Tuesday, 20 June 2017

UK and Thailand yet to snack on UNSDG30? Or doughnuts in Parliament?

As always it was fascinating to read Khun Sirinya's report in the Bangkok Post comparing Thai street food with the retail (7-11?) options:


A mouth-watering smorgasboard of Thai food was laid out with over a dozen options and snacks.

It's hard to believe if she says she didn't eat it all - she must have hollow legs, but Thai food is so healthy it's difficult to put on weight. And the dynamic Travel Blogger and Teacher - from Kent too - Richard Barrow is cooking on gas with his Street Food Survey serving up a choice of snacks:


And UK doughnuts? Well, leaving aside issues of if/how BMA will clamp down on Street Food, or the surge of Thai Cuisine Culture with the new Michelin Guide for Bangkok, or even Superfoods, or even malnutrition in Laos and Cambodia there has suddenly appeared what's been termed a doughnut-shaped hole in UK policy with the UNSDG30 #globalgoals.

Just before Parliament was dissolved for the 8th June General Election, the Environment Audit Committee (specifically established to review UK Climate Change policy) produced the first report on the UNDG30 and UK.(And not one but two reports on flooding, and a further two reports on microplastics - from shower gels and cosmetics - and ocean pollution). And it was less than ideal:


Former PM David Cameron can rightly be proud of establishing UK as the first G20 economy to achieve the UN target of 0.7% GNI aid - and in the face of much criticism even from within his party. But UK is far weaker on using those funds (about $20BN a year) to achieve the UNSDG30 #globalgoals.

The Global Goals are 17 broad aims with 169 sub-categories, all signed up by every nation on earth and perhaps the only main gaps are a Global Space Plan, or WMD Disarmament - both hardly likely to wait until the next iteration of the Global Goals after 2030.

### Global Goals for UK? ###

Concerns have rightly been raised not just over the normal mishaps and corruption over aid spending that unfortunately happen - the Ethiopian Spice Girls project perhaps clumsily prioritising First World issues in a Third World nation. But even more worryingly DFID is simply salting away huge tranches of aid funds into the World Bank for audit tick-boxing where it sits idle rather than being spent on viable projects around the world.

Excessive financial reserves within UK government departments are part of the same problem for UK activity.

For the doughnut-shaped hole has appeared where UK is developing the Global Goals abroad but not instigating them at home. So doing, would not only promote the Global Goals to the UK public (who are ultimately funding them through tax), but would also frame UK policy in to solve UK problems.

For example, 3M UK citizens suffer from malnutrition. And the rise of 1M people needing Food Banks in a G7 nation (the oft-cited problem of affording to heat-or-eat for many families) is a Dickensian failure in 21st century Britain. And framing the Global Goals to UK problems would also highlight malnutrition in terms of say diabetes or obesity, from actual doughnuts.

And just as Pepsi and Coke are rapidly diversifying to sugar-free soda, and portfolio juice and water brands, and McDonalds to healthy eating as well as home delivery and waitress service it's interesting to see Chang move to drinking water over alcoholic beverages.

As an aside, surely it's an own goal for the UK as a Sporting Superpower from the 2012 and 2016 Olympics not to build on that success - with Goal 3 Healthy Lives - through framing UK Sports policy through the lens of the Global Goals?

Global Golas if you will.

Although other sports brands are available - as spurs to progress.

Here in Kent, Charlton Athletic are very active in their community work with schools and colleges, while Arsenal has very active Summer Schools, and a Goalkeeper school. While the Margate Beach Games has been a runaway success with UK Volleyball Championships and beach football and burgeoning kayaking, cycling and surfing events beefing up Kent fitness amidst the more sedate golfing and yachting.

### Global Goals for the World ###

And other nations are leading the UK already: Philippines has already adapted the Global Goals into much of its national policy. While the Parliamentary report cites 10 Argentinian Ministers active in their nations' Global Goals, and the Colombian government creating a ministerial department to deliver UNSDG30, and even attributing the success of the Peace Process to the Global Goals and Agenda.

With my Sincerity Advertising hat on, it's reassuring to see that the report highlights the need for advertising given the successful social media and app work by Finland.

Plus a German TV commercial - even Bonn being established as The UNSDG30 Town of Germany to focus delivery of the Global Goals - and in UK Project Everyone (and with The World's Biggest Lesson of free material for schools) established by Richard Curtis, of Comic Relief and Blackadder and Love Actually fame, is stumbling at making the Global Goals famous in UK.

And in my politics work I've called for every Kent schoolbook, and pen and pencil, across all 400 Kent schools, to feature the Global Goals logo and graphics and website. And with branding on Yingluck computers and phones and screensavers too.

It's astonishing - as the report outlines - that some 15 years after the UN Millennium Development Goals and now into Year 2 of the UNDSG30 Global Goals not one UK government department has any plans to deliver them, nor even get the ball rolling by featuring the UNSDG30 logos on their websites.

And it was interesting that two sessions of the Parliamentary Environment Committee were on Soil Health - a subject that's perhaps not especially riveting to most people - despite fears of only six more harvests given Climate Change, existing overproduction, AMR and excessive antibiotics in animals and a further 4BN population growth.

So, Soil Health disappeared without a trace in UK - even here in the more rural Kent with concerns of most farmers over 65 years old, and Brexit fears of restrictions on farm subsidies and farm labourers - yet actively promoted by Kasetsart University after the UN Year of the Soil.

Surely whether it's healthy eating or Climate Change or social initiatives such as Children's Day or Teacher's Day or King Power and Leicester City or 7-11 expansion of 700 new stores just in Thailand, UK and Thailand could carve out a slice of the pie on the Global Goals.

And snack on Goal 17 Global Partnerships?


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