The global response to malnutrition
Momentum to improve nutrition is accelerating, and transformative change is achievable. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has committed all governments to comprehensive, integrated and universal transformations, including ending hunger and malnutrition by 2030. They are galvanising action to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Whilst the ambition to ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’ is captured in SDG 2, at least 12 of the 17 Goals contain indicators that are highly relevant to nutrition.
The SDGs build on the six global nutrition targets agreed in the World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution 65.6, which endorsed a Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) in 2012. In 2013, the sixty-sixth session of the WHA agreed to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity as part of the adoption of the comprehensive global monitoring framework and targets for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.
These WHA targets sit at the heart of the 2014 Rome Declaration and Framework for Action which were the result of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2). The Rome Declaration calls for the UN system, including the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to work more effectively together to support national and regional efforts, and enhance international cooperation and development assistance to accelerate progress in addressing malnutrition. Responding to this, the CFS established an Open Ended Working Group on Nutrition in October 2015 to develop a clear vision for the role of the CFS on nutrition.
In April 2016, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) to intensify action to end hunger and eradicate malnutrition worldwide, and ensure universal access to healthier and more sustainable diets – for every woman, man and child, everywhere. The Decade of Action on Nutrition is a global roadmap to set, track and achieve Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound (SMART) policy commitments to end all forms of malnutrition within the Sustainable Development Goals which make up the Agenda 2030. It is supported by the new Strategic Plan of the UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN), the dedicated platform for open, substantive and constructive dialogue amongst UN agencies working on nutrition.
These commitments and agreed actions by the UN Members States are complemented by the ‘Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Compact’ which mobilised $4 billion at the first Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2013. A major development resulting from the N4G Compact was the establishment of the Global Nutrition Report which records advancements in meeting global nutrition targets, documents progress on commitments made and makes recommendations for actions to accelerate progress.
In this context, the SUN Movement acts as a catalyst for change. The lessons learnt and shared by countries and states in the Movement are contributing to a growing energy and momentum for improved nutrition, proving that together we can achieve more than ever possible alone.