Entries by UNSCN Secretariat

Food Systems for Children and Adolescents: Working Together to Secure Nutritious Diets

Food systems are essential to delivering healthy, affordable and sustainable diets, but the nutritional needs of children and adolescents (both of present and future generations) are often not prioritized. Actors across the food system, including food producers and suppliers, typically do not account for the nutritional needs of children and adolescents when determining what foods to grow, produce, distribute, and sell. Processed, less nutritious foods are skillfully marketed and widely available and affordable, while nutritious foods are often more expensive and unaffordable to many. The food environment often does not lend itself to nutritious diets for children and adolescents, nor is it incentivized to do so. Actors across local, national and global food systems need to be held accountable for providing healthy, affordable and sustainable diets to children and adolescents today and in the future.

To this end, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, co-hosted a global consultation on children, adolescents and food systems at the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti on 5-7 November 2018. The consultation brought together 60 participants from government, development partners, business, and academia from low-, middle- and high-income settings. The consultation aimed to:

The consultation aimed to:

(1)     Develop a common narrative around the need for food systems to produce nutritious, safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable diets for children and adolescents,

(2)     Validate a common approach to elucidate priority actions within the food system to improve diets of children and adolescents, and

(3)     Develop an action plan to improve children and adolescents’ diets using a food systems approach.    

Documents and presentations for download:

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 – Safeguarding against economic slowdowns and downturns

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 is an important measure of global progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger. It gives an updated estimate of the number of hungry people in the world, including regional and national breakdowns, and the latest data on child stunting and wasting as well as on adult and child obesity. The report also offers analysis of the drivers of hunger and malnutrition, and this year includes a special focus on the impact of economic slowdowns and downturns. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 is presented by FAO with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Digital report | Full report | Flyer | In brief | E-Book MOBI/EPUB 

UNSCN Nutrition 44 – Food environments: Where people meet the food system

This year, the 44th edition of the UNSCN Nutrition (previously UNSCN News) – flagship publication of the UNSCN - explores the contexts in which consumers engage with the food system to make their decisions about acquiring, preparing and consuming food, and the impact of such food environment on their final dietary choices.

Food environments is a new concept and its relevance for a better understanding of food systems is still a matter of debate. Researchers have not yet reached a unique agreed-upon definition of food environments but they tend to converge towards a combination of external and personal factors eventually influencing people’s food choices, attitudes and habits. While food availability, prices, vendors, product properties, marketing and regulation design the food environment externally, a secure food environment also depends on personal aspects such as geographical access, affordability, convenience and desirability of food for the consumer. The food environment will influence the consumers’ dietary habits on the long-term and thus their nutritional and health status. It is thus imperative that food environments are shaped to meet the personal consumers’ needs.

Food environments are shaped by a myriad of factors: taxes and subsidies, marketing and advertisements, production and value chains etc. with their implications for consumer’s choices and the quality of diets.  What initiatives can increase consumer demand for healthy diets? What government policy and fiscal measures can positively influence what food is available to consumers and lead to healthier dietary choices?  What lessons are available from national and/or local interventions?

The 44th edition of the UNSCN Nutrition - Food environments: Where people meet the food system provides an overview of several food environment related issues through selected publications of authors from all stakeholder groups: government, academics, civil society, and the private sector.

FAO Webinar – The evidence review: the key step in the development of FBDGs

09 July 2019
15:30 – 17:00 (GMT+2)

Register here 

A solid evidence base is a pre-requisite for food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) to be able to address country-specific nutrition needs while being socially, culturally and economically appropriate. With the increasing burden of overweight and obesity and other modern sustainable development challenges, the evidence base must thus reflect these evolving considerations. In addition, amidst increasing pressures from commercial interests and civil society/academia’s questioning of the integrity of dietary advice, maintaining transparency and high standards in the evidence review of FBDGs has become a critical issue.

However, with the exception of some countries, not much is known about the actual methods used and activities carried out during the FBDGs evidence review process.

This FAO webinar will tackle some of these gaps focusing on the following questions:

  • Why is the evidence review a key step in the development of FBDGs?
  • What are the main processes involved? What is the current FAO process for conducting an evidence review?
  • What are some challenges and responses in LMICs?

