Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), 19-21 November 2014

FAQs on the ICN2 outcome documents

The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) is a high-level inter-governmental conference that will address the global nutrition issues and challenges of the 21st century. The ICN2 is expected to endorse a political outcome document, the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and an accompanying technical Framework for Action to guide its implementation. FAO Coordinator of the ICN2 Secretariat Brian Thompson elaborates on the purpose of the documents, and how they will be used to improve nutrition.

What is the Rome Declaration on Nutrition?

The Rome Declaration is a political document to respond to the current nutrition issues and challenges. The Declaration, reaffirming the commitments made at the first International Conference on Nutrition in 1992, commits countries to eradicate hunger and prevent all forms of malnutrition worldwide, particularly undernutrition in children, anaemia in women and children among other micronutrient deficiencies, as well as to reverse the trend in obesity. The Rome Declaration on Nutrition binds countries to take ten steps to translate their commitments for nutrition into action.

What is the Framework for Action?

The Framework for Action provides a set of voluntary policy options and strategies for use by governments, acting in cooperation with other stakeholders as appropriate, for the implementation of the commitments of the Rome Declaration on Nutrition. The Framework provides a list of 60 policy and strategy recommendations which may be incorporated into national nutrition, health, agriculture, development and investment plans to achieve better nutrition for all. It advocates for creating an enabling environment for effective action and for strengthening sustainable food systems. This includes investments in pro-poor agriculture and smallholder agriculture to improve diets and raise levels of nutrition, as well as improvements in nutrition education and information, social protection, health, water, sanitation and hygiene and food safety along with recommendations for ensuring greater accountability.

Who drafted and approved the documents?

The Rome Declaration on Nutrition was negotiated by FAO and WHO member countries acting through a Joint Working Group (JWG) of regional representatives, with input from civil society organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders. It is expected that the ICN2 will endorse the Rome Declaration and the Framework for Action on the opening day of the Conference.

How will each be used by governments?

Governments will tailor the policy and strategy recommendations to suit the unique nutrition needs of their countries. Specific actions moving forward will be discussed at the Conference.

Why were they finalized before the conference?

Reaching consensus on the two documents being submitted for endorsement prior to the Conference allows the Conference delegates to clearly focus on how the Declaration is to be implemented, reported on and followed up without spending any undue time on refining the language of the documents themselves. By focusing attention on the next steps, it encourages the Conference to look forward and paves the way for a more successful conference, thereby encouraging the attendance of high level participants.

How will these documents and ICN2 make a positive impact on people affected by malnutrition?

By endorsing these documents, countries are committed to implementing the Declaration through the Framework for Action, as well as ensuring accountability and monitoring progress in the existing global nutrition targets to be met by 2025. Additionally, the commitment includes possibly introducing a related global goal into the post-2015 development agenda. National governments may take any number of routes to achieve these targets, and are also encouraged to establish their own nutrition targets based on their unique situations. They can monitor programme implementation, nutrition outcomes and impact through existing monitoring and accountability mechanisms. Overall, these documents and the Conference itself signify a greater global commitment and concerted effort to eliminate malnutrition. Participants will leave the Conference with the foundation required to transform this commitment into action.

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