Maximizing the Impact of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition
With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world has committed to eradicate hunger and eliminate all forms of malnutrition by 2030. The UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on 1 April 2016 calls for accelerated global action to achieve this goal.
The UN General Assembly Resolution places the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition in the context of follow-up to the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2). It tasks the co-convenors of ICN2, FAO and WHO, to organise the implementation of the Decade through an inclusive and participatory process, working “with existing institutions and with available resources”. The UNSCN is supporting this effort by initiating an online discussion to collect the ideas of all relevant actors. Specifically, and taking the ICN2 outcomes as a framework, the UNSCN wants to know what elements you believe should be taken into consideration in the development of the Work Programme for the implementation of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.
We would therefore like to invite you to share your views on how best to maximise the potential of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition. You may want to consider the following questions:
- What are your expectations for the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and how could it make a significant difference in improving nutrition and food security of the people in your country within the next ten years?
- What critical activities need to be included in the Work Programme for the implementation of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition to reach the 2025 global nutrition targets? Which activities would need to be accelerated in your country to reach these targets? How could these activities be funded?
- What can be done to accelerate and improve the quality of commitments from the various actors? What role(s) should public and private actors play in monitoring their implementation?
- How can other relevant forums, such as the CFS and the UNSCN, contribute, and how can other movements (e.g. human rights, environment) be involved in the Decade?
This consultation is part of a wider discussion to help elaborate the Work Programme for the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition. We invite you to circulate this opportunity to the appropriate stakeholders in your country and networks to guarantee that all actors are able to engage and be connected in a meaningful way.
Thank you for your valuable contribution to this exchange.
Technical Officer, UNSCN
About the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition
The Decade is a global effort driven by Members States of the United Nations and convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and including other UN bodies and other entities such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN).
This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.
Maximizing the Impact of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition
What are your expectations for the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and how could it make a significant difference in improving nutrition and food security of the people in your country within the next ten years?
Many of us who were present at the ICN2 saw how it was a true global effort to get the world’s nutrition leaders, technical experts, policy makers and practitioners together and pledge commitments in true solidarity. In terms of commitments to action, countries are at different stages of progress. The ICN2 Framework for Action provided a broad set of policy and programme options that are relevant in addressing the multiple changes of malnutrition from a sustainable perspective.
Bangladesh has been an active adopter of the global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Initiative and reaffirmed its commitment during the FAO/WHO Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome in 2014 by endorsing both the Rome Declaration and the Plan of Action for the next decade (until 2025) and its targets. Similarly, the Government of Bangladesh also endorsed the six global nutrition targets and their indicators by 2025 at the World Health Assembly in 2012.
In terms of expectations, countries often look to support and learning from lessons and successes elsewhere. This could include: evidence and research for translating policy processes across cross sectoral contexts and domains. From nutrition sensitive policy perspective among other things, there is need to better characterize an enabling environment for agriculture to benefit nutrition, and how these environments can be shaped and sustained. Improving knowledge and perception of undernutrition and its links to agriculture, on the part of agricultural policymakers and programme managers is one of the priorities.
FAO in Bangladesh is providing the programme Meeting the Undernutrition Challenge –MUCH that aims to build a “strengthened enabling environment for eradicating food insecurity and malnutrition”. This will be achieved through five mutually reinforcing outputs focused on improving the Government and other stakeholders’ capacities through the provision of policy advice and technical support, including day-to-day mentoring and specialized training, to strengthen their technical capacities on food security and nutrition (FSN), develop national food security and nutrition policy frameworks, and formulate nutrition investment plans and programs. To this end, the FAO MUCH programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other government partners, WHO, UNICEF, WFP, World Bank and others is providing support in elaborating the country’s National Plan of Action on Nutrition with a balance of both nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive strategies.
What critical activities need to be included in the Work Programme for the implementation of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition to reach the 2025 global nutrition targets? Which activities would need to be accelerated in your country to reach these targets? How could these activities be funded?
