We've all heard of those grand Chinese banquets with innumerable courses including delicacies like sea slugs and bird's nests, but at Madrid Fusion this year I caught a glimpse of the future. Goods from China dominate our shops but my suspicion is that Chinese food is going to take over our restaurant menus - and I don't mean chop suey and egg fried rice.
Just over one year ago a storm of epic proportions devastated the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, thought to be strongest storm to ever make landfall, took the lives of more than 6,200 people and affected over 14 million people across 44 provinces. This included some 5 million children, out of which 1.7 million were displaced. A matter of weeks after Haiyan had wreaked havoc across the country I went to visit the affected areas on behalf of Plan International. Driving out of Tacloban airport, the scenes left an indelible and vivid impression.
For the few that fight against another Haiyan happening, hope and current action is not enough. More than offering help to the people of the Philippines, thre is a need to call for justice. If we don't have the will to fight for justice, we must at least lend a voice to all those like Yeb Sano, who do fight. Because just like poverty, restoring hope to natural calamity victims cannot be an act of charity, it must be an act of justice.
Cebu City is uncharacteristic of the white sand and crystal clear waters experience that otherwise dominates one's idea of the Philippines. From the Cebu International Airport it sprawls, though relatively compact in size, as an urban metropolis that contrasts with the smaller more rural or seaside towns.
This is not just a humanitarian imperative; it is in all our interests to act. In the globalised 21st Century conflicts are not easily contained by borders. As the Stern Review made clear, tackling climate change will ultimately be cheaper than allowing it to proceed unchecked. But it is the human cost of these crises, the children of Gaza, the homeless Philippines and the South Sudanese families who do not know where their next meal is coming from that really demand our action. The UK public have shown they are up to the task; it is time for world leaders to do likewise.
This week, the British Red Cross is launching a long-term recovery programme in the Philippines as the disaster-prone country continues to recover from super-storm Haiyan and braces itself for the onslaught of this year's typhoon season. But as we mark six months since the typhoon hit, many organisations specialising in emergency response are leaving and the levels of support have dwindled, even though the needs remain immense.
Taking full advantage of the opportunity for peace in the Philippines will require a sustained effort on the part of central and local governments, by the rebel movements, as well as in civil society and the business community, over many years. Some of the factors they will need to take into account were identified at by our taxi driver last night.
Right this second all around the world, millions of children are in danger. Huge numbers of children are caught up in emergencies, like conflicts in Syria and South Sudan and natural disasters like Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In the Philippines 1.7million children were forced from their homes when the Typhoon swept through their communities. I saw myself how children's lives have been destroyed and how they are slowly recovering with the help of UNICEF. As a father, it was a moving experience and the memories of the children I met will stay with me for the rest of my life.