Statement | 14-11-2014
Nutrition Monitoring and Accountability

Civil society states its position on the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition

Public interest civil society organizations express the elements of common concerns regarding the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) planned for Rome next week.

Photo © Geoff Arbourne

A document emerged from the joint efforts of public interest civil society organizations that have actively engaged in the preparatory process for the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), an intergovernmental conference organized by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to address malnutrition in all its forms. While the group is diverse and positions might differ on specific issues, this vision statement expresses the elements of common concern.

Circumstances have profoundly changed since the 1992 International Conference on Nutrition. Although some uneven progress has been made with regard to the reduction of stunting and underweight rates among children, under-nutrition remains an immediate and dramatic challenge, and the burden of overweight and obesity has significantly expanded, manifesting its profound health consequences in terms of increased incidence of diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases, some types of cancer and other non-communicable diseases.

Although the conclusions of the ICN2 negotiations are a welcome step and include valid recommendations, public interest civil society organizations consider them inadequate to confront the scale of the malnutrition challenge. Furthermore, the negotiations exposed profound differences among governments in both the understanding of the problems and the possible ways forward, casting serious doubts on the real extent and depth of the common political foundation and commitment behind the formal deliberations.

Against such background, a collective document expresses the agency af public interest civil society organizations. Its purpose is to voice civil society's common concerns and articulate the aspirations and strategies on how to address the complex challenge of malnutrition in all its forms.

"In the context of the ICN2 follow-up and the proposed Decade of Action on Nutrition, it also aims to inspire, catalyze and direct our common action to scale-up our ambitions, coordinate and synergize our activities, strengthen our advocacy efforts and intensify our monitoring functions", affirms the vision statement.

The collective document informs that lasting solutions to the challenges of malnutrition in all its forms require solid foundations built around the following four strong pillars and domains for action:

  • Human rights and rights-based approach to food and nutrition security;
  • Coherent and coordinated management of nutrition throughout the lifecycle and at all levels;
  • Sovereign local food and agricultural systems based on agro-biodiversity; and
  • Democratic governance of food and nutrition and global and national regulatory framework.

These foundations can only be laid on a common understanding of the challenge of malnutrition and need to be complemented by coherent strategies, actions and initiatives in closely connected policy domains.

**This collective statement will be available in French and Spanish shortly**

Read below for more information and the full vision statement

Read Flavio Valente's (Secretary General of FIAN International) opening remarks at the CSO forum on the ICN2