When German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave his address at the United Nations meeting in New York City it passed most people by, they were way to busy waiting to hear what Barack Obama had to say. This bit interested me in the Germans speech:
“The United Nations would remain the central forum, for tackling these issues”, he said. In the context of all the crisis meetings, “it gives me hope that we have made an important choice, the right choice, of the direction we want to take and that we have chosen unity and sustainability,” he said calling the 2030 Agenda a global pact that is the point of convergence for dealing with poverty and underdevelopment.
The 2030 Agenda, what the hell’s that?. The full title of the agenda is ‘Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. Well that’s fancy, so what are the plans? Well by the year 2030…14 years time, there will be:
- No hunger anywhere
- No poverty anywhere
- No war or strife anywhere
- No inequality anywhere
- No racial inequality anywhere
- No malaria anywhere
- Clean water everywhere
- Education for all everywhere
- Decent work everywhere
- Sustainable economics everywhere
- Sustainable agriculture everywhere
- Climate change agreements agreed upon by everyone everywhere.
I did simplify the document for your benefit…it is repetitive and very very boring and writing an article with over 60 pages of a UN report included is quite frankly beyond me, but on top of that there’s a few problems I can see occurring with the plan. For a start most countries hate each so much they can barely maintain civility to one another and would say the opposite just to be bloody difficult so the idea of them both batting for the same team seems a bit out there to me but hey, what do I know? I would love to be a fly on the wall when Kim Jong un turns up full of brotherly love for John Kerry but I digress.
Yesterday I waded through the 2030 Agenda that tells me we will all be playing nicely by 2030. No kids will be going to bed hungry and economies around the world will be ambling along beautifully, mom and dad can afford to feed the kids because there are enough jobs and all that.
Why then when skimming the news today did I find a report from the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition that is going to be presented to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation saying that by 2030 that a full third of the worlds population will be going hungry and another third of the entire population will be obese. Simple maths tells me that this means…according to the United Nations that by 2030 only 1/3rd of the population of the entire planet will be adequately nourished in all areas…the food Goldilocks zone if you like.
But…but…but…yesterday they said that there would be no hunger by 2030….
The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition is an independent organisation with experts from around the world who study nutrition, compile reports and present them to the United Nations. The panel is led by the John Kufuor and the former President of Ghana and the former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government Sir John Beddington.
According to a report by the BBC:
Under nourishment is starkly apparent in the rate of stunting among children.
A quarter of those aged under five have diminished physical and mental capacities. Under-nourished women are giving birth to babies with lifelong impairments.
One of the report’s authors, Prof Lawrence Haddad of the International Food Policy Research Institute, cites Guatemala, where more than 40% of children are short for their age.
“It’s partly driven by inequality”, he says. “People on higher incomes have better food and very low rates of stunting. Low income groups eat a diet based on maize (corn), but they don’t get enough vegetables, fruit, dairy food or protein such as that found in chicken.”
The Global Panel’s Director, Prof Sandy Thomas, says it’s a similar story in many low and middle income countries, and poor physical condition leads directly to low productivity.
“One or two African countries have had big successes with agriculture. In Rwanda growing iron-rich beans has helped reduce anaemia among women – but across the world anaemia is decreasing very slowly.”
Attempts to combat under-nutrition have sometimes focused on increasing calories at the expense of improving overall diet.
Many countries have moved rapidly from widespread under-nutrition to a serious problem with obesity.
In China, where diets have changed rapidly in recent years, half the population is projected to be overweight or obese by 2030.
Globally, estimates suggest that the number of overweight and obese people will have grown from 1.3 billion in 2005, to 3.3 billion – about a third of the population.
Although some problems are alleviated by economic development, diets can, and often are, deteriorating as countries become richer.
The panel reports that although people are eating more fruit and vegetables, the effect is being eclipsed by increasing consumption of low-quality food.
So who’s right?? How can we know??
Well take a look at the United Nations list again. Do you really believe they can accomplish those things in less than 15 years? It would be fantastic if they could but they can’t and the reason they can’t is because regardless of the pledges and bits of paper that the UN members signed they won’t engage. They won’t engage because there are at this point too many differences between the countries.
Co-operation is all very well on paper but when you physically have to do something the pledges mean nothing. Israel doesn’t care a bit if Palestinians starve. South Korea would sleep better at night if North Korea didn’t exist at all and China can barely feed it’s own population let alone the others in the world who go to bed hungry. Kenya would like Somalia wiped off the map and we haven’t even considered the religious divides between countries at this point.
All the United Nations is interested in is power…and if it can achieve the One World Government it craves by wrapping it’s plans in a food for all package it will do so. I am far more likely to believe a group of independent experts from around the globe than a bunch of politicians in suits that are working towards their own agenda…and it’s not to feed the world.
In fact, in my very humble opinion the only way that the things they state could be accomplished is if there was a One World Government. Only if every soul on the planet were governed by the same set of rules could co-operation be forced from nations that would otherwise prefer to blast the hell out of each other with any weapons they can get away with under international law…and in the case of North Korea in spite of international law.
I would love us to live in a world where nobody dies of malaria or starvation. I would love to live in a world where children have never heard the sound of a bomb or gunfire. A world where every family has clean water to drink and can afford to put decent, nutritious food on the table every day but do I believe the United Nations can achieve this? No, I don’t, not in 14 short years and not whilst the world is as divided as it is.
As long as we have politicians that are in the job for the power and control it gives them rather than for the good of their people such a plan cannot work.
As long as we have politicians who live lives of luxury relative to the majority of the people they represent such a plan can never work.
As long as we have politicians that lie and cheat and feather their own nests whilst their citizens struggle such a plan can never work.
As long as we have politicians that regard their neighbours as less than human because of their religion, colour or culture such a plan can never work.
Until the citizens rise up and say enough, no more, sadly such a plan can never work.