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FAO, WHO welcome resolution, leaps forward in galvanising action on nutrition. 

The United Nations General Assembly today agreed a resolution proclaiming the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition from 2016 to 2025.

The resolution aims to trigger intensified action to end hunger and eradicate malnutrition worldwide, and ensure universal access to healthier and more sustainable diets – for all people, whoever they are and wherever they live. It calls on governments to set national nutrition targets for 2025 and milestones based on internationally agreed indicators.

By agreeing to today’s resolution, governments endorsed the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and Framework for Action adopted by the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in November 2014.

The UN resolution calls upon FAO and WHO to lead the implementation of the Decade of Action on Nutrition, in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and involving coordination mechanisms such as the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN) and multi-stakeholder platforms such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).

The Framework for Action commits governments to exercise their primary role and responsibility for addressing undernourishment, stunting, wasting, underweight and overweight in children under five years of age, anaemia in women and children – among other micronutrient deficiencies. It also commits them to reverse the rising trends in overweight and obesity and reduce the burden of diet-related noncommunicable diseases in all age groups.

The new resolution invites international partners, civil society, private sector and academia to actively support governments to ensure full implementation of the steps outlined in the Rome Declaration and Framework for Action.

Looking ahead, the text requests the UN Secretary-General, FAO and WHO to provide progress reports to the UN General Assembly every two years.

The resolution is the fruit of almost 2 years of intense negotiations which started in 2014 and involved representatives of FAO and WHO Member Countries. As a first milestone, ministers and top officials from over 170 countries endorsed the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and Framework for action at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (Rome 19-21 November 2014). A second milestone was reached when the governing bodies of FAO and WHO endorsed the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and Framework for Action in 2015.

A third occurred when governments at the UN General Assembly welcomed these developments and agreed to consider next steps

Today’s resolution further enshrines the battle against hunger and all forms of malnutrition in the sustainable development agenda.

Editors note:
Nearly 800 million people remain chronically undernourished and 159 million children under 5 years of age are stunted. Approximately 50 million children under 5 years are wasted, over two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies and 1.9 billion people are affected by overweight of which over 600 million are obese. The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing in nearly all countries.

For more information:
2016
Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025)

2015
Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on the follow-up to the Second International Conference on Nutrition (A/RES/69/310)

Resolution adopted by the FAO Conference on the outcome of the Second International Conference on Nutrition

Resolution adopted by the WHO World Health Assembly on the outcome of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (WHA68.19)

2014
Rome Declaration on Nutrition adopted at the Second International Conference on Nutrition

Framework for Action adopted at the Second International Conference on Nutrition