20 June 2014
ICN2 – Non-state actors
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for being here.
As you know, ICN2 is being co-organized by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO), with the collaboration of the IFAD and WFP, and other UN partners.
ICN 2 will be held from 19 to 21 November and will be the first global intergovernmental meeting to address the world’s nutrition issues in the 21st century.
Despite progress made since the first international conference in 1992, nutrition remains as an urgent and pressing challenge.
From any side you look at it, the price tag of malnutrition is too high. That is why we need ICN2 right now.
That is why I keep repeating that nutrition is a public issue that Governments need to take responsibility for.
And that is why this needs to be a collective effort involving the international community and non-state actors.
This brings us to today. In organizing this informal meeting, FAO is helping promote the dialogue between non-state actors and governments.
We have here with us representatives of civil society organizations, the private sector, farmer organizations, the academia, as well as FAO and WHO member states.
You will be looking at the draft Political Declaration that should be finalized by Member States at the end of this month and endorsed at the opening of ICN2.
Non-state actors have already given online contributions to this document, but we believe today’s informal face-to-face meeting will contribute even more to this discussion.
Multi-stakeholder debate is important because it strengthens our decisions, generates the political consensus needed to advance the nutrition agenda, and also will help in the implementation phase.
Let me emphasize that the final political decisions are responsibility of the Governments participating in ICN2.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me add that FAO believes the participation of non-state actors is critical for the success of any development process.
Those that have been following FAO’s work over the past 30 months will recognize the efforts that we have taken to bring non-state actors closer to our work.
We have strengthened our partnerships team and now have in place strategies that guide our relationship with non-state actors.
This is why we welcome their increased participation in the ICN2 process.
FAO and WHO are working with non-state actors and Member States to find the best way to promote this active participation, in line with what already exists in FAO and in other parts of the UN System, and respecting the parameters that FAO and WHO members have set for each organization.
Let me add that, right before ICN2, there will be three special meetings, in which the private sector, civil society organizations and parliamentarians will have the opportunity to discuss among themselves and agree on common positions that will then be presented at ICN2.
Let me end by repeating that non-state actors will play an important role in the success of ICN2 and in how individual nations and the international community as a whole face its nutrition challenges.
Thank you for your attention and I wish you a fruitful debate.