Second International Conference on Nutrition
ICN2 19-21 November 2014
The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will be held at FAO Headquarters, in Rome, 19-21 November 2014.
It will be a high-level ministerial conference which will propose a flexible policy framework to address today’s major nutrition challenges and identify priorities for enhanced international cooperation on nutrition.
ICN2 will bring together senior national policymakers from agriculture, health and other relevant ministries and agencies, with leaders of United Nations agencies and other intergovernmental organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, researchers, the private sector and consumers.
The conference will review progress made towards improving nutrition since 1992, reflect on nutrition problems that remain, as well as on the new challenges and opportunities for improving nutrition presented by changes in the global economy, in food systems, by advances in science and technology, and identify policy options for improving nutrition.
The key objectives of the ICN2 will be to:
- Review progress made since the 1992 ICN including country-level achievements in scaling up nutrition through direct nutrition interventions and nutrition-enhancing policies and programmes;
- Review relevant policies and institutions on agriculture, fisheries, health, trade, consumption and social protection to improve nutrition
- Strengthen institutional policy coherence and coordination to improve nutrition, and mobilize resources needed to improve nutrition
- Strengthen international, including inter-governmental cooperation, to enhance nutrition everywhere, especially in developing countries.
The scope of the conference will:
- Be global in perspective, but focus particularly on nutrition challenges in developing countries;
- Address all forms of malnutrition, recognizing the nutrition transition and its consequences;
- Seek to improve nutrition throughout the life cycle, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable households, and on women, infants and young children in deprived, vulnerable and emergency contexts.
ICN2 will build on ongoing global political processes and initiatives to contribute to the post-2015 UN development agenda including identifying priority areas, nutrition development goals as well as the policies that are required to achieve, measure and account for them. The outcome of the ICN2 will contribute to the UN Secretary-General’s call for a high degree of policy coherence at global, regional, national and sub-national levels and a global partnership for development at all levels. The ICN2 will also enlarge on the Secretary-General’s call to leaders gathered at the Rio+20 Summit to take up the “Zero Hunger Challenge”.
Watch the Video 'What is Malnutrition'
Although in the past 2 decades child and maternal malnutrition has declined almost by half, child undernutrition still imposes the greatest nutrition-related health burden at global level, Read more here.
The Declaration will commit Pacific Island countries (and the rest of the world) to eradicate hunger and prevent all forms of malnutrition worldwide
The Framework of Action compliments the Rome Declaration providing a way forward for successfull implementation of the declaration with a recommended set of policy and programme options for countries to adopt.
Pacific Outcomes of the First International Conferance of Nutrition, 1992 and Future Directions
Taken from the ‘Nutrition in the Pacific Islands and Territories- Review of developments since ICN1 and strategic considerations for the Future’ report prepared C-POND on behalf of the Food and Agricultural Organisation.
The Pacific Island region faces severe challenges to nutrition in terms of its geography, exposure to natural disasters, climate change impacts, limited capacity and resources. The region is undergoing the nutrition transition with a shift away from traditional diets towards ones high in processed and imported foods. Disease patterns are also changing with a growing problem of overweight and non-communicable diseases affecting all community members. Insufficient data hamper efforts to effectively track changes in rates of low birth weights, undernutrition and poor growth in children, although levels are markedly lower in some countries than others. Alongside these problems of poor growth, there exist high levels of iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy and other mineral and vitamin deficiencies. While vitamin A deficiency and iodine deficiency are generally being effectively targeted through supplementation, fortification and other programmes, ongoing problems of coverage exist.
Lack of data is a challenge in the Pacific with many countries never having conducted nutrition surveys, and routinely collected data such as anaemia in pregnancy not being available. This has contributing to the difficulties in assessing the context and causes of malnutrition at local and regional level.
In the 20 years since the First International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) in 1992 efforts to develop national plans and policy on nutrition increased in the region, although in many cases these were not endorsed or finalised. There appear to have been no significant changes to nutrition capacity in the region or resourcing since the initial ICN. While efforts on food security have increased, in part triggered by climate change-based concerns, consideration of nutrition within this have been minimal. Evidence of multi-sectoral actions is generally limited in the region, with agriculture strategies generally failing to consider nutrition needs. While some regional programmes on food security, NCDs and research have been developed, support for nutrition specifically within the region has declined.
Following ICN2 seven focal areas for action are proposed:
- Commitment to nutrition: Overall a greater emphasis on nutrition (and a healthy diet) is needed, particularly across sectors. There is a need for increased awareness of the impacts of nutrition on health and development by politicians, policy makers and donors. Advocacy and champions to garner the required commitment.
- Capacity: More human resource capacity is needed across the region for nutrition, both in-country and regionally (at support organisations). Relevant training must be more readily accessible to ensure that nutritionists are suitably qualified to enable them to effectively deliver nutrition services
- Cross-sectoral approach: Improvements in nutrition cannot occur without a multi-sectoral approach. Nutrition objectives and indicators must be incorporated into agriculture and food security planning and into trade, finance, education and other sectors. Alongside this, additional nutrition focus is needed from civil society, communities, leaders and donors
- Strategic planning: Detailed national plans are essential and should also be an integral component of maternal child health (MCH), non-communicable diseases (NCD) and agriculture strategies and plans. National plans on nutrition must be cross-sectoral and consider the environmental and food supply factors involved
- Increased support and emphasis for proven approaches: 1) Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and associated efforts to improve infant and young child feeding. 2) Supplementation, dietary diversification and food fortification for micronutrient deficiencies as well as interventions for reducing acute and chronic malnutrition. 3) Efforts to increase the accessibility to healthier diets and limit accessibility to less healthy diets that contribute to nutrition-related NCDs
- Data monitoring, evaluation and surveillance for evidence based planning, implementation and evaluation: Sufficient data to understand the scale and causes of nutrition-related health problems, as well as evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions and policy is crucial. Greater attention is needed on monitoring the scale of nutrition issues through nutrition surveys and the use of routinely collected data and integration of nutritional issues into other surveys
- Greater support for local food production: with a focus on sustainability, accessibility and nutrient-rich varieties, safeguarding biodiversity and improving the generally poor perception of local foods vis-a'-vis processed imported foods.
Coconut Baby and Pacific Shopping bag photos curtesy of UNICEF Pacific, JHing