The Executive Board of the International Economics Olympiad (IEO EB) has received an official letter from Yernur Rysmagambetov, Deputy CEO of the AIFC Authority and an IEO EB member. In the letter, Mr. Rysmagambetov informs us that it is impossible to conduct the IEO-2020 in July as it has been planned because of the precautionary measures taken by the Kazakhstan authorities with regard to COVID-19 outbreak.
This puts the IEO-2020 on the long list of international events affected by the novel coronavirus. Important conferences, renowned marathons, and upscale festivals have been canceled or postponed all over the world.
Although the decision not to conduct the IEO in July 2020 was initiated by the AIFC and is subject to nationwide regulations, I agree that the health and well-being of the IEO contestants, team leaders, officials, and guests should be our top priority. The IEO Steering Committee in Nur-Sultan and the Secretariat in Moscow are upset by this situation but remain committed to organizing the IEO at the highest possible level, which includes minimizing any risks for participants' well-being. Under the circumstances that we have, refraining from conducting the event in July will be in the best interest of the IEO Community.
The AIFC suggests that the event be postponed until no earlier than September 1, depending on how the epidemiological situation evolves. The IEO Secretariat will continue accepting the applications, all deadlines remaining in place. The IEO EB will review the applications as if there were no dates shift. The Secretariat will work closely with the AIFC to determine the possible new dates of the IEO-2020 that will be then considered by the IEO EB. Currently, it is impossible to make predictions as to when it is going to happen. And yet, I urge all national organizers to hold their events as planned, taking the current epidemiological situation into consideration.
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President of the Executive Board International Economics Olympiad