Bangladesh has recently updated and prepared its food composition tables, proposed a desirable dietary pattern, and developed its dietary and complementary feeding guidelines and improved recipes for infant and young child feeding. In partnership with academia and core nutrition relevant sectors, FAO has technical supported research for the development of these policy tools. To this end, one of the critical activities to be included in the Work Programme for the implementation of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition to reach the 2025 global nutrition targets would be: specific guidance on what constitutes a healthy and diversified diet. Guidelines need to elaborate technical details on type of fat, meat, amount of sugar, type of processed foods, healthy cooking methods and related science base for this input. Developing, disseminating and implementing food based dietary guidelines need to be taken up in a systematic way to influence supply and demand of healthy foods, and thereby, in part, impact the delivery on nutrition improvement outcomes. Issues of environment and climate change also need attention in dietary guidelines. FAO MUCH is providing major technical support to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other partner ministries along with other UN agencies and development partners on developing the National Plan of Action on Nutrition (2016 -2025).
Since 2010, Bangladesh has been monitoring the National Food Policy Plan of Action (2008 -2015) and the Country Investment Plan for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition (2010-2015) through a set of common FSN outcome and output indicators engaging 13 partner ministries and also monitoring the financial delivery on programmes across agriculture, food security and nutrition. Using the time series record of agriculture, food security and nutrition and its progress between 2007 and 2015, the monitoring reports have been providing accumulated knowledge and analyses over different food security and nutrition dimensions. Financing and financial execution of projects and programmes by the government and development partners and the financial gaps to seek investments are some of the major analyses available in the reports. It also makes recommendations for future commitments in line with the government five year plans and the sustainable development agenda. FAO has been providing technical support to this policy process with funding support from USAID and EU.
A revised Country Investment Plan on Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition (2016 -2025) is also being planned. FAO through its MUCH Programme will support monitoring the implementation of these policy action plans and investments the implementation of these policies, plans of action and track the commitments towards reaching national nutrition targets in line with global indicators, notably SDG2 among others and WHA targets.
Improved indicators and data for effective food system policies is another area that needs attention. Use and application of the updated women dietary diversity indicator, dietary assessment tools are some important examples in this regard. Use of these indicators is critical to build evidence and quantify their effectiveness in the field.
Given that Bangladesh is a country vulnerable to climate change impacts, guidance and support in recovery and resilience from floods, water logging situations, soil changes, etc. of the most affected is an area of concern. Protecting, restoring and promoting livelihoods and nutrition of coastal households with specific focus on the needs of women, children and elderly is critical. Adolescent diets and nutrition is another grossly neglected issue and joint and cross sectoral programming is critical.
Joint funding support and implementation under the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition needs to be especially explored in this context.
What can be done to accelerate and improve the quality of commitments from the various actors? What role(s) should public and private actors play in monitoring their implementation?
An area where the private sector can and needs to play is a responsible role is in creating partnerships with small holder and mid level farmers for nutrition linked agricultural projects and market opportunities to scale these up. Guidance is needed in carefully designed and thought through projects and ventures along with support for implementation and monitoring. The private sector in collaboration with government can consider providing matching grants for investments in small-scale post-harvest infrastructure such as silos, small-scale processing, drying equipment, smokeless stoves, milk packaging and processing ( as examples) and technical assistance and equipment and quality control inspectorate services. Emphasis on processing nutrient dense foods needs to be considered. These are some of the projects that are being explored in Bangladesh.
How can other relevant forums, such as the CFS and the UNSCN, contribute, and how can other movements (e.g. human rights, environment) be involved in the Decade?
Such forums should consider show casing best practices from successful programmes and share lessons learned across countries. Evidence needs to be provided for informing policies from progress in countries. As examples : FAO MUCH Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Food and others facilitated Bangladesh’s active engagement in the South Asian Dialogue on the Right to Food and creation of a Community of Practice in South Asia in November 2015; FAO MUCH in collaboration with Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council, IFPRI, HKI, World Fish and the CSO SUN organized a technical symposium on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture in April 2016.
Ms. Chavanne Hanson
Nestlé would like to thank the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) for the opportunity to comment on maximizing the impact of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.
Nutrition has been the very cornerstone of Nestlé for more than 150 years. It started at the very beginning, in 1867, when the company was founded on the success of an infant cereal aimed at alleviating infant mortality. And to this day, Nestlé still aims to enhance lives with science-based nutrition and health solutions for all stages of life, helping consumers care for themselves and their families.
