UK Government shows strong leadership on nutrition
What an amazing few weeks it has been! The UK Government – particularly the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening – has shown great leadership on nutrition.
Oct 7 2015
Sustainable Development Goals: putting the last first
On 25 September, world leaders gathered for the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - the world’s to-do list for the next 15 years. The UK Government was one of 193 to adopt these ambitious and potentially transformational new global goals, which - for the first time - include concrete targets to end child hunger and malnutrition by 2030.
In response to the adoption of these new global goals, the UK Government announced that they will “commit to putting the last first”, with David Cameron stating: “we need to put the poorest, weakest and most marginalised first to Leave No-One Behind… [and] to reduce preventable deaths to zero, to eliminate malnutrition and to eradicate extreme poverty in a generation.”
Leaving no one behind means counting every malnourished child
The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals was a truly historic moment, but the job’s not done yet: decisions regarding how the goals and targets will be measured are in the midst of negotiations. This measurement framework is vital to know if the world is making progress on malnutrition and to ensure we can hold states accountable for promises made. As such, we strongly believe this framework must measure progress on eliminating wasting in children – the most life-threatening form of malnutrition. To not include this would be a momentous omission.
While the negotiations are still underway, we are delighted and proud that the UK Government has been one of the first to go on record in the negotiations that they are in support of a wasting indicator.
On 26-28 October, an international meeting will be held in Bangkok to further discuss the indicator framework for the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals. This is a crucial opportunity for the UK to use its leadership and active championing on support of a wasting indicator to get other countries to agree the inclusion of an indicator to measure childhood wasting. Leave No One Behind cannot just be a slogan.
The months ahead show great promise for nutrition and progress towards ending child hunger and malnutrition by 2030. We encourage the UK to continue to demonstrate strong leadership on nutrition in international processes and upcoming moments. The 2016 Nutrition for Growth summit, taking place during the Summer Olympics in Rio, will be a key opportunity for David Cameron to demonstrate how he will finance his commitment to address malnutrition and improve the lives of 50 million women and children, and ensure that the UK is doing all it can to ensure the goal on hunger will be achieved.