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The 2018 SUN Movement annual Lead Group meeting

  |   SUN Lead Group and Secretariat

© UNICEF/Tanya Bindra

The SUN Movement Lead Group, gathered for their annual meeting on 26 September during the 73rd UN General Assembly in New York, marking the mid-term period of the SUN Movement’s Strategy and Roadmap 2016-2020. The meeting was hosted by the new Chair of the SUN Lead Group, Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, and moderated by the SUN Movement Coordinator, Gerda Verburg.

The meeting focused on the SUN Lead Group’s strategic guidance and concrete commitments for continuous and accelerated progress, following a presentation of the preliminary results of the mid-term review of the SUN Movement. Lead Group members were also asked to bring guidance and commitments focusing on scaling up the socio-economic empowerment of women and gender equality, and transforming food systems to be sustainable and nutrition-sensitive to address multiple burdens of malnutrition.

The Lead Group gave the SUN Executive Committee the mandate to take forward the mid-term review findings and commission an Independent Comprehensive Evaluation of the SUN Movement to be completed in 2020. The Lead Group made collective and individual commitments as to how they will contribute to improve nutrition in 2019, especially through accelerated progress in SUN Countries.

During the meeting, the  SUN Lead Group committed to, and encouraged SUN Countries and the SUN Support system to:

• Protect, promote and strengthen the focus on scaling up nutrition during the 1000-day window from a mother’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday. The group affirmed that a rights-based approach focusing on girls’ and women’s nutrition across the life cycle – including a focus on adolescence as the second window of opportunity – needs to be at the centre of national nutrition strategies. Adolescent girls should be empowered as agents of change and young people engaged as nutrition champions. The SUN Movement has grown as a platform for learning, sharing and collaborating but this can be strengthened to support countries in applying innovations and learnings in practice, and focusing on countries most at risk of falling behind.

© UNICEF/Tanya Bindra

• Preserve and strengthen the SUN Movement’s approach – as a multistakeholder, multisectoral, political movement for nutrition impact and resultsThe Lead Group called for higher-level commitment and greater institutional alignment from the membership of the SUN Networks. All stakeholders in the Movement need to fight against a silo mentality and foster stronger cross-network linkages in support of government leadership for nutrition, including coordinating development and humanitarian plans and programs in fragile contexts. All stakeholders need to help build capacity to coordinate and implement nutrition plans in SUN Countries.

• Secure the highest-possible level of national ownership and prioritisation for improving nutrition. The Lead Group Chair emphasised that national governments must be in the driver’s seat — committed to developing one vision, one plan and one budget to achieve their goals. The political placement of SUN Government Focal Points is essential in supporting this as they need the mandate to convene sectors and stakeholders and ensure nutrition is a key priority. The engagement of parliamentarians should also be scaled up and focus more on political commitment to build human capital and to empower women and girls.

• Gender equality and the socio-economic empowerment of women and girls should be made top priorities and be mainstreamed in the SUN Movement approach and in SUN Countries.The Lead Group will support the SUN Movement Secretariat to develop guidance for SUN Countries to practically scale up gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls for nutrition results, which will be disseminated in 2019.

SUN Countries are encouraged to integrate a food systems approach into national nutrition plans and develop a systems approach to nutrition – encompassing health, food and social protection systemsThe Lead Group called for more pro-active and substantial engagement with the private sector, including smallholder farmers and small and medium enterprises, and highlighted the importance of leveraging the SUN Business Network in collaboration with other SUN Networks to do this.


The guidance provided by the SUN Lead Group will shape the strategic direction of the SUN Movement in 2019 and beyond and inspire action across SUN Countries and the SUN Support system.

The full report from the 2018 Lead Group meeting is available: English | Français | Español

Pictures from the Lead Group meeting is available here

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