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FAO/WHO International Symposium 2016

As part of the ongoing international dialogue on the Decade of Action on Nutrition, the Global Panel attended the International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems For Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition. 1-2 December 2016, FAO Headquarters, Rome.

As countries increasingly recognise the importance of food systems in addressing hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms, FAO’s Symposium provided a platform for continued dialogue, engagement and collaboration. Diverse stakeholders from international organisations, government, civil society, and academia, working on a range of nutrition-related challenges, gathered to identify innovative solutions that will enable food systems to deliver healthy diets for improved nutrition. Have a look at the programme.

Prof Patrick Webb, Technical Adviser to the Global Panel delivered the symposium’s keynote address, highlighting 9 big challenges - and solutions - for the next 9 years to reach the targets set for the Decade of Action on Nutrition. Watch his speech here, from minute 54.

He also introduced the audience to a Global Panel comment piece published Nature on 1st Dec. The article, which he co-authored with Dr Lawrence Haddad, Prof Corinna Hawkes and colleagues, proposes a new research agenda with ten ways to shift the focus from feeding people to nourishing them. Read the comment piece in Nature.

We have now generated unprecedented momentum at the international level in highlighting the urgency to provide quality diets for all. Interventions promoting good nutrition for improved economies and health will continue to be at the top of the global agenda, capitalising on attention from the launch of both the Decade of Action on Nutrition and the African Leaders for Nutrition initiative.

Also, download a copy of the Foresight Report on food systems and diets.


On 1 April 2016, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed a UN Decade of Action on Nutrition that will run from 2016 to 2025. It will provide an umbrella for a wide group of actors, including national governments, international and regional organisations, civil society, the private sector and academia, to work together to address these and other pressing nutrition issues.

The resolution calls upon FAO and WHO to lead the implementation of the Decade of Action on Nutrition in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and involving coordination mechanisms such as the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and multi-stakeholder platforms such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).