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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Invitation to an open discussion on the political outcome document of the ICN2

Modi Mwatsama
Modi MwatsamaUK Health ForumUnited Kingdom

1.   Do you have any general comments on the draft political declaration and its vision

(paragraphs 1-3 of the zero draft)?

We welcome the overall vision of the political outcome document. Para 1

We recommend that the definition of malnutrition includes overconsumption so the second sentence reads: “Malnutrition -- undernourishment, micronutrient deficiencies, unbalanced diets, and overconsumption – imposes unacceptably high costs on individuals, families and societies.”

We also recommend that this para highlights the fact that socioeconomic disparities, especially in relation to education, employment and income, underpin all forms of malnutrition in all countries.

2.   Do you have any comments on the background and analysis provided in the political declaration (paragraphs 4-20 of the zero draft)?

Para 7

“Renew the commitment to…”  add reduce the prevalence of raised blood pressure and prevalence of salt intakes in excess of 5g per day to the list of outcomes.

Para 10

We welcome the acknowledgement that food systems need to produce more nutritious food, as opposed to just more food. However, this paragraph should also acknowledge that food systems should also aim to re-balance existing food production and distribution, not just focus on producing more food.

Para 13

We support the recognition that “increased public investment to improve nutrition is needed, including more equitable access to safe food and water, income, education and healthcare”.

“Continued efforts are needed, not only to raise agricultural productivity” but also to re-distribute it in order to meet the dietary energy needs of a growing population.

This para should stress the need to curb excessive consumption of salt in addition to sugars and saturated fats.

We welcome the recognition that “more viable family farming can help boost local economies, especially with policies for social protection and community well-being.”

Para 14

This para should be amended to reflect the fact that “governments are obliged to protect consumers, especially children from [delete misleading] commercial messages promoting energy-dense, but nutrition poor foods and misleading health and nutrient claims.”

“Commercial messages promoting energy-dense, but nutrition-poor foods” are associated with increased risk of excess energy consumption, nutrient poor diets, and an increased risk of overweight or obesity.

We strongly support the principle that “Governments should facilitate the establishment of healthy food practices, based on local foods [insert] and cultures”

Para 15

We support the acknowledgement that nutritional protection is provided to people who are food insecure. The para should include a commitment to “examine opportunities for enhancing people’s nutrition through programmes, interventions and partnerships [add] for older people’s health,” in addition to those listed: ante-natal and post-natal maternal health, child health and feeding school children.

This paragraph should list all the groups who are particularly vulnerable in addition to those listed above. These include: those suffering from socially deprived backgrounds and those who suffer from chronic conditions. The world’s population is ageing, and older people on low incomes are a further vulnerable group who are more prone to malnutrition.

Para 16

Amend this para as follows “Recognise that official development assistance, including climate mitigation and adaptation finance, philanthropic transfers and other foreign assistance, should support national [add] priorities, nutrition-enhancing initiatives and interventions.”

Para 18

We welcome the proposal to “Reaffirm that high-level political commitment and pro-active efforts as well as improved governance… are essential for food systems to enhance nutrition and food safety on a sustainable basis”

The last sentence would benefit from being amended as follows “Governments’ investment plans should target food systems with the aim of improving the availability, accessibility, acceptability [add] and affordability of healthy food the foods required to achieve healthy eating and dietary objectives.

Para 19

Second sentence: Suggest that health organisations are added to the list of organisations needed to “contribute to the common agenda to reshape the food system”

Suggest the last sentence is amended as follows: “The United Nations system must work more effectively together to enhance international cooperation, [add] policy coherence and solidarity to improve nutrition and support national efforts to accelerate progress against malnutrition.”

Para 20

We support the recognition of the importance of better data, metrics and indicators in supporting monitoring and accountability towards the achievement of targets and progress. We strongly recommend that this paragraph reflects the need for data which is can be stratified by socioeconomic status (education, employment and income) where relevant.

Last sentence: suggest this is amended as follows “The accountability framework should include information on [add] the nature of food environments*, the achievements of targets, as well as progress on the implementation of programmes and policies.

*Note: specific aspects of food environments should include food production and trade, food composition, food marketing, food labelling, food availability, food prices and the activities of the associated commercial sectors.

3.   Do you have any comments on the commitments proposed in the political declaration? In this connection, do you have any suggestions to contribute to a more technical elaboration to guide action and implementation on these commitments (paragraphs 21-23 of the zero draft)?

Please provide your comments in the appropriate fields relating to these commitments:


Commitment I: aligning our food systems (systems for food production, storage, marketing and distribution) to people’s health needs;

Add marketing and cost/pricing to the above list.

Add to that ‘making our food systems equitable’ will need to be done by tackling the socio-economic drivers and determinants of malnutrition including through promoting measures on poverty, education and social protection.

Commitment III: making our food systems provide safe and nutritious food in a sustainable and resilient way;

Agree this is important.

Commitment IV: ensuring that nutritious food is accessible, affordable and acceptable through the coherent implementation of public policies throughout food value chains.

Suggest amending as follows:

“ensuring that nutritious food is accessible, affordable [add] available and acceptable through the coherent [add] development and implementation of public policies [add] at international, national and sub-national levels.”

Relevant policies should include trade and investment policies, agriculture policies, and other market shaping, economic and fiscal tools to incentivise healthier food environments and choices.

This commitment should be further supported by strengthening institutional and workforce capacity to achieve the nutrition objectives.

Commitment V: establishing governments’ leadership for shaping food systems.

Leadership for shaping food systems should be established at national governmental level, regional level, and international-inter governmental level (eg by FAO, WHO, WTO etc) in order to ensure policy coherence for nutrition across public policies in all sectors and at all levels.

Commitment VI: encouraging contributions from all actors in society;

This should be underpinned by efforts to manage any real, perceived or potential conflicts of interest in order maximise the achievement of public interest and nutrition objectives.

Commitment VII: implementing a framework through which our progress with achieving the targets and implementing these commitments can be monitored, and through which we will be held

The monitoring and accountability framework should apply to all stakeholders. Civil society actors in particular have a recognised important role in monitoring and holding stakeholders to account.

22. Commit to launch a Decade of Action on Nutrition guided by a Framework for Action and to report biennially on its implementation to FAO, WHO and ECOSOC.

Agree, this is important.

23. Commit to integrate the objectives and directions of the Ten Year Framework for Action into the post-2015 global development efforts.

Agree, this is important. It should be further supported and enabled by the inclusion of a food and nutrition security goal, targets and indicators within the post-2015 development framework.

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