V. RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACTION

47. The goals of the World Declaration on Nutrition as well as the recommendations of the Plan of Action for Nutrition need to be translated into priority actions in accordance with the realities found in each country and must be supported by action at the international level. Taking these into account, governments should prepare national plans of action, coordinated as appropriate with follow-up activities related to the World Summit for Children, establishing priorities, setting up time frames and, where appropriate, identifying the resources needed and those already available. The strategies for achieving the objectives may vary from country to country, and the responsibilities rest with a variety of agents, from government institutions to individuals.

1. At the national level

(a) All governments should establish appropriate national mechanisms to prioritize, develop, implement and monitor policies and plans to improve nutrition within designated time frames, based both on national and local needs, and provide appropriate funds for their functioning.

(b) Within the context of the national plans of action, governments should formulate, adopt and implement programmes and strategies to achieve the recommendations of the Plan of Action for Nutrition, taking into account their specific problems and priorities. In particular, in countries where it is appropriate to do so, ministries of agriculture, fisheries, food, health, social welfare, education and planning, as well as other concerned ministries, should formulate concrete proposals for their sectors to promote nutritional well-being.

(c) Governments at the local and provincial levels, as well as NGOs and the private sector, should be encouraged to participate in the process.

(d) All sectors of society should be encouraged to play an active role and to assume their responsibilities in implementing related components of the national plan of action, with appropriate mechanisms for coordination. Households, communities, NGOs, private institutions , including industry, small-scale producers, women farmers and trade and services, as well as social and cultural associations , and the mass media should be mobilized to help individuals and population groups achieve nutritional well-being in close association with government and technical service sectors.

(e) Programmes aimed at improving the nutritional well-being of the people, in particular that of the groups at greatest risk, should be supported by the allocation of adequate resources by the public and the private sectors so as to ensure their sustainability.

(f) Governments, academic institutions and industry should support the development of fundamental and applied research directed towards the improving the scientific and technological knowledge base against which food, nutrition and health problems can be analysed and solved, giving priority to research concerning disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

(g) In most countries, high priority should be given to the development of human resources and training of personnel needed in all sectors to support nutrition-related activities.

(h) National governments, in cooperation with local authorities, NGOs and the private sector, should prepare periodic reports on the implementation of national plans of actions, with clear indications of how vulnerable groups are faring.

2. At the international level

(a) International agencies , multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental , are urged to define, in the course of 1993, steps through which they can contribute to the achievement of those goals and strategies set out in the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition, including the promotion of new partnerships of economic and technical cooperation among countries.

(b) The governing bodies of FAO, WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, UNDP, Unesco, ILO, WFP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNU, IFAD and other concerned international organizations should, in the course of 1993, decide on ways and means of giving appropriate priority to their nutrition-related programmes and activities aimed at ensuring, as soon as possible, the vigorous and coordinated implementation of activities recommended in the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition. This would include, as appropriate, increased assistance to the member countries. FAO and WHO, in particular, should strengthen within available resources their programmes for nutritional improvement, taking into account the recommendations put forth in this Plan of Action.

(c) Regional offices of UN organizations and regional intergovernmental organizations are requested to collaborate on and to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of the Plan of Action for Nutrition by supporting horizontal and interregional cooperation, especially among developing countries. In particular, this would involve collaboration based on the aims and principles of the Plan of Action for Nutrition for the formulation of overall regional strategies for improved nutrition and, when requested, for assisting governments in formulating national plans of action.

(d) Regional institutions for research and training, with appropriate support from the international community, should establish or reinforce collaborative networks in order to foster the human resource development needed , particularly at the national level , to implement the Plan of Action for Nutrition, to promote intercountry collaboration and to exchange information on the food and nutrition situation, technologies, research results, the implementation of nutrition programmes and resource flows.

(e) As leading specialized agencies of the UN system in the fields of food, nutrition and health, FAO and WHO are requested to prepare jointly, in close collaboration with UNICEF and other UN entities, a consolidated report on their implementation of the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition and also on its implementation by their member countries and other international organizations for review by their governing bodies by 1995. The governing bodies can then make decisions on the timing of future reports.

(f) UN agencies have a special responsibility for follow-up. All concerned agencies and organs of the UN system are urged to strengthen their collaborative and cooperative mechanisms in order to fully participate at international, regional, national and local levels in the achievement of the objectives of the Plan of Action for Nutrition. The ACC/SCN should facilitate coordination of these efforts and, in close collaboration with its participating agencies, prepare periodic reports on their activities in implementing the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition for consideration by the ACC for submission, through ECOSOC, to the UN General Assembly.

VI. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FOLLOW-UP OF THE CONFERENCE

48. Governments are urged to promote continued work by relevant ministries and the strengthening or establishment of the ICN focal points where appropriate, and, with other concerned parties, to improve nutritional status, including the following:

(a) To prepare or improve, as early as possible and not later than the end of 1994, national plans of action and policies based on the principles and strategies enunciated in this World Declaration and Plan of Action. These need to be based on an analysis of the country situation and developed with the active participation of all relevant ministries, local governments and communities, non-governmental and research organizations and the private sector.

(b) To allocate and mobilize the financial and human resources necessary for implementation.

(c) To prepare, where appropriate, specific proposals for research priorities and capacity building, establishing links between government, non-governmental sectors, appropriate organizations and academic institutions.

(d) To develop coordinated intersectoral mechanisms for implementing, monitoring and evaluating the agreed national plan of action.

(e) To disseminate to the public, which may include parliamentary bodies, information on the principles and objectives of the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition as well as on the progress made and targets reached.

(f) To strengthen collaboration with NGOs, community agencies, local private sector representatives and citizens on the design and implementation of the country action plan.

49. The international community, including bilateral, international and multilateral agencies and institutions providing capital and/or technical assistance, are urged as soon as possible and to the extent their mandates and resources allow to allocate assured and increased funds to recipient countries, institutions and NGOs, as appropriate, for the preparation and implementation of national plans of action.

50. The governing bodies of FAO and WHO and other relevant international organizations are requested to give specific consideration during 1993 to determining ways and means of strengthening their capabilities towards implementing this World Declaration and Plan of Action. FAO and WHO are requested to consider the inclusion of periodic reports on the overall follow-up of the ICN on the agenda of the regular FAO regional conferences and WHO regional committee meetings.

51. UN organizations and other concerned parties are requested to prepare and disseminate information for the public on the World Declaration and Plan of Action.

52. In conclusion, the ICN should be viewed as a milestone in the continuing process to eliminate hunger and malnutrition, especially in the developing countries, and at the same time to prevent an increase in the incidence of diet-related communicable and non-communicable diseases. The ICN preparatory process began at the national and regional levels and, to be effective, its follow-up must now be firmly anchored in national and regional commitment and efforts to protect and promote the nutritional well-being of all.