Nestlé therefore fully embraces the UN Decade of Action, which closely aligns with the company’s philosophy of Creating Shared Value for society and enhancing the future nutrition, health and wellness of individuals and families. But to fully maximize the impact of this action, it is important to note that collaboration across sectors is essential. Eliminating hunger and malnutrition are large, complex tasks. But bringing together all areas of society – including the private sector – provides the greatest number of resources and knowledge to ensure the development of workable, sustainable solutions to these multifaceted issues. And Nestlé is committed to working with stakeholders from all of areas of society to help accelerate and meet the Decade of Action goals of eradicating hunger and eliminating all forms of malnutrition by 2030.
In fact, Nestlé is already working in many areas that support these goals. And incorporating learnings and effective aspects of relevant programming and resources, along with the work of other stakeholders, can help create a comprehensive, effective plan that ensures the achievement of the Decade of Action. Some of these relevant initiatives, which are described in detail below, include:
More Nutritious Products
Micronutrient deficiency is a common public health problem, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. To address this problem, Nestlé has focused its work on developing foods and beverages designed to provide nourishment, especially for children and women of childbearing age. In 2015, Nestlé delivered 192 billion micronutrient-fortified products to help alleviate deficiencies and also launched a Policy on Micronutrient Fortification, which promotes fortification at levels that improve health without risking adverse consequences from excess consumption.
In addition, Nestlé has further improved the nutritional composition of its food and beverage products by using the Nestlé Nutritional Profiling System, a system based on nutrition science and public health recommendations from around the world. This system was designed to evaluate and constantly optimize the nutritional value of food and beverage products. A food or beverage must meet all the criteria to attain “Yes” status, meaning that it is considered appropriate for consumers as part of a healthy diet. To date, 100% of our children’s products portfolio have obtained “Yes” status, thereby ensuring better nutrition to the youngest consumers.
Greater Nutrition Education
Beyond product development, Nestlé also aims to help children understand the role that nutrition plays in their lives and how to balance good nutrition with an active lifestyle. One way we do this is through the Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Programme, which focuses on nutrition education and physical activity, providing information on balanced diets, positive approaches to food and practical advice on improving eating habits to kids around the world. To date, we’ve activated 84 of these programs, delivering important dietary and health information to over 8 million children across the globe.
Responsible Marketing to Kids
In light of the dramatic rise in childhood obesity over the past decades, the 2011 UN Summit on non-communicable diseases called on the private sector to reduce the impact of the marketing of products high in salt, sugar and fat to children. To support of this call to action, Nestlé participates in a wide variety of industry activities aimed at furthering responsible advertising to consumers such as those carried out by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA). This includes voluntary advertising to children initiatives in the United States, across the twenty seven countries of the European Union, the six countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Russia, India, the Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland and Thailand. These industry “pledges” are subject to third party compliance monitoring and recent surveys demonstrate general compliance rates are above 96%. Nestlé’s track record in self-regulation, as a complement to legislation, is excellent.
Better Portion Guidance
At Nestlé, we want to provide consumers with user-friendly information rather than abstract dietary recommendations. Nestlé Portion Guidance is a voluntary initiative designed to bridge international dietary recommendations (e.g., food guides) and nutrition labelling recommendations to guide consumers to more appropriate portions for a healthier diet. Through product form, pack design, clear illustration and, occasionally, a serving device or dispensing machine, we are helping reframe portion norms, especially in energy-dense categories where regular servings may have increased over time.
More Sustainable Practices
Beyond nutrition, Nestlé also focuses on water, because water scarcity is a very serious issue in many parts of the world and water is, quite simply, the linchpin of food security. To support greater accessibility to safe, clean water, Nestlé is committed to using water more efficiently and facilitate responsible stewardship in catchments where we source water or ingredients, and where we have facilities. Nestlé won the Global Water Awards Corporate Stewardship award for its zero water technology, enabling dairy factories to operate without using local ground water.
Food waste is another a critical, global problem that is closely tied to food security. Nestlé played a key role in developing the first global standard to help companies and governments reduce food loss and waste. Launched at the 3GF Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen, the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard was developed by the multi-stakeholder Food Loss and Waste Protocol. And the company recently published its own public commitment to help reduce food loss and waste to support food security.
Private sector actions, such as the ones listed above, would be beneficial in helping support the goals of the Decade of Action on Nutrition. But in order to properly monitor the effectiveness of this work, the private sector should be provided with example measures of success for each action, along with interim targets to track progress. These measures will help ensure forward movement and encourage acceleration by our company and the rest of industry, if needed.
