photo: UNICEF

SUN Movement drives action for nutrition at World Health Assembly

May 15, 2023 - Last update: May 19, 2023

From 21-30 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) will host the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA). It takes place as the ongoing climate, conflict and cost-of-living crises pose additional challenges to achieving nutrition goals and underscore the critical need for multisectoral, multi-stakeholder collaboration and partnerships towards achievement of global and country nutrition targets. 

The WHA presents an important moment for SUN Countries to advocate for nutrition and contribute valuable insights and experiences to incorporate nutrition into WHO’s health and related workstreams, and they are encouraged to raise their voice about the importance of nutrition and ensure that it stays high on the WHA agenda.   

The provisional agenda of the WHA is available here and the most relevant agenda items to advocate for nutrition are the following:

  • Agenda item 12: Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030): advocate for nutrition as a priority to accelerate progress on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related to newborn and child survival. This includes protection against inappropriate marketing of breastmilk substitutes and support for legislation aligned with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes; as well as the roll-out of maternal protection laws to protect, promote and support optimal infant feeding increases child survival.
  • Agenda item 13.1: Universal health coverage (UHC): reorienting health systems to primary health care as a resilient foundation for UHC and integration of essential nutrition actions as an important component for achieving quality UHC.
  • Agenda item 13.2: Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, and mental health with a draft updated menu of policy options and cost-effective interventions for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.
  • Agenda item 16.3: Social determinants of health, which recognizes nutrition and food as a social determinant of health.
  • Agenda item 16.5: United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016−2025), which outlines accelerated efforts across the action areas of the Decade’s work to address all forms of malnutrition.  
  • Agenda item on “Accelerating efforts for preventing micronutrient deficiencies and their consequences, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects, through safe and effective food fortification”. SUN is among the 70+ signatories of the Statement of Support for the proposed resolution and encourages country representatives to speak at the WHA for the resolution's passage and its implementation in countries, as well as for wide-spread fortification strategies that leave no one behind particularly rural populations who grow their own food. A policy brief and related resources are available. 
  • All WHA documents, reports and decisions will be uploaded on this page once available.


Get Involved

  1. The SUN Movement Secretariat will be co-hosting the high-level hybrid side-event “The Initiative on Climate Action and Nutrition: driving action to address the critical nexus of climate change and nutrition” 18.00-19.30 CET on 25 May at its Geneva office and virtually via Zoom. It aims to catalyse, mobilize, connect and advocate for integrated climate and nutrition action. To participate virtually, register here
  2. The SUN Movement is also supporting the live side event “Accelerating efforts for preventing micronutrient deficiencies and their consequences through safe and effective food fortification co-sponsored by the Government of Colombia, GAIN, UNICEF, Micronutrient Forum and others, which will be held on 23 May 2023. You are invited to attend, details are available here.
  3. The SUN Movement Secretariat, in collaboration with WHO is co-organizing the "Ministerial event on the WHO Acceleration Plan to Stop Obesity: from endorsement at WHA 75 to execution in frontrunner countries" together with the governments of Bahrain, Brazil, and Chile. The SUN Coordinator will provide welcome remarks and moderate the event.  The event will take place on 23 May 2023, 18:00-19:45 at Villa le Bocage, UN Palais.