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ICN2: What next?
As the historic conference draws to a close, now the real work must begin...
Rome, 21 November 2014
During the past few days, at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in Rome, social movements representing small-scale fishermen and farmers through to the urban poor, women and young people, with civil society organisations, have united with one common vision: to ensure governments step up urgent action for a world free from malnutrition.
Action Against Hunger, as part of this movement, now urges politicians to ensure these historic negotiations lead to concrete action and real change. Governments and international institutions must be held accountable for their obligations and commitments. There must be an effective follow-up process, a clear timeline to reach objectives, and tangible ways to measure and monitor progress.
The first ICN vanished without a trace 22 years later; strong accountability is vital to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself.
It is unacceptable that in a world of plenty, over 800 million people will go to bed hungry tonight. Respect for basic human rights – including access to adequate food and nutrition – and the rights of women in particular are crucial to winning the fight against malnutrition in all its forms and Member States must ensure these rights are protected in national and international policies.
Today, around 52 million children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition. Too often, acute malnutrition has not featured in important international meetings about how to tackle undernutrition. ICN2 has changed that.
Now it’s time to move from talk to action. This conference marks the beginning of a new journey. Civil society has declared the start of a worldwide People’s Decade of Action on Nutrition where life-saving changes are debated, agreed and implemented. We must work to have governments agree a 10-year programme to meet the 2015 Global Nutrition Targets and set of Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals that sees the world end undernutrition.
The promises made this week in the outcome documents of ICN2 are voluntary in nature – we must ensure that they translate into actions.