Nestlé is committed to working with governments and all parts of society, both private and public, to help accelerate and achieve the goals of the Decade of Action on Nutrition. We thank you for this opportunity to offer consultation on maximizing the impact of the Decade of Action on Nutrition and we look forward to helping make these goals a reality.
Chavanne Hanson, MPH, RD, LD
Deputy Head for Global Public Affairs
Ms. peggy pascal
ACTION AGAINST HUNGER expectations for the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition
Action Against Hunger welcomes the Decade of Action on Nutrition, as an opportunity to amplify previous nutrition-related commitments and to progress movement towards translating these into action by providing clear guidance to States on how to achieve those commitments and by promoting coherence and coordination across different policy domains and with human rights and multiplying spaces for action.
We believe that the Decade of Action on Nutrition could provide the embedding mechanism which is currently needed to bring together the many fragmented initiatives that are taking place and to create more coherent and better coordinated global nutrition governance.
We would like the Decade of Action to:
1) ADDRESS ALL FORMS OF MALNUTRITION, promote a holistic approach and put greater emphasis on equity
In order to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by 2030, the Decade of Action should be framed around the need to address malnutrition in all its forms, from undernutrition (including stunting, wasting and micronutrient deficiencies) to overweight and obesity. The Decade of Action work program should ensure that undernutrition is viewed as an “everyday emergency” which needs to be addressed in both developed and developing countries as well as in humanitarian emergencies. Specific attention should be dedicated to severe acute malnutrition, which must be seen as a public health issue.
Solving the issue of undernutrition requests a twin-track approach. Although treatment of acute malnutrition is a critical action to save lives, nutrition prevention and resilience strengthening activities are essential to having a lasting, extensive impact through addressing direct and indirect causes. To address all these causes, the Decade of Action should adopt a systemic and multi-sectoral approach, with the promotion of cross-sectoral integration and coordination. Achieving ‘nutrition security’ is broader than ‘food security’ and means ongoing access to the basic elements of good nutrition – a diverse diet, safe environment, clean water and sanitation, adequate healthcare, and the knowledge needed to ensure a healthy, sanitary and active life – and the term recognizes that nutritional status is dependent on a broad range of factors. Addressing such multiple causes requires cross sectoral integration and coordination amongst a range of inter-related sectors and ministries – including food and agriculture, health, water and sanitation, gender, education, finance, social protection, economic development, environment, trade and investment, planning, information and consumer affairs.
Finally, the Decade of Action should promote a greater emphasis on equity and highlight the importance of creating an enabling environment that addresses the profound structural barriers and the needs of vulnerable, marginalized and excluded people.
2) Bring coherence to the global nutrition governance
Within the Decade of Action, we hope the global nutrition governance to be clarified through the consensual adoption of a mapping of nutrition global governance. This document should encompass: a clear identification of the role of each key stakeholder in the nutrition governance, and especially: identification of the role of Decade implementing / technical partners (UNICEF, WFP, IFAD), identification of complementary roles between coordination bodies (CFS & UNSCN) and their role in the DoA, identification of the coordination with “other regional and international platforms”, especially with the SUN Movement, as well as a clear identification of the role of the civil society.
The Decade of Action could also create an enabling environment for greater coherence within the UN system. Currently, global leadership for efforts on malnutrition is split between five UN agencies: UNICEF, WHO, WFP, FAO and IFAD. This fragmentation can lead to policy incoherence and acts as a barrier to an integrated, aligned and coordinated approach. Under the leadership of UNSCN and in accordance with its new Strategic Plan, the Decade of Action should provide the framework to allow UN agencies to agree on integrated strategies for tacking malnutrition in all its forms. The adoption of a joint UN nutrition strategy should be part of the Decade of Action work program.
3) Ensure strong political momentum is sustained and nutrition commitments are implemented
To maintain the momentum on nutrition at the international level, WHO and FAO could organize a normative event/moment each year or every 2 years, where every stakeholder/nutrition initiatives get together and prioritize action step. It could be the creation of a political process on nutrition with a dedicated platform for intergovernmental coordination in the context of the General Assembly, with high level meetings on nutrition to be organized during each UNGA, push States to report on their nutrition commitments and provide impulse to the nutrition agenda.
To ensure that global commitments are translated into action at national level, Member States should be urged to:
The Decade of Action work program should also encompass a clear identification of each stakeholder’s (UN agencies and other regional and international platforms) responsibility in providing technical support to governments for the definition of their national commitments and targets, as well as for their implementation and monitoring and evaluation.
