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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum


UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025: priority actions on nutrition for the next five years

The UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025 (Nutrition Decade) proclaimed by the UN General Assembly Resolution 70/259 in April 2016, was established under the normative framework of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) held in November 2014 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Nutrition Decade aligns on-going efforts of countries and all stakeholders to act across six inter linked Action Areas, which have been based on the commitments of the ICN2 Rome Declaration on Nutrition and the recommendations included in its Framework for Action:

  1. Sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets.
  2. Aligned health systems providing universal coverage of essential nutrition actions.
  3. Social protection and nutrition education.
  4. Trade and investment for improved nutrition.
  5. Safe and supportive environments for nutrition at all ages.
  6. Strengthened governance and accountability for nutrition.

As part of the mid-term review process of the Nutrition Decade, the joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Secretariat of the Nutrition Decade has reviewed progress made during the years 2016-2020 and suggests a plan forward for the period 2021-2025, which was presented in a Foresight paper and identified through informal dialogues with different stakeholder's groups.

The Nutrition Decade seeks commitments from the highest levels of government to lead all relevant stakeholders for urgent, sustained and coherent nutrition action. The UN Nutrition Secretariat invites stakeholders and the wider public to provide insights on the proposed focus areas for priority action1 within each of the above-mentioned six Action Areas for the next five years of the Nutrition Decade.

This process to seek feedback through the FSN Forum consists of two different components that complement each other: an online consultation available in the six UN languages and a short online survey in English. The online consultation gives stakeholders the opportunity to discuss their views and share suggestions on priority actions they believe stakeholders should be taken in the coming five years to contribute to ending all forms of malnutrition. The online survey aims to collect mainly data in a structured way on this topic. It shall take approximately 10 minutes of your time. We invite you to take part in both activities or to choose the one that allows you to share the most relevant input and expertise.

The online survey can be accessed here

For those wishing to participate in the online consultation, we welcome your input and insights along, but not exclusively, the following questions:

  • What are the top three priority actions on nutrition within each of the six Action Areas that should be prioritized by stakeholders going forward, in order to make a difference in nutrition and contribute to ending all forms of malnutrition?
  • Priority focus areas are being tentatively proposed as per the table below. Please indicate if any key elements are missing. Please note that the online survey inquires more specifically about the priority focus areas.
  • Which are key cross-cutting actions that would facilitate interlinkages and create synergies between Action Areas?
  • What do you think are the top three emerging issues and/or trends likely to hamper the achievement of the global nutrition targets? What would you like to see done to address them?

Your contributions to the online consultation and the online survey results will be compiled and analyzed by the UN Nutrition and the Nutrition Decade Secretariats. The results will inform the next five years of the Nutrition Decade. A summary of the input received will be made publicly available on the FSN Forum website and and may be considered in official reporting mechanisms (e.g. UN Nutrition reports).

The online survey and the online consultation are open until 14th June 2021.

We thank you very much in advance for taking the time to share your feedback with us. Your input will be very important in shaping effective action for the next five years of the Nutrition Decade to address malnutrition in all its forms, leaving no one behind. 

Stineke Oenema
Executive Secretary of UN Nutrition

Proposed tentative priority focus for the next five years of the Nutrition Decade2

Action Area 1: Sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets
  • Scale up the inclusion of nutrition objectives in food and agriculture policies: increase production of context-appropriate fruits and vegetables for domestic consumption, and of legumes and pulses that contribute to healthy diets; raise production of oils in support of the elimination of industrially produced trans-fat in the food supply.
  • Accelerate food reformulation: provide reference ranges for sodium reduction level benchmarks for processed foods.
  • Accelerate strengthening food control systems: implement national programmes for surveillance of food-borne diseases in humans and contamination of food-borne hazards in the food chain.
Action Area 2: Aligned health systems providing universal coverage of essential nutrition actions
  • Scale up the integration of nutrition actions into health systems: integrate essential nutrition actions into national Universal Health Coverage (UHC) plans.
  • Address funding gaps: increase investments for nutrition in UHC, including for integrated data systems for tracking coverage and quality of essential nutrition actions.
  • Accelerate progress on wasting reduction: implement the UN Global Action Plan on Child Wasting and its Roadmap.
Action Area 3: Social protection and nutrition education
  • Scale up the implementation of nutrition-sensitive social protection policies: ensure coherence between social protection and other sector programmes such as with agricultural production, livelihood diversification and local economic development; national supplementary food bank programmes provide weekly vouchers to each user for purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers.
  • Better leverage of schools as a platform for food and nutrition education and enabling healthy diets: set and improve nutrition standards for school meals.
  • Accelerate building nutrition capacity: increase the number and quality of nutrition professionals; train healthcare workers to better deliver nutrition action across the life-course.
  • Scale up the implementation of nutrition education interventions: implement easily understandable nutrition (front-of-pack) labelling on food products that supports consumers’ choices for healthy diets.
Action Area 4: Trade and investment for improved nutrition
  • Accelerate responsible and sustainable investments in nutrition: a minimum percentage of the overall national governmental yearly budget is set for nutrition interventions.
  • Scale up the implementation of nutrition-sensitive trade policies: establish a national task force represented by different sectors for assessing the coherence between national trade policies and the implemented nutrition actions.
  • Strengthen partnerships for data collection and development of tools: global institutions to continue to improve data collection and develop methods and indicators to better understand trade policy impacts on nutrition.
  • Accelerate investments in local food supply chains: gradual increase yearly public sector government budget for investments in cold chain technology and post-harvest handling of perishable foods.
Action Area 5: Safe and supportive environments for nutrition at all ages
  • Scale up the implementation of regulatory instruments to promote healthy diets: introduce taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages and subsidies for fruits and vegetables; implement legislation of marketing restrictions of foods and beverages high in fat, sugar and/or salt to children.
  • Scale up the implementation of nutrition-sensitive public food procurement policies: set food and nutrition-based standards for the food and meals provided in hospitals, care facilities and other public settings.
  • Scale up the implementation of national dietary guidelines: include in national dietary guidelines for children, adults and elderly biodiversity and sustainability considerations.
  • Scale up the implementation of nutrition-sensitive policies for improving local food and nutrition environments: introduce zoning regulations and tax regimes to minimize food deserts and swamps.
Action Area 6: Strengthened governance and accountability for nutrition
  • Enhance political commitment through political dialogue and advocacy at national and sub-national levels: establish and strengthen coordination mechanism through a multistakeholder consultation process for the uptake of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition.
  • Address research funding gap: increase investment for research on the adaptation of global recommendations to the country context to support capacity development for implementation.
  • Scale up investments in national nutrition information system: establish and strengthen a national nutrition monitoring framework in line with global guidance and the SDG monitoring framework in order to identify challenges and gaps for informed and effective policymaking.
  • Accelerate global governance and accountability: use global summits such as the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 and the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 for setting new commitments for action on nutrition and streamlining the global nutrition accountability infrastructure.

1These proposed focus areas for priority action are specified in the table.

2FAO & WHO. 2018. Strengthening nutrition action: A resource guide for countries based on the policy recommendations of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2). Rome, Italy. 112 pp. [Cited 25 November 2018].; Joint FAO/WHO Secretariat of the Nutrition Decade. 2020. Mid-term review foresight paper [online]. [Cited 30 March 2021].

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