Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the conversation. It has been another week of solid input that will no doubt help to shape the breadth and depth of the Decade’s Work Programme.

Several themes are emerging strongly this week. One is the need for leadership, coordination and implementation, specifically at country level. Ending all forms of malnutrition requires bold, country-led leadership to shine a light on the pathways to coherent actions leading to results and impact. The coordination of these actions will help ensure that the final collective result is greater than the sum of the individual efforts. Through biannual reporting and course correction when necessary, the Work Programme’s strongest added value will be in its clear focus on consolidation and implementation.

The sense of urgency to act to prevent increases in overweight and obesity due to low quality diets was emphasized. Priority also needs to be given to data collection for effective evidence-based policy making, which would help us understand what people are eating and why. Concrete measures to make our food systems and our direct food environment work better for nutrition are called for. Taxation was suggested as a means to ensure that healthy diets are available on the market, but this was questioned by others. This again highlights the critical importance of better understanding both consumer behavior and the effects of market regulation. Monitoring and evaluation of interventions to ensure that they are cost-effective, sustainable and are reaching their end target is essential.

The number of commitments being expressed through this consultation shows the universality of the problem and identifies solutions moving forward. The Co-leadership team of the Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme of the UN 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) gave concrete examples of the initiatives they are undertaking to enhance international cooperation across sectors to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production. It would be a missed opportunity if not all of the existing partnerships were encouraged to take part in the Decade because everyone has a role to play. The nutrition community also needs to systematically engage in all relevant fora to ensure that nutrition is mainstreamed.

Some participants asked for a calendar of events, and on that note, allow me to remind you of the upcoming ones specifically on the Decade’s draft Work Programme. A briefing will be held on 27 February 2017 as an opportunity to informally brief the Permanent Representatives of FAO and WHO Members and seek their views on the main elements of the draft Work Programme. The FAO and WHO will then produce a revised Work Programme to discuss with their Member States during the World Health Assembly (May 2017) and the FAO Conference (June 2017). This Work Programme will remain a living document, building upon and connecting the independent initiatives of governments and their many partners and will be adapted according to needs and lessons learned.

We very much look forward to the next round of comments in the coming few days. By working together, we can make this Decade a decade of impact for nutrition.

Kind regards,

Christine Campeau