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The UN agenda on Nutrition and the key role of Civil Society

Malnutrition in all its forms affects 193 countries in our world: 790 million people are undernourished, 2 billion people suffer from micronutrients deficiency and another 2 billion suffer from overweight/obesity. Most of the malnutrition does not affect low-income countries and is rising globally.

These data are taken from the presentation given by Patrick Webb (Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy - Tufts University, USA) at the International Symposium and Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition convened in Rome by FAO and WHO, and made available here

The Symposium – that was rich of useful insights, data and viewpoints - was organized in the framework of UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, which was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in April 2016 and will run until 2025. Before of that, governments committed to eradicate hunger and prevent all forms of malnutrition worldwide by endorsing, at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), held in November 2014, the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and its Framework for Action

The ambitious agenda of UN on Nutrition requires, with no doubts, a holistic approach that combines issues related to public health, nutrition and today’s complex food systems. In order to tackle all manifestations of inappropriate diet, and to reframe the economic forces which shape such diets we urgently need coherent government policies and actions, as well as mechanisms of accountability and measurements, within a multi-actors engagement respectful of human rights realization. The role of grassroots organizations, food producers, civil society and social movements is essential to achieve this, despite some reluctance to boost that combination.
Along this path only, the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition can be embraced as an opportunity to mobilise action and accelerate efforts towards the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition and meeting the SDGs by 2030.

Other useful links on this issue:

• Report of the second ICN2 Conference

• Civil Society Statement on the 2nd ICN2 Conference 
(November 2014)