Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)


Invitation to comment on the revised draft of the political outcome document of the ICN2

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in cooperation with IFAD, IFPRI, UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, WTO, WFP and the High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis (HLTF), are jointly organizing the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), a high-level conference at FAO Headquarters, Rome, from 19 to 21 November 2014. More information is available at:

Two documents are expected to come out of the ICN2 - a political outcome document and a framework of action for its implementation.

On the basis of the discussions at the meetings of the ICN2 Joint Working Group (JWG) and of the comments received on the zero draft political outcome document through the public online consultation, a new shorter, more concise and more coherent Draft of the Rome Declaration on Nutrition has been prepared by the Co-Chairs of the JWG with the assistance of the joint Secretariats of FAO and WHO and is available in the six UN languages.

We now invite you to provide your comments on the new draft version of the document, focusing on the set of questions formulated below and also available in a template form.

This new open consultation, which will start on May 14th 2014 and end on May 28th 2014, is an opportunity to receive inputs from different stakeholders. These contributions will be then compiled by the Joint ICN2 Secretariat and transmitted to the JWG formal meeting on June 13th 2014.

We kindly thank you in advance for providing your comments and for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

FAO/WHO Joint Secretariat


  1. General comments on the Draft of the Rome Declaration on Nutrition.
  2. Specific comments on the paragraphs related to the multiple threats that malnutrition poses to sustainable development (paragraphs 4-10).
  3. Specific comments on the vision for global action to end all forms of malnutrition (paragraphs 11-12).
  4. Specific comments in the appropriate fields relating to these commitments (paragraph 13):

Commitment a): eradicate hunger and all forms of malnutrition, particularly to eliminate stunting, wasting and overweight in children under 5 and anemia in women; eliminating undernourishment and reversing rising trends in obesity;

Commitment b): reshape food systems through coherent implementation of public policies and investment plans throughout food value chains to serve the health and nutrition needs of the growing world population by providing access to safe, nutritious and healthy foods in a sustainable and resilient way;

Commitment c): take leadership to shape and manage food systems and improve nutrition by strengthening institutional capacity, ensuring adequate resourcing and coordinating effectively across sectors;

Commitment d): encourage and facilitate contributions by all stakeholders in society and promote collaboration within and across countries, including North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation;

Commitment e): enhance people’s nutrition, including people with special needs, through policies and initiatives for healthy diets throughout the life course, starting from the early stages of life, before and during pregnancy, promoting and supporting adequate breast feeding and appropriate complementary feeding, healthy eating by families, and at school during childhood;

Commitment f): adopt and implement a Framework for Action that should be used to monitor progress in achieving targets and fulfilling commitments;

Commitment g): integrate the objectives of the Framework for Action into the post-2015 development agenda including a possible global goal on food security and nutrition.

5.      We would also appreciate your vision on policies, programmes and investment that might help translate such commitments into action. 

This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.

* Click on the name to read all comments posted by the member and contact him/her directly
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Save the Children

Save the Children would like to thank the organisers of ICN2 for another opportunity to comment on the zero draft. The second version is a vast improvement on the last version and we would like to thank you for the work you have done to get it to this stage.

In general, the commitments could be made more specific and time-bound in order to ensure that they can be implemented and measured. There is also a need to ensure that the accountability framework for ICN2 is transparent, multi-stakeholder and harmonised across other frameworks.

[read all comments in the form attached, Ed.]

Dear FSN Forum and ICN2 Secretariat,

We have reviewed the draft of the Political outcome of the ICN2 both within the nutrition team at FAO and our government counterpart here in Bangladesh. Please find some inputs, suggestions for your consideration. 


  1. General comments on the Draft of the Rome Declaration on Nutrition.

Well done, articulate and comprehensive.  While there is an appropriate bias towards food systems, there is need for a clear articulation in strengthening/integrating nutrition outcomes into agriculture programming. Agricultural intervention programmes need to include explicit objectives of improving nutritional status with a focus on addressing child under nutrition, notably child stunting through building strengthened linkages between complementary feeding requirements/practices and agricultural production.  The most sustainable, cost effective way to improve complementary feeding of children in poor rural households is by ensuring that nutritionally appropriate foods are available and utilized at household and community levels.