4) Improve Accountability
To bring consistency and harmonization in the accountability framework, a robust monitoring and accountability framework should be defined at the global level, integrating the existing nutrition-related commitment frameworks (ICN2 commitments, WHA and NCD targets, SDGs, Nutrition for Growth), with the definition of an inclusive and transparent accountability mechanism at the international level. Activities to improve accountability and to be included in the work program include:
5) SUPPORT THE MOBILIZATION OF FUNDING
Even though financial resources alone won’t be enough to eradicate undernutrition by 2030 and should be accompanied with political leadership, functioning government programs and services, strong accountability, etc., this goal won’t be reached without significantly more funding. Recent evidence has shown that the financial gap in nutrition funding, although quite big, could easily be breached through the mobilization of all kind of resources, from national governments to external donors and innovative financing mechanisms.
The Decade of Action of nutrition needs to showcase the fact that nutrition is one of the best investments a country can do today, with high economic returns. If we want to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by 2030, the Decade of Action on nutrition must also be a Decade of Investment in Nutrition.
The Decade of Action is an opportunity to:
Dr. Mahtab S.Bamji
I am sorry for being late in responding. The persistent problem of undernutrition and growing problem of obesity etc in India is a matter of great concern. The latter has also its roots in foetal undernourishment.
Since nutrition security goes beyond food security and demands safe environment, drinking water and women's empowerment, there has to be synergy between departments/ministries of agriculture, rural development, women and child development, human resource development etc. As mentioned by Dr. KV Peter in his communication from India ( name not mentioned in the list), India has initiated programmes of pharmaceutical supplementation ( iron folic acid, vitamin A) and supplementary feeding to preschool and school children, Impact has been there but not satisfactory. Fortification of salt with iodine is a success story, and this approach has to be enlarged to include double fortified salt with iron and iodine, and other foods like wheat and rice ( minerals and B- vitamins) and milk ( vitamins A and D). This is being considered
The current mantra on the food front is dietary diversification by Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition Security ( LANS). We are working on nutritionally promotive and environmentally sustainable agriculture, in villages of Medak district of the South Indian State of Telangana with encouraging results ( published) despite the reluctance of small and marginal farmers to diversify from traditional crops like paddy and sugar cane to horticulture, legumes and millets.
Dr.Ms Mahtab S. Bamji,
INSA Emeritus Scientist, Dangoria Charitable Trust,Hyderabad
(Director Grade Scientist, Retd.National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India)
Rural Centre: Dangoria Charitable Trust Hospital, Village Narsapur, Medak District,
Dr. Kuruppacharil V. Peter
There is awareness and commitment on the part of Government of India to make nutritious food available to people at affordable prices. Bio-fortification of common cereal based food with pulses is promoted. Nutrition Gardening at homesteads is promoted by providing inputs at homes.Cluster farming is done to create surpluses for marketing for additional income.
(K V Peter)
DORIS RAMIREZ DE PEÑA
English translation below
La alimentación como respuesta a la promoción y a la prevención de complicaciones de enfermedades crónicas
Que bueno sería tener ese acercamiento con otros pacientes de otras patologías, que no se limiten solos a formular y que esten actualizados los médicos generales para el manejo de estas enfermedades.
DORIS RAMIREZ DE PEÑA
Facultad de Medicina
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Nutrition to promote healthy habits and prevent chronic diseases.
1. We must be vigilant, and not limit ourselves to the promotion of healthy eating habits to avoid chronic diseases. Education at home should be the starting point for these habits: each family member should learn how to optimise the food budget, determine which products to include in the food basket and understand why expensive and unhealthy options should be avoided, and assimilate what are the adequate portions.
2. When you are suffering from a disease, education and support should not be left aside. In my country, the doctor prescribes the medicines but, in most cases, does not refer its patients to nutrition specialists. Furthermore, there are no educational programs for patients and their families in hospitals. Workshops delivered by health professionals could help patients to cope with their disease and, as a result, reduce healthcare costs. This has been my experience with a type 2 Diabetes programme I managed for 12 years in Bogotá and other regions in Cundinamarca.
Forging a closer relationship with other patients suffering from other diseases, broadening the scope of work beyond prescribing practices, and updating the knowledge on disease management would be very beneficial.
