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Paving the way for successful partnerships|GSO SUN Global Concluding Conference

  |   SUN Business Network, SUN Civil Society Network, SUN Country Network, SUN Donor Network, SUN UN Network

The final concluding event for the Global Social Observatory (GSO)-SUN process on Conflict of Interest in the Scaling up Nutrition Movement took place over the 16th and 17th of February 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. It represented the culmination of a 20 month collaboration between the GSO and the SUN Movement.

DSC08065The process examined this complex issue within the context of a Movement founded on the understanding that all stakeholders combining their efforts in support of government led national nutrition plans, can achieve more collectively than if they act individually. To deliver results successfully, credibility and trust are essential.  Looking at it from this perspective, it is evident that addressing issues of conflict of interest is a building block for successfully scaling up nutrition.

The event was attended by government focal points, civil society, UN network colleagues, donors, business network members together with key national and international experts on conflict of interest and ethics.

Two important milestones in the process were launched at the concluding conference, The Reference Note and Toolkit on Engaging in the SUN Movement: Preventing and Managing Conflicts of Interest and the Synthesis Report on the consultation process. The latter provided an important basis for discussions throughout the event with much emphasis on the key lessons learned from the GSO/SUN CoI process.

To download these documents, along with a range of other conference materials in English, French and Spanish – click here.

Key messages

Some key points that emerged during the two day event included:

  • The SUN Principles of Engagement are essential, not only as an anchor for the Movement but for the success of a movement where stakeholders unite under the common goal of ensuring that people everywhere are empowered to exercise their right to proper nutrition.
  • All stakeholders have the potential to create conflicts of interest as every organisation in the SUN movement brings their own individual policies, perspectives and priorities. This is part of the Movement’s strength, however these considerations should not inappropriately influence decision making.
  • Determining between conflicts and conflicts of interest was an important issue to emerge. While disagreements are common between stakeholders, this does not necessarily constituent a conflict of interest and can be overcome through fair negotiation and transparent decision making.
  • Continuing to support the issue as a Movement is important and while the Reference Note and Toolkit provide a framework, it is clear that addressing conflicts of interest are a means to an end and not an end in itself.

The SUN Secretariat must continue to understand the role of addressing conflict of interest, share best practice case studies of negotiating such conflicts and support countries to address these issues as a Movement.

To learn more about the process and download resources, click here.

A full report, including next steps will be available soon.

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