[read more in the form attached, Ed.]

Bill Clay

The Florida State University

While addressing some of the more salient issues relevant to protecting and promoting nutrition around the world, in general, the Draft Declaration falls well short of providing the powerful statement of political intent – the riveting call to action – that should guide nations in their efforts, acting singularly and in concert, to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition.   The Declaration is underwhelming, at best; but at worst, by ignoring or misdirecting attention away from many of the real problems, threats, constraints and opportunities  it could actually be detrimental to making real progress in reducing hunger and malnutrition throughout the world.  For example, the omission or minimalizing of   references to issues such as famine and food emergencies, gender equity and problems of social discrimination, civil disturbances, governance, education, the domains of “food, health and care” especially immunizations, child care and complementary feeding, among others, coupled with a somewhat narrow and often distorted view of food systems, all serve to detract attention from the basic and underlying problems of malnutrition.  The Declaration as now written also removes nutrition from the mainstream of development efforts.  Why is it not set within the framework of  the Millennium Development Goals and, especially, within the follow-up plans.  Where is the alignment with Secretary Ban Ki Moon’s Zero Hunger Challenge?  Nutrition is relevant, fundamental actually, to each of the MDGs, and going forward nutrition must be seen as being central to whatever emerges.  If the ICN2 does not place it there, it will again be marginalized.

As it now stands, the Declaration lacks substance and focus and thus its purpose is unclear.   Where it does call for specific action, such actions are limited and often fail to address the fundamental issues needed.   Many times the Declaration falls into muddled jargon and, even worse, makes inappropriate and often simplistic recommendations based on misguided notions of both diet-health relationships and of how food systems operate.   And finally, it lacks passion – and any hint of poetry.  I fail to see how it could serve as a forthright statement of commitment by our political leaders to improve nutrition, or as an inspiring catalyst for the generating the political will necessary to improve food and nutrition security.  It most certainly will not serve to accelerate the widespread, multisectoral action necessary to do so.  

The following comments further illustrate some of the above-mentioned short-comings. 

[read more in the form attached, Ed.]

Peter Carter

Climate Emergency Institute (international)

Reponse to Political Outcome Document of ICN2

Personal information 

Name:  Dr. Peter Carter

Organization: Climate Emergency Institute

Location: Canada

Date: May 28, 2014


N.B. I include below a key paragraph from the IPCC AR5 (2014) on food and one from the USDA assessment (2013).

It is good to see that the draft recognizes that global climate change is a major threat to nutrition and food security (item 8), but global climate change is not included anywhere else in the draft. It can only be assumed for planning that from now on, global climate climate is going to reduce food production, which will become the defining factor for food security and nutrition by mid century.

From now on increasing extreme weather events driven by global climate change will be the leading factor in an ongoing deepening food security crisis.

Most importantly projected volatility of US food production over the next few decades means volatile and incrasing world food prices.

I ask that the draft include a statement that emissions must immediately plateau and decline by 2020 in accordance with the RCP2.6 of the IPCC AR5 (the only scenario that limits warming to 2ºC), in order to minimize food production loss affecting the world and all regions. RCP2.6 stabilizes at just below 2ºC, at which temperature increase severe crop yield losses are projected. The US 2014 federal Climate Change Assessment projects that from mid century, US food production will decline. Crop declines are projected for most regions above 1.0ºC and all regions by 2ºC. The world’s best food producing regions in the northern hemisphere are now projected to be vulnerable to already committed global change. Please include that the IPCC AR5 assessment projections make climate change mitigation with adaptation essential to minimize damaging, disastrous to catastrophic food production impacts over the short, medium and long terms.

Impacts  over the next three decades cannot be prevented as we are locked into this period by climate system inertia, and so the worst ever and increasing food security disasters must be prepared for. Without effective mitigation (emissions reductions) starting by 2020 we will be committing outrselves to future world food calamity of pregressive declines affecting all regions  which will threaten the sustainability of civilization .