Ms. Stella Kimambo
FAO (2014) report on food losses and waste indicates negative impact of both qualitative and quantitative losses on FSN sector. I expect the coming decade to support food losses and waste reduction strategies in the context of sustainable food systems to enhance food security and nutrition security.
Dr. JC Wandemberg
A major problem with nutrition is the lack of knowledge of government officials about substances like MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate), Aspartame, etc. In Ecuador they implemented the infamous "Food Light" red for high sugar, salt or fat, green for low and yellow for medium, this caused much more damage than good, people reduced consumption of milk, yogurt and 100% natural snacks like banana chips because they had RED on fat and SUGAR!!! While saying NOTHING at all about snacks full of MSG, aspartame, etc.
This kind of foolishness, to say the least, should be avoided at all costs, in addition to fighting corruption!!!
JC Wandemberg Ph.D.
Sustainable Systems International
Mariela Victoria López
English translation below
Es un honor estar compartiendo opiniones con personas de todo el mundo en este foro.
Considero fundamental que dentro de las actividades o herramientas que deben incluirse en el Programa de Trabajo para la implementación del Decenio de las Naciones Unidas de Acción sobre la Nutrición y para alcanzar los objetivos nutricionales mundiales de 2025, es la Educacion Alimentaria. Sin la educación alimentaria y nutricional es muy dificil que las personas puedan realizar patrones alimentarios saludables. La inseguridad alimentaria presente en muchos países y ciudades del mundo impiden también, que las personas se alimenten como deben y de acuerdo a sus culturas.
Desde el colegio, desde las instituciones educativas, estos temas DEBEN estar en la agenda de planificación anual y en las curriculas escolares. La alimentación como eje central del desarrollo humano es un tema que nos involucra a todos los seres humanos en cualquier parte del mundo. ¿Cómo puede ser que ésto no suceda? ¿Cómo los gobiernos no se involucran en estas cuestiones que son la raíz de muchos problemas de salud?
It is a real honour for me to be sharing opinions with people all over the world in this forum.
Including food education in the Work Programme for the implementation of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition to reach the 2025 global nutrition targets is of crucial importance. Without food and nutrition education, adopting healthy dietary habits is very difficult for the population. Food insecurity in many countries and cities around the world also prevents people from eating properly and having access to culturally appropriate food.
These issues MUST be included in the annual planning agenda and the school curricula of educational institutions. As a central pillar of human development, food is a topic affecting all humanity anywhere in the world. How is it possible to leave out these topics? Why governments do not get involved in these issues which are the underlying cause of many health problems?
Ms. Christine Campeau
As our online consultation draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their valuable contributions. I am delighted with the rich exchange that we’ve had over the last few weeks.
A number of contributors have highlighted the need to develop a common vision of success to be supported by national roadmaps. Examples received from government ministries show us how this can be done.
Danny Hunter from Bioversity International rightly reminds us that there are two relevant UN Decades in progress: Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) and Biodiversity (2011-2020). It will be important to build synergies between these efforts to maximize the impact of both. Diets, with their environmental and health benefits, can provide a link.
This consultation served as another building block in the development of the Work Programme of the Decade. The process of consultation will continue, and we welcome your commitments under the six pillars identified in the ICN2 Framework for Action: sustainable food systems for healthy diets; aligned health systems providing universal coverage of essential nutrition actions; social protection and nutrition education; trade and investment for improved nutrition; enabling food and breastfeeding environments; and review, strengthen and promote nutrition governance and accountability.
Setting out the Work Programme of the Decade will be an inclusive, continuous and collaborative process, building upon and connecting the independent initiatives of governments and their many partners. As we move further into the Decade, UNSCN looks forward to engaging with you in an effort to translate the selected policy options and strategies into country specific commitments for action, in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and various regional strategic frameworks.
While unfortunately we must bring this discussion to a close, I would like to invite you to send any additional contributions directly to [email protected] within the next few days. I will do my best to summarise the general themes and specific ideas generated by this online consultation in a single document over the next few weeks, so keep an eye on the FSN Forum page. We may also reach out to you as potential authors for our upcoming flagship publication, SCN News, which will go more in-depth on some of the issues raised.
I thank you again for your support and contributions to this discussion. It has been an extremely rewarding and refreshing process.
Together we can make this Decade a decade of impact for nutrition.