Second Committee: Agriculture development, Food Security and Nutrition

Mr. Nikhil Seth, the Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) introduced the report that examined the progress made to date and the challenges that remain in eradicating hunger and malnutrition: sustainable increasing of agricultural production; reducing agricultural losses and waste; and ensuring that all food systems are sustainable. The report also aims to look ahead, highlighting the importance of food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture in the proposed SDGs.

In terms of eradicating hunger and malnutrition, the report noted that, despite overall progress, large differences remain across developing regions. It also highlighted that the target does not capture the different dimensions of under nutrition. In terms of sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, the report noted that in order to avert future food crises, agricultural productivity must be increased.

The representative of Bolivia on behalf of the Group of 77 and China stated that the ‘State of Food Insecurity’ (SoFI) 2014 showed that advances in reducing world hunger require political commitment, which is expressed through appropriate policies, legal framework and resources. They reaffirmed that hunger is a violation of human dignity and called for urgent measures to be taken at the national, regional and international levels to eliminate it. They welcomed the implementation of the International Year of Family Farming by recognizing the important contributions of family farming and smallholder farming. Moreover, they called for immediate elimination of all forms of agricultural subsidies and other market-distorting measures taken by developed countries that are not in compliance with WTO rules. The representative of Guyana on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) stressed that activities in this area are critical in creating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities (especially for women and youths), in the sustainment of livelihoods, and in the reduction of the high incidence of NCDS.

The representative of Laos People’s Democratic Republic, on behalf of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), stated that they are of the view that the challenge of food and nutrition insecurity should be addressed in a sustainable manner in order to increase agricultural production and improve agricultural productivity by augmenting investment and technological improvement in the agricultural sector. The representative of the Kingdom of Tonga, on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States, noted that climate change adaptation strategies relevant to food security and nutrition should be mainstreamed in all aquaculture and fisheries policies and actions at national and sub-national levels. The representative of the European Union and its Member States noted that through EU polices they strongly promote the multiplier role of the agricultural sector and the contribution that all actors can make. They welcomed the Malabo Declaration of 27 June of the African Union recommitting to agricultural development and resolving to triple intra-Africa trade in agricultural commodities and services by 2025.

Meeting: 24th and 25th meetings of the Second Meeting: Agriculture development, food security and nutrition [item 25]
Date: 28 October 2014
Location: Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters, New York.
Written by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon

Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Second International Conference on Nutrition

health_captionThe joint FAO/WHO Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) will be held at the FAO headquarteron 19th-21st November, 2014. A briefing was convened today to inform distinguished guests on the key objectives and expected outcomes.

Ms. Nishida mentioned the 1992 ICN as the first intergovernmental conferencedevoted solely to addressing the burden of malnutrition among countries. She acknowledged the first conference had brought hope in combating the global nutrition challenge, yet it is high time for ICN2 to review the past progress since reductions in hunger and malnutrition have been unacceptably slow in many countries. She summarized three key messages that will be echoed repetitively in ICN2: i) the necessity to increase nutrition levels, ii) good nutrition requires equitable and resilient food systems and iii) global action to end all forms of malnutrition is a good investment.

The expected outcomes of the ICN2 will guide the UN political declaration and technical framework of action. It will also reinvigorate international and intergovernmental cooperation on nutrition, incorporate nutrition-enhancing food systems into national policies and create a higher degree of policy coherence and global partnership, including the call to take up the “Zero Hunger Challenge”.

She mentionedthat the joint working group is currently developing a draft political outcome document as well as a draft framework for action, which guides the implementation of the commitment made to create better food systems.

Ms. Lartey stated that the conference will be convened at the ministerial level with high-level representatives, UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and policy-makers, as well as with private sector and civil society members participating in this conference. She noted ICN2 will not be an end in itself, but rather a continued process in the pursuit of having sustainable and wholesome nutrition in the global economy and global food system. At the end, she stressed the importance of addressing nutrition throughout the entire life cycle.


Meeting Title: Joint briefing on “The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)”
Speakers: Ms. Sharon Brennen-Haylock, Director, FAO Liaison Office in New York; Ms. Chizuru Nishida, Coordinator, WHO Department of Nutrition for Health; Ms. Anna Lartey, Director, FAO Nutrition Division
Date: 11 July 2014
Location: Conference Room 8, North Lawn Building, United Nations HQ, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Tracy Lau
Edited By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

Nutrition as an Input and an Outcome of Resilience

The concept of resilience and its practical application in food security and nutrition, both in policy formation and implementation, has recently become a topical issue among humanitarian development communities.


Today at the United Nations, a panel discussion on nutrition aimed to propose approaches and develop a concrete action plan that can be taken to strengthen resilience towards the root causes of malnutrition. Building upon the discussion and conclusions from the IFPRI 2020 conference held in Addis Ababa, the event aimed to provide insights for the preparation of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and the post-2015 developmental agenda. 

Chairperson, Sandra Aviles opened the discussion by highlighting the importance of understanding the term resilience not as jargon, but as a term that is practically defined as a tangible indicator that can help communities bridge the gap between short term goals and long term developmental agendas.

Mrs. Florika focused her address on locating target communities that are most vulnerable to malnutrition. She stated that, “children below the age of five and pregnant and lactating women were among those that are the most severe targets of hunger needs”. In response, ECHO and OCHA are developing a system to index risk factors, develop key indicators, and resilience markers and identify best practices to provide humanitarian assistance to these communities with maximum output. Mrs. Dolores highlighted natural disasters as another factor that threaten food security. Crises prone regions of developing countries are often ill equipped with coping up with natural disasters, and at times such disasters occur with little time gap which further threatens food security and enhances health risks.

In conclusion, Mrs. Charlotte Dufour, drawing upon a programme conducted with ECHO that addressed the challenge of access to land as an underlying causes of malnutrition, highlighted some of the practical problems that schemes faced when tested on ground. She posited that institutional silos existed across and within institutions that hinder the establishment of a common language of indicators. Furthermore, while institutions possess technical skills they lack the organizational and planning skills that are required to initiate programmes in countries with fragile governments, weak leadership and high levels of corruption.


Meeting Title: “Nutrition as an input and an outcome of resilience”
Speakers: Sandra Aviles; Senior Liason Officer, Programme Development & Humanitarian Affairs, FAO; Mrs. Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director for Strategy, Policy and International Cooperation, ECHO; Mrs. Dolores Rio, Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF; Mrs. Charlotte Dufour, Nutrition Officer, FAO; Mrs. Muriel Calo, Senior Food Security & Livelihood Advisor, Action Against Hunger
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 7 (NLB), New York 
Date: 23 June 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Apurv Gupta
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark