On behalf of the US Council for International Business, I would like to thank the organizers of ICN2 for the opportunity to contribute to this online consultation on the revised draft of the Rome Declaration on Nutrition. While we greatly support the submission made by IAFN, we would like to offer some additional comments.
Although an online consultation will solicit some input, we would like to suggest that the FAO and the WHO create a more targeted approach to engaging with stakeholders, including the private sector. We recommend a formal consultation with stakeholders, including the private sector, to have a more robust and complete discussion on these important issues related to nutrition.
In general, we believe the outcome document should reflect that the private sector can contribute in the area of nutrition through its innovative products, its science and technology know-how, as well as good production and management practices, which can be increasingly harnessed through effective partnerships with research institutions, farmers, policy-makers, and civil society.
In addition, we believe that advancing health and nutrition requires a multi-stakeholder approach that reflects the complexities of the issues. For this reason, we believe that ICN2 should include participation from civil society as well as the private sector. There is no quick or simple solution to addressing nutritional challenges. While we believe that the private sector has a role in producing healthy and nutritious food, it is equally important to address issues that impact the community’s ability to thrive, such as poverty, hunger, gender inequality, water access and sustainable agriculture. We believe that developing the economy, including promoting women’s role in the economy, is important. The private sector can play a critical role in further strengthening markets, spurring economic growth and improving livelihoods including nutrition.
We look forward working with the FAO, the WHO and the Civil Society Mechanism to help create the environment for building trust as we seek to demonstrate the effective value of leveraging our capabilities in these partnerships to address the nutritional challenges ahead.