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Lead Group endorses mutual accountability and success approach for new phase

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On Monday 15 November, the SUN Movement Lead Group meeting brought together some 15 members and deputies to discuss progress and entry points and endorse a draft mutual accountability framework and definitions and indicators of success for 2021-2025. These papers were prepared by the SUN Operationalisation Group, which has been mandated to focus on key questions related to country delivery, knowledge management, financing, and governance and accountability, as the Movement enters and implements its third, and current, phase.

Appointed by the UN Secretary-General in September 2019, the Lead Group comprises 27 global leaders, spanning stakeholders and sectors, uniquely positioned to spearhead the fight against malnutrition. This esteemed group, chaired by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore, has the overall responsibility for the Movement’s progress towards achieving its objectives. They ensure the alignment of all actors with the Movement’s Principles of Engagement and aim to preserve SUN’s distinctive country-driven character.

This meeting served as a space for members to reflect and give updates on their previous commitments and discuss how best to help deliver the new SUN strategy – including how to capitalise on the Food Systems Summit and COP26 and seize opportunities arising from upcoming events such as the Nutrition for Growth Summit, to be held in December.

Positive change is possible, but only if we continue to work tirelessly to this end,” Lead Group Chair, Henrietta Fore stressed.

Lead Group members also endorsed the work mandated by the SUN Operationalisation Group to develop a mutual accountability framework and definitions and indicators of success for the Movement. The newly appointed Executive Committee Co-Chairs, Gladys Mugambi of Kenya’s Health Ministry and Connell Foley of Ireland and World Vision, were presented to the group, as the Committee approved the approaches taken towards accountability and measuring success, with the wider Global Support System taking forward this important work, going ahead. The SUN Movement Coordinator, UN Assistant Secretary-General Gerda Verburg, presented this work to the Lead Group, on behalf of the Operationalisation Group and the Executive Committee.

This is not new, but accountability is rightly a key part of our current strategy. The approach is for all parts of the Movement to provide checks and balances on each other and to provide examples of good practice that all can build open. It will not work as we hope unless there are clear shared objectives and also agreement on how to measure success,” Gerda Verburg argued.

Usually held on the margins of the UN General Assembly in UNICEF headquarters in New York, this meeting was held virtually, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As it was also the last such gathering to be chaired by Henrietta H. Fore, who has served as Lead Group chair since March 2018, the Group joined forces to thank her for her relentless commitment to nutrition and the key role she has played in steering the Movement forward.

I appreciate the comments and commitments for 2021 and beyond. Building momentum and what we do now makes a difference for the years to come,” ED Fore said.

*Note: A SUN Lead Group renewal process is ongoing, which means, until final appointment, the current Group remains.

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