Highlights: November 2018

In November 2018, members of the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and the UN Network (UNN) met in Rome, Italy, for a joint face-to-face meeting as part of the greater effort to have the UNSCN and UNN Secretariats working more closely together. Amir Abdulla, WFP Deputy Executive Director, set the stage for important discussions by reminding the participants of the need for increased effectiveness and efficiency, especially in the light of the UN Reform. Cornelia Richter, UNSCN Chair and Vice President of IFAD, chaired the two-day discussion, successfully leading the group through on-going and planned activities.

As part of a knowledge sharing session, members FAO and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) made presentations to help increase the understanding of food systems. FAO highlighted the rapidly transforming nature of food systems as a result of economic growth, urbanization, globalization, technology, and in some places, political uncertainty; and how food system impacts the enabling environment and vice versa. Their work to support countries to develop strategies, policies and regulatory frameworks that promote efficient and inclusive food systems is one concrete action that FAO is taking to help. UN Environment complemented this work by presenting the efforts of the 10YFP Sustainable Food Systems Programme to ensure that food systems are also sustainable; and the recent development of the UNEP-led Transformative Sustainable Food Systems Framework.

Strategic thinking focused as well on the need  for the UN to provide timely and strategic input into upcoming nutrition events, as well on how to leverage additional support for the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition. During the meeting, preliminary findings from 2017 UNN Annual Report were presented highlighting how the UNN is changing mindsets and behaviour in terms of fostering increased knowledge-sharing (including data) across UN agencies and sectors. UNN makes use of the UNSCN guidance note on integrating nutrition in the UNDAFs, making them more nutrition-sensitive and catalysing increased UN Joint Programming on nutrition.The emerging findings of the on-going SUN Movement mid-term review were also discussed.

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