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UNSCN News 43: Call for Contributions

UNSCN NEWS is the flagship, peer-reviewed publication of the UNSCN. The 2018 edition will focus on equity, equality and non-discrimination as drivers of good nutrition.

Inherent barriers exist in food systems that prevent people from overcoming persistent and intergenerational malnutrition and poverty. In order to overcome these barriers and ensure that no one is left behind, systematic analysis of food system dynamics, as well as the various causes of malnutrition, will help assess how equity impacts and is impacted by nutrition.

Inequality refers to differences, variation and disparities in the living conditions of individuals and groups. Inequity adds a moral dimension, referring to the process by which certain outcomes are produced, to the way in which wealth is distributed, and to how needs are assessed and addressed (adapted from Norheim and Asada’s definition, 2009). Equity is concerned with fairness and social justice and aims to focus on people’s needs rather than the provision of services to reach the greatest number of people.

Drivers of malnutrition can intersect and overlap, intensifying the exclusion of certain groups of people. These may be difficult for an external audience to address but are intimately understood by those affected. Therefore, marginalised and deprived people should be empowered to set their own priorities and be equipped to participate meaningfully in decision making processes, advise on the implementation of the approaches and monitor and evaluate the outcomes to ensure that the benefits reach the intended targets. If this goes ignored, the international community will fail to utilise the local knowledge and expertise available and continue holding people back from reaching their full potential.

The progressive realisation of the right to adequate food requires States to fulfil their human rights obligations under international law. There are several international instruments available in which the progressive realisation of the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, is enshrined. These include: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (Art 25), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Art 2 and 11), UN Charter (Art 55 and 56), the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the four Geneva Conventions and their two Additional Protocols. Only when a human rights approach is taken will the international community be able to work according the principles of universality, indivisibility, participation, accountability, transparency and non-discrimination. In the forthcoming edition of UNSCN News, we intend to explore the principle of equity and non-discrimination.

In September 2015, more than 193 member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda is people centered and prioritizes leaving nobody behind. This means not just focusing on ensuring progress for entire countries, reflected by averages, but looking specifically at the people who do not benefit from development because current strategies have been unsuccessful in reaching them. The proclamation of the Nutrition Decade amplifies that message and provides a springboard for the realisation of the SDGs. It intensifies the urgency to act and generates new energy in support of the achievement of the Global Nutrition Targets, diet related NCDs and invites the nutrition community to work with non-traditional sectors such as trade, environment and human rights.


  • How do different forms of inequity affect malnutrition and how can the barriers in the food systems preventing people to get out of malnutrition be overcome?
  • How can human rights law and institutions more systematically underpin efforts aimed at bettering human nutrition?
  • How can the insights and tools of the socially oriented nutrition community help to identify how human rights principles should guide development, enhancing sustainable positive effects for the human being and for society?
  • What examples demonstrate the potential for nutrition to unveil the biological outcomes of discriminatory practices?
  • What is the role of full transparency, especially when it comes to the availability of data and nutrition relevant information?
  • How can the collection of disaggregated data be improved to ensure that inequalities become visible?
  • How can the nutrition community help the development community better recognize that, in many situations, the connection between income and dietary adequacy is not linear?

We welcome contributions on the following categories:

  • Feature articles: 3,000 words articles related to the general topic of the publication. The articles will be submitted to peer review and can include conceptual contributions or practical examples of policies and programmes.
  • Publications: recent publications of relevance to nutrition, including manuals, tools and guidelines that are usually not found in regular bookstores. Max. 200 words per submission.
  • Speaker's Corner: 1,500 words articles with the authors’ views regarding a hot topic in nutrition policy or programme. The section sometimes features a counterpoint by another author holding an opposite opinion to stimulate debate on important issues.

Please send your contributions electronically to the UNSCN News to with the title “UNSCN NEWS 43 Proposal”. For editorial information, please refer to the UNSCN News Guidelines for Contributors available here.

Deadline: 31 January 2018

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