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The SUN Movement put nutrition high on the agenda during the 73rd UN General Assembly

  |   SUN Business Network, SUN Civil Society Network, SUN Lead Group and Secretariat, SUN UN Network

The SUN Movement helped ensure that nutrition was high on the agenda during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York at the end of September 2018.

Transforming Food Systems to Drive Impact on SDG2

On 25 September, the SUN Coordinator, Gerda Verburg, shared her views on what is needed from a nutrition perspective to transform food systems at a side event co-hosted by Kellogg’s, the SDG2 Advocacy Hub and FReSH, titled: Transforming Food Systems to Drive Impact on SDG2, that brought together conversations on agriculture, climate change, gender, nutrition and food security. The SUN Coordinator also moderated a panel focused on tools and practical implementation at the high-level side event titled: Food Systems approaches to the prevention of NCDs, co-hosted by the Government of Norway and EAT in collaboration with Nordic Council of Ministers and the Governments of Sweden, Finland and Indonesia. Among other things, it was concluded that today’s food systems make people and the planet sick.


The upcoming EAT-Lancet report, to be launched in January 2019 concludes that it is possible to deliver healthy and sustainable diets for all, but it requires radical transformation of food systems. Healthy diets need to be accessible to all. The SUN Movement participated in the side event Breaking the cycle between Conflict and Hunger: Working towards sustainable peace and zero hunger, hosted by the governments of the Netherlands and Sweden, with the European Union, USAID, FAO, IFAD and WFP which focused on how to operationalize Security Council Resolution 2417 to prevent and eradicate conflict-induced hunger.

The annual SUN Lead Group meeting was held on the morning of 26 September – read more about this here: The 2018 SUN Movement annual Lead Group meeting.

Third High-level Meeting on the prevention and control of NCDs

On 27 September, the SUN Movement Coordinator, Gerda Verburg, spoke at the third High-level Meeting on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), as part of a multi-stakeholder panel, co-chaired by the Minister of Health of Canada and Jamaica, which focused on the importance of multi-sectoral partnerships for combatting NCDs.

During her intervention, Gerda Verburg, highlighted the need to address the malnutrition in all its forms in a coordinated way, focusing on prevention, and stressed the importance of genuine partnerships: “The SUN Movement is committed to working with the NCD community to ensure siloed action becomes a thing of the past. a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach is needed to prevent NCDs and to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Bigger companies are part of the problem, but we won’t succeed unless we make them part of the solution,” adding that she recognises that this is often difficult for civil society, and that “too often, they stand with their backs to the table where we need a critical dialogue with the private sector.”

Innovation in public-private partnerships to end malnutrition

The Director of the SUN Movement Secretariat, Brenda Killen, spoke at the side event: Simple solutions, impressive results: Innovation in public-private partnerships to end malnutrition co-hosted by WFP and Nutriset and moderated by Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan. She stressed the important role the SUN Movement could play in ensuring innovative tools and resources are put to best use at country level, by being integrated into existing policies and programmes and supported by all stakeholders across relevant sectors, and highlighted how the SUN Business Network helps facilitate private sector contributions to solve nutrition challenges.


 International Forum on Food and Nutrition

On September 28th, 2018, the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition in partnership with SDSN organized the International Forum on Food and Nutrition. The SUN Movement Coordinator moderated the first panel focused on understanding key issues for sustainable food systems and the global nutrition crisis, consisting of David Katz of Yale, Robert Lustig of UC San Francisco (UCSF), Sandro Demaio of EAT, and Shauna Downs of Rutgers University. The Forum also included sessions focused on the key role agriculture, nutrition and food plays in the global phenomenon of migration in the Mediterranean region with SUN Lead Group member and IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan as one of the panelists, and solutions effective at different scales.

SUN Business Network Advisory Group

During UNGA, the SUN Business Network held its annual SUN Business Network Advisory Group meeting, and co-hosted a side event with Royal DSM, World Vision International and FReSH on: Food System Development for Nutrition, Livelihood and the Planet – Empowering the Critical Stakeholders, focused on achieving a future global food system that prioritizes nutrition, a healthy environment, and producer livelihood and the need for multi-stakeholder accountability towards this goal.

SUN Civil Society Network – Youth Advocate

Florence Sibomana, a medical student and Youth Advocate from Rwanda, supported by the SUN Civil Society Network, traveled to New York to speak at side events alongside the UN General Assembly.  Florence spoke about malnutrition as an underlying cause of child death on a Save the Children- organized panel entitled, Tackling the scandal of preventable child deaths: Financing for child survival 2030 alongside the CEOs of Save the Children UK and US; the Director of the Global Financing Facility, Director of the SUN Movement Secretariat and high-level government officials from Bangladesh and Norway and Japan. Florence also spoke on a panel hosted by the SDG2 Hub on food and nutrition along with celebrity chefs and attended the launch of the UN Youth 2030 Strategy. While in New York, Florence took the opportunity to meet with the SUN Movement Coordinator Gerda Verberg and SUN Lead Group member and CIVICUS Secretary General Danny Sriskandarajah, to talk about upcoming opportunities to engage youth.

More information about Florence UNGA engagement:

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