The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) will take place from November 19 to 21 in Rome with the participation of heads of state and government. Organized by two UN specialized agencies, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, the event will address major nutrition challenges over the coming decades.
According to Helen Medina, USCIB’s senior director of product policy and innovation, the conference is expected to result in a concise, action-oriented outcome document, identifying public policy priorities at the national and global levels to address malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity, with a view to achieving agreed global nutrition targets by 2025.
“This will be a watershed event, the first high-level intergovernmental conference on nutrition since the First International Conference on Nutrition was organized by FAO and WHO in 1992,” Medina said. “That conference resulted in a World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition which called on governments to take action toward improved nutrition at the national level, and to establish institutional infrastructure to implement these plans.” She said two documents are expected to come out of the ICN2: a high-level outcome document and a more detailed framework of action for its implementation.
Fostering the private sector’s contributions to improved nutrition
Medina attended last year’s technical meeting that lay the groundwork for the conference. This year, USCIB continues its involvement in the preparations for ICN2, including by highlighting how the private sector is contributing to nutrition through the FAO online consultation on the draft outcome document. Click here to read USCIB’s comments.
In its comments, USCIB recommended that the document recognize the private sector’s contributions to improved nutrition through innovative products, scientific and technological know-how, and improved production and management practices. These can all be increasingly harnessed through effective partnerships with research institutions, farmers, policy-makers and civil society, USCIB said.
Furthermore, the private sector can play a critical role in further strengthening markets, spurring economic growth and improving livelihoods, USCIB said. The comments observed that, while private-sector involvement is critical, there is also a need for government collaboration, particularly in helping to ensure sensible policies, such as reducing barriers to trade, that do not impede the private sector’s potential contributions to the shared societal goal of improved nutrition.
Staff contact: Helen Medina