The webinar will also highlight two country cases and present FAO’s current work in this field.

Presenters:
Ana Islas and Ramani Wijesinha-Bettoni, Nutrition Officers, FAO
Joyce Kinabo, Professor, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
Gabriela Rosero Mora, Coordinator of the FBDGs process, Ecuador

 

This is the second of a series of six webinars on FBDGs organized by the Nutrition Education and Consumer Awareness Team of FAO

High-Level Political Forum 2019 – Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality

9-18 July 2019
UN HQ, New York 

The meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development in 2019 convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, will be held from Tuesday, 9 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019; including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum (16-18 July 2019).

The theme will be "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality". The set of goals to be reviewed in depth is the following:

  • Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 16Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

For more information on Thematic SDG Reviews, click here.

In accordance with paragraph 84. of the 2030 Agenda, Member States have decided that the HLPF shall carry out regular voluntary reviews of the 2030 Agenda which will include developed and developing countries as well as relevant UN entities and other stakeholders. The reviews are state-led, involving ministerial and other relevant high-level participants, and provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders.

In 2019, 51 countries (10 for the second time) have volunteered to present their national voluntary reviews to the HLPF. For more details, please click here.

Launch of the HLPE report “Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition”

Wednesday 3rd July, 14.00-17.00 (Rome time)
Green Room (FAO HQ)

Ambassador Mario Arvelo, Chair of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and Dr Patrick Caron, Chairperson of its High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) are proud to announce the launch of the 14th report of the HLPE on Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition.

The Summary and Recommendations are available in English to download here (All other UN official languages will be available on July 2nd 2019)

The event will be chaired by Ambassador Mario Arvelo, Chair of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). An opening address will be made by FAO’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department (AG) Assistant Director-General, Bukar Tijani.

Next steps: the Report will be edited and made available on-line in English within the next few days after the launch. It will be released in all UN official languages six weeks before the opening of the next plenary session of the CFS.

 

The event will be webcast live at: http://www.fao.org/webcast/home/en/

The draft agenda of the event can be downloaded here

No registration is required; please contact the Secretariat at cfs-hlpe@fao.org if you need a building pass to attend the launch

Food Governance Conference

3–5 July 2019
Sydney (Australia)
From 3 to 5 July 2019 the Sydney Law School and the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre will host the second Food Governance Conference in 2019.

Everybody eats; it is the key to our survival, but food also has the potential to compromise health. The global food system is challenged by issues of drought, climate change, trade, malnutrition, and exploited workers. Population growth and the forces of marketization have further compromised the ability of the food system to deliver safe, nutritious and sustainable food to the world's population.

The 2019 Food Governance Conference will explore how law, policy, and regulation address food system challenges or contribute to them at local, national, regional, and global levels. This includes issues such as food security, food safety, food sustainability, equity and social justice in global food systems, and nutrition: under/malnutrition, obesity, and noncommunicable disease.

While food-specific law and regulation will be a key focus of the Food Governance Conference, it will consider how broader legislative and policy regimes impede or facilitate access to a nutritious, equitable, and sustainable food supply, including economic, trade, and intellectual property regimes.

The conference takes a broad, interdisciplinary approach, in the hope of highlighting the interrelationships between the main challenges facing the global food system in the 21st century, and to create new opportunities for collaboration between researchers, policymakers and practitioners in the related fields of food safety, security, and sustainability, and diet-related health.

Opening public oration: Hilal Elver, UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

Conference details

Register for the conference here

Key dates

  • Abstract submission opens: 11 September 2018 - Submit your abstracts here
  • Abstract submission closes: 22 February 2019 
  • Notification to authors: 29 March 2019
  • Early bird registration closes: 3 May 2019
  • Closed workshops: 3 July 2019 (expressions of interest will be sought for running a workshop)
  • Opening public oration: 3 July 2019, 6-7.30pm
  • Main days of the conference: 4 July–5 July 2019

Online consultation – CFS policy process on the development of the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition

Open until: 02.08.2019

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and the FSN Forum are pleased to invite you to take part in the online consultation CFS policy process on the development of the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition

You are invited to share your comments on the V0 Draft of the Voluntary Guidelines. Your inputs will feed into the preparation of the first draft, which will be negotiated in spring 2020. 

