Decade of Action on Nutrition at the UN General Assembly (71st session)

The Governments of Italy, the Japan, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland co-sponsored a special event on strengthening national commitments to end malnutrition in all its forms. The event was supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, and took place on 20 September 2016 in UN Headquarters.

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The aim of the event was to draw attention to the ways in which countries decide on and implement actions to advance the improvement of nutrition in their countries. Specifically, it sought to catalyze clear, evidence-based commitments by Member States as a first step toward the implementation of national policies, programs and investments under the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) framework.

The event showcased how governments, from across the world, are embedding nutrition in their national strategies and plans, looking at policies and investments in health, food systems, education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and social security that contribute to ensuring that no one is left behind. It encouraged country leadership and shared learning as Member States prepare their own national plans, to translate their ICN2 commitments and the 2030 Agenda into national programmes, policies and partnerships. The participation of countries from the north and the south highlights the universal nature of the fight against malnutrition and the need for action by all governments.

To encourage the spirit of belonging and ownership, the event, like the Decade itself, was designed to foster dialogue among existing as well as new nutrition actors. Participants including representatives from global, regional and national levels; high, low and middle income Member States; UN agencies and coordination mechanisms such as the Standing Committee on Nutrition; multistakeholder platforms such as the Committee on World Food Security; and delegates from civil society, academia, and the business community. These stakeholders work in different sectors, in different settings, including emergencies, and address all forms of malnutrition (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight/obesity).

The co-hosts were supported by the two lead agencies of the Decade of Action on Nutrition (WHO and FAO) and the United Nations Secretariat working in nutrition (UNSCN, UNICEF, WFP and IFAD).

The event was open to Member States missions in New York, and representatives from the UN system, business, civil society, financial institutions, regional bodies, parliamentarians and donors that work in multi-sectoral ways in support of the Decade of Action on Nutrition and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Participants were expected to come away with deeper understanding of two issues:

  • Vision for the Decade: How the decade was organized to support more coherent, effective and strategic action by governments and their partners at all levels,
  • Ownership of the decade: The event illustrated how state and non-state actors are called upon to take advantage of the decade to plan and work together in mutually supportive ways to achieve ICN2 commitments.


  • 20 September 2016
    The UN Decade of Action on Nutrition: Working together to implement the outcomes of the Second International Conference on Nutrition