While starting adapation now is essential, it is unlikely to help in any sustained way without ongoing effective mitigation.

I include a key paragraph from the IPCC AR5 on food and one from the USDA assessment. Please note that the IPCC does not decide what is dangerous climate change or dangerous levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases and does not make recommendations. This is left up to other organizations to do.

IPCC WG2 TS P. 223. 3.  Food production systems and food security

Without adaptation, local temperature increases of 1oC or more above preindustrial levels are projected to negatively impact yields for the major crops (wheat, rice, and maize) in tropical and temperate regions, although individual locations may benefit. With or without adaptation, climate change will reduce median yields by 0 to 2% per decade for the rest of the century, as compared to a baseline without climate change. These projected impacts will occur in the context of rising crop demand, projected to increase by about 14% per decade until 2050. Risks are greatest for tropical countries, given projected impacts that exceed adaptive capacity and higher poverty rates compared with temperate regions. Climate change will progressively increase inter-annual variability of crop yields in many regions.

p. 2 Key messages Climate Change and US Agriculture Assessment USDA September 2013   Projections for crops and livestock production systems reveal that climate change effects over the next 25 years will be mixed. Beyond mid century however changes in climate are expected to have overall detrimental effects on most crops and livestock.

Please note that the above is derived from climate crop model projections that do not capture many large adverse impacts, including increased weeds and pests, extreme weather events, and increased tropospheric ozone. They do not capture combinations of adverse impacts. Possible benefits of CO2 fertilization for temperate regions are projected to be modest and short lived, after which yields decline progressively with increased temperatures. CO2 benefit for nutrition is offset by reduction of crop nutrients. Potential yield benefit will be offset if not cancelled out by rising ground level ozone. 

Respectfully submitted,

Peter Carter

MERCI à toute l'équipe du FSN,

je me rejouis de pouoir contribuer à la redaction de cette déclaration qui va guider les politiques de sécurité alimentaire du monde pour les années à venir.

Cette déclaration est bien écrite et insiste sur tous les aspects de la problematique de nutrition dans le monde, cependant j'ai constater une petite un incompréhension au niveau de l'alinéa 4.

A ce niveau, la phrase est un peu trop longue et à tendance à corompre son sens premier. Quelques améliorations permettront une plus bonne lisibilité. Ainsi, j'ai fait une contribution que vous trouverez ci-joint.

MERCI à tous.

Gender team, Social Protection Division, FAO


Comments on the revised draft of the political outcome document (12 May 2014)

of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)

Gender team, Social Protection Division

It is proposed that an emphasis on gender equality aspects be given to the political outcome document “Draft of the Rome Declaration on Nutrition”, recognizing that closing the gender gap in agriculture will produce significant nutritional gains for the society. Therefore, it is suggested that:

 Multiple threats of malnutrition are a major challenge to sustainable development

Add the following bullet point in paragraph 5 on the root causes of malnutrition:

  • Gender inequality in access to resources, opportunities, services and decision-making is a major cause and consequence of malnutrition.

Add the following point in paragraph 10 on uneven progress in reducing malnutrition, after c):

  • Micronutrient deficiencies disproportionately impact women and children. Half of those suffering from iron deficiency are pregnant women and children under five in developing countries.

A vision for global action to end all forms of malnutrition

Add the following point in paragraph 11, after d):

  • achieving gender equality remains crucial to reducing food and nutrition security; given women’s key role in nutrition, particularly at household level, positive measures for women must continue, but a more holistic approach to gender is needed to foster equitable, food and nutrition secure societies.

Add the following point in paragraph 12, after e):

  • women’s role in nutrition through agricultural production, food provision and child care needs to be recognized and increased access to food and productive resources for women should be promoted throughout the food system;

Commitment to action

Rephrase paragraphs 13. a) and e) as follows:

a)      eradicate hunger and all forms of malnutrition for all categories of people, particularly...

e)  enhance people’s nutrition, including people with special needs, and eliminate gender and age inequalities in nutritional status, through policies and initiatives for healthy diets throughout the life course......

