all around the world, people have been talking about a remarkable, even historic event," Ban said at the forum.

The Summit Forum, co-hosted by the Shanghai World Expo organizing committee, the United Nations, and the International Expositions Bureau (BIE), focuses on "Urban Innovation and Sustainable Development".

The forum invites state leaders, officials, scientists and experts, and entrepreneurs across the world to seek innovative ways for sustainable urban development.

The forum is also aimed at exploring and solving various practical issues faced in urban development through the initiation of extensive and intensive exchanges between developing and developed countries, and leaving behind a positive spiritual legacy on behalf of the future of the world cities and the development of humankind itself.

Six themed sessions and a youth panel will be held during the one-day event to address topics including digital cities, knowledge innovation, eco-cities, economic transition, community management and youth creativity.

The Shanghai Declaration, setting forth prior tasks in building cities that establish harmony between diverse cultures, between development and environment, between cultural legacies and future innovations, will be delivered during the closing plenary of the forum.

The document, which recognizes achievements of the Shanghai Expo, the first held in a developing country in the event's 159-year history, also expresses shared aspirations of people around the world for better lives in better cities.


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