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International Symposium on “Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition”

The joint FAO/WHO international symposium on “Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition” will take place at FAO Headquarters, Rome on 1-2 December 2016. The international symposium will provide an excellent platform and opportunity to explore policies and programme options for shaping the food systems in ways that deliver foods for a healthy diet, focusing on concrete country experiences and challenges. For further information, visit the symposium website.

1. How to express your interest to attend

If you are a representative of a civil society organization/non-governmental organization; private sector entity; philanthropic foundation or an academic/research institution, please follow these instructions to express an interest in attending the international symposium:

  1. Please click on “register” to create an account.
  2. Make sure you remember both username and password chosen.
  3. An email will be sent to the email address related to your account. Click on the link contained on this email to confirm your account.
  4. This link will take you to a screen where you will have to enter your username and password to confirm your account.
  5. Confirming the account will automatically lead you to the individual form in order to submit your individual expression of interest. Valid ID picture and passport copies are requested (please read below the requirements).
  6. If you have problems or cannot submit the individual expression of interest, you can always come back to this page, and sign in with your username and password to re-submit the individual expression of interest.
  7. Final confirmation for participation will be sent in the dates hereunder indicated.

Photo ID requirements

  • Plain white background.
  • Full face frontal view with open eyes.
  • No shadows on the face or in the background.
  • Recent. Maximum 6 months old.
  • Size: 24 mm (width) x 32 mm (height) or 195 pixels (width) x 255 pixels (height).
  • Accepted formats: gif, jpg, jpeg
  • Weight: Maximum 100kb

Passport copy requirements

  • Accepted formats: pdf, gif, jpg, jpeg.
  • Weight: Maximum 100kb

Please note that:

The deadline for expression of interest is 23.59 Rome time on 6 November 2016.

Emails to inform applicants whether their expression of interest (to attend the symposium) has been approved or not will be sent to them by 15 November 2016.

Both FAO and WHO do not fund participation at the international symposium.

The total number of places for non-State participants is limited.

Only one representative per single organization will be considered.

2. Criteria for participation

The scope and focus of the symposium include that it:

  • Explores policies and programme options for shaping the food systems in ways that deliver foods for a healthy diet, focusing on concrete country experiences and challenges;
  • Takes a systems approach;
  • Focuses on Supply side policies and measures for increasing access to healthy diets,  Demand side policies and measures for increasing access to, affordability and consumption of healthy diets as well as on measurement to strengthen policy processes and institutions for action and accountability towards healthy diets.

Common criteria for participation of representatives of the different groups of non-State actors should be that their work and/or mandate is relevant to the scope and focus of the symposium and that they are able to cover their travel and lodging costs and take care of related arrangements.

In accordance with the provisions set in WHO’s Framework of engagement with non-State actors (FENSA) (paragraph 44 and 45), expression of interest from entities representing the tobacco industry and the arms industry, and non-State actors that work to further the interests of the tobacco industry will not be considered. In addition, particular caution will be exercised, especially while conducting due diligence, risk assessment and risk management, when engaging with private sector entities and other non-State actors whose policies or activities are negatively affecting human health and are not in line with FAO and WHO policies, norms and standards, in particular those related to noncommunicable diseases and their determinants and other common UN criteria. Other areas of work and business representatives that will not be considered include: Alcohol, Pornography, and Gambling type of industries and non-State actors that work to further the interests of these types of companies.

Specific criteria for the different groups of non-State actors include

Civil Society/non-governmental organizations

  • Relevance to FAO’s and WHO’s mandate and to the scope/focus of the symposium: The civil society organization’s including non-governmental organization’s mandate or work should include
  • Representativeness: The civil society organization/non-governmental organization is representative of one or more specific sectors of the population who share common interests, with particular reference to the most vulnerable and isolated groups.
  • Independence: The work of the civil society organization/non-governmental organization is autonomous and not subject to external influence. Its sources of funding are transparent and free from any stringent condition that could weaken its action and undermine its legitimacy as an independent actor of change.
  • Transparency: The civil society organization/non-governmental organization demonstrates a consistent pattern of making decisions and implementing actions in accordance with internal rules, norms and regulations that are known and understood by all concerned. Adequate information about decisions and actions is freely and constantly provided in accessible ways and in forms that are easily understood by all concerned.
  • A balanced representation in terms of geography, gender, age and constituencies represented, in accordance with the “Guidelines for ensuring balanced representation of civil society in FAO meetings and processes” and WHO’s Framework of engagement with non-State actors will be sought.

Academic and research institutions

  • Type of actor (ensure that different academic and research centres are represented).
  • Geographic representation
  • Type of institution (covering the agriculture, food systems and nutrition sectors in particular the linkages between these sectors).
  • Has recognized expertise in the areas concerned.
  • Be an accredited institution of higher learning and research. Enjoy academic freedom, institutional autonomy and has transparency in its governance and funding.

 Private Sector entities

  • Type of actor (to ensure that private sector associations/multinational/national companies are represented).Preference will be given to networks/associations.
  • Geographic representation (to ensure that all regions are represented).
  • Type of business (to ensure that the sectors engaged in different elements of the food systems are represented).
  • Track record (preference will be given to actors that have participated in the second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and/or that have official relations with FAO and/or WHO).

Philanthropic foundations

  • Type of actor (to ensure that different philanthropic foundations are represented).
  • Geographic representation (to ensure that all regions are represented).
  • Type of sector (to ensure that the sectors engaged in different elements of the food systems are represented).
  • Track record (preference will be given to actors that have participated in the second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and/or that have official relations with FAO and/or WHO).

Philanthropic foundations must register through the Private Sector section of the registration website.