Further information is available online in EnglishFrench and Spanish. In preparing your contribution we kindly ask you to use the template for submissions, which is also available in EnglishFrench and Spanish.

To submit your contribution, you can upload your completed template as an attachment to your comment on the FSN Forum website or send it to FSN-moderator@fao.org.

The consultation will be open until 2 August 2019.

The e-consultation outcomes will contribute to the preparation of the First Draft of the Voluntary Guidelines, which will be negotiated in spring 2020. The final version of the Voluntary Guidelines will be then presented for consideration and endorsement by the CFS Plenary at its 47th Session in October 2020.

Through this e-consultation, CFS stakeholders are kindly invited to answer the following guiding questions using the proposed template:

  • Does Chapter 1 adequately reflect the current situation of malnutrition and its related causes and impacts, particularly in line with the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda? What are the underlying problems that currently hinder food systems to deliver healthy diets?
  • What should be the guiding principles to promote sustainable food systems that improve nutrition and enable healthy diets? What are your comments about the principles outlined in Chapter 2? Are they the most appropriate for your national/regional contexts?
  • In consideration of the policy areas identified in Chapter 3 and the enabling factors suggested in paragraph 41 of the Zero Draft, what policy entry points should be covered in Chapter 3, taking into account the need to foster policy coherence and address policy fragmentation?
  • Can you provide specific examples of new policies, interventions, initiatives, alliances and institutional arrangements which should be considered, as well as challenges, constraints, and trade-offs relevant to the three constituent elements of food systems presented in Chapter 3? In your view, what would the “ideal” food system look like, and what targets/metrics can help guide policy-making?
  • How would these Voluntary Guidelines be most useful for different stakeholders, especially at national and regional levels, once endorsed by CFS? 

Online consultation – CFS policy process on the development of the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition

Open until: 02.08.2019

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and the FSN Forum are pleased to invite you to take part in the online consultation CFS policy process on the development of the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition

You are invited to share your comments on the V0 Draft of the Voluntary Guidelines. Your inputs will feed into the preparation of the first draft, which will be negotiated in spring 2020. 

Further information is available online in EnglishFrench and Spanish. In preparing your contribution we kindly ask you to use the template for submissions, which is also available in EnglishFrench and Spanish.

To submit your contribution, you can upload your completed template as an attachment to your comment on the FSN Forum website or send it to FSN-moderator@fao.org.

The consultation will be open until 2 August 2019.

 

The e-consultation outcomes will contribute to the preparation of the First Draft of the Voluntary Guidelines, which will be negotiated in spring 2020. The final version of the Voluntary Guidelines will be then presented for consideration and endorsement by the CFS Plenary at its 47th Session in October 2020.

Through this e-consultation, CFS stakeholders are kindly invited to answer the following guiding questions using the proposed template:

  • Does Chapter 1 adequately reflect the current situation of malnutrition and its related causes and impacts, particularly in line with the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda? What are the underlying problems that currently hinder food systems to deliver healthy diets?
  • What should be the guiding principles to promote sustainable food systems that improve nutrition and enable healthy diets? What are your comments about the principles outlined in Chapter 2? Are they the most appropriate for your national/regional contexts?
  • In consideration of the policy areas identified in Chapter 3 and the enabling factors suggested in paragraph 41 of the Zero Draft, what policy entry points should be covered in Chapter 3, taking into account the need to foster policy coherence and address policy fragmentation?
  • Can you provide specific examples of new policies, interventions, initiatives, alliances and institutional arrangements which should be considered, as well as challenges, constraints, and trade-offs relevant to the three constituent elements of food systems presented in Chapter 3? In your view, what would the “ideal” food system look like, and what targets/metrics can help guide policy-making?
  • How would these Voluntary Guidelines be most useful for different stakeholders, especially at national and regional levels, once endorsed by CFS?