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases

Good morning,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on the revised draft of the political outcome document of the ICN2.  I have attached our comments for your consideration.

Thank you again,


Amber Cashwell

Senior Policy Officer

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases

  1. General comments on the Draft of the Rome Declaration on Nutrition.

Better than the first draft but it still avoids a single clear target date for achieving the aims laid out.  13f does refer to an action plan that by implication will have such dates and targets, however, I think one is needed in this document – see below. 

  1. Specific comments on the paragraphs related to the multiple threats that malnutrition poses to sustainable development (paragraphs 4-10).

Para 10e does not read clearly to me. 10 finishes ‘and that’:

e begins with ‘while etc etc”, either delete the ‘while’ and just list the points made in the rest of e or if keeping the ‘while’ then there needs to be something more added at the end of e

  1. Specific comments on the vision for global action to end all forms of malnutrition (paragraphs 11-12).

Suggest 11c should read

global and national policy coherence is needed among relevant sectors, including in trade and investment agreements to ensure they do not undermine governments’ ability to act in the public interest in promoting food and nutrition security, and in investments, incentives and constraints for agricultural production, food processing and distribution;

  1. Specific comments in the appropriate fields relating to these commitments (paragraph 13):

Commitment a): eradicate hunger and all forms of malnutrition, particularly to eliminate stunting, wasting and overweight in children under 5 and anemia in women; eliminating undernourishment and reversing rising trends in obesity;

Add a date by which this is to be achieved so you can be held to account in monitoring progress and developing the framework for action mentioned in f. Suggest this date be no later than 2025.

Global Harvest Initiative

Thank you to FAO for giving us an opportunity to provide our thoughts on the ICN2 draft document.

Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) is a private sector policy voice for improving productivity and reducing waste and loss throughout the agricultural value chain.  GHI’s member companies believe that the private sector, governments and civil society must work together to identify and implement sustainable pathways to sufficient, nutritious and affordable food for an expected global population of 9.6 billion by 2050. 

GHI welcomes the opportunity to comment on the current draft of the ICN2 declaration.  We would offer the following comments and suggestions.

1.            The document recognizes that “poverty is a major contributor to malnutrition in both rural and urban areas”, yet the “Commitment to Action” does not call for policies and investments targeted at improving economic growth and incomes.  The need for investing in social protection programs is mentioned, and this is a critical component of poverty alleviation.  However, long-term reductions in malnutrition cannot be achieved without improving incomes, particularly for those populations most vulnerable to malnutrition, i.e. women and the rural poor.

2.            In the declaration, the critical role that science-based technologies and innovations can play in reducing malnutrition is absent. Science-based innovations across the value chain can improve the nutrient value of foods, ensure food safety, reduce food waste and loss, or increase the production of nutritious foods, such as the so-called orphan crops.  This declaration is an extraordinary opportunity to recognize and encourage the adoption of science-based technologies that can improve the lives and livelihoods of people struggling with malnutrition.  The document needs to prioritize increased investments in AG R&D that also improve nutritional content of staple crops and for how to conserve nutrition in the value chain.

3.            While this document is intended as a call to action for policymakers, we recommend that it also recognizes that food value chains are first-and-foremost consumer driven. Consumer choice and preferences must be respected and factored into any vision for reducing malnutrition and obesity.  From a policymaking standpoint, robust nutrition education programs must be a priority if the gains of a more nutritious food system are to be fully realized.

4.            Finally, the references to multi-stakeholder collaboration in this document are weak and do not adequately reflect the significant level of cooperation and partnership between governments, the private sector, and civil society that will be required to end malnutrition and hunger.  Language to this effect should be included in the “Vision for Global Action” as well as “Commitment to Action”. 

Many thanks,

Margaret M. Zeigler, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Global Harvest Initiative

801 17th Street, NW

Suite 200

Washington, DC 20006