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Civil Society and Private Sector participate in an informal meeting on ICN2

20/06/2014 - 

20 June 2014, Rome - Civil society, private sector and academia representatives met today at FAO headquarters in Rome with government representatives from the Organization’s member states to discuss the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), which will be jointly organized by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) in November 2014.

The informal meeting was initiated by FAO following a request by member countries to involve non-state actors in the ICN2 process.

 “Nutrition must be addressed in a holistic approach by all stakeholders as it remains an urgent challenge. Over 840 million people in the world still suffer from undernourishment, while at the same time, obesity rates are raising rapidly,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said, opening the meeting. 

“Only a multi-sectorial approach will allow making progress towards these goals and will pave the way for the eradication of hunger and malnutrition within our lifetime,” he added.

Informal meeting

In her address, FAO Director for the Office for Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Development, Marcela Villareal, said he purpose of the informal meeting was “to allow non-state actors to autonomously organize themselves to prepare  contributions and comments for the permanent representatives of the member states.”

Villareal also stressed “the importance that FAO gives to including views of all stakeholders involved in nutrition and in eradicating hunger in general.”

In organizing ICN2, FAO and WHO are seeking to involve all non-state actors in order to work together and generate political consensus to promote nutrition as a priority in the global development agenda. The conference, which is scheduled to take place from 19-21 November, 2014 aims to achieve a political outcome that will renew and reinforce the global commitment towards healthier diets for all.

At the informal meeting, civil society organizations were represented by Manaan Awour Mumma (Kenya, SUN Movement), Xaviera Cabada (El Poder del Consumidor, Mexico) and Stineke Oenema (ICCO, The Netherlands). All three contributed with some specific recommendations on the planned ICN2 Framework for Action, which was also discussed.

Alba Tiley (DSM), JB Cordaro (Mars Inc) y Jo Lofthouse (Children’s Investment Fund Foundation) spoke on behalf of the private sector. They asked for a stronger statement on partnerships, ranging from public-private partnerships to any other types, including those that are purposed-driven and that would, according to the three private sector representatives, maximize private sector potential to enhance nutrition.

Subsequently the floor was given to the permanent representatives of the governments for remarks and questions. The meeting ended with a general discussion.