Areas of Engagement


The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) took place at FAO headquarters in Rome last week. Jointly organised by FAO and WHO, the conference brought together some 2200 participants, including member states delegations, representatives from relevant UN agencies, as well as researchers, farmer organisations, private sector and civil society.

Nutrition is considered a technical matter by most. Indeed, the conference negotiations attempted to de-root nutrition from its intimate relations with the nature of food systems as well as its broader social, economic and political determinants. In contrast, nutrition is a profoundly political issue not only for its deep implications on people’s rights, livelihoods and health, but also because of the consequences that choosing among alternative paths to nutrition may have on the nature and pattern of globalization.

The EAC Treaty emphasizes economic co-operation and development with a strong focus on the social dimension. The co-operation and integration identified by EAC incorporates: Customs Union; Common Market; Monetary Union; and ultimately a Political Federation.

Rome, 19-21 November 2014 | Social Movements around the world are deeply disappointed in the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) process and outcome documents that fail to address the fundamental causes of nutrition issues. We fear that many of the proposed solutions at ICN2 will create more threats to nutrition, the environment, sustainability and social justice.

It is unacceptable that in a world of plenty more than 800 million of our brothers and sisters go to bed hungry every night and over half a billion are obese. More than 150 million children suffer from stunting, over 50 million children are wasted, more than 40 million children are obese, and approximately 800,000 babies die every year because they are not optimally breastfed. The injustice of malnutrition has meant that several thousand of our children have died since this discussion started. These problems should have been tackled a long time ago.

Civil Society Organizations were discussing the progress made in the field of women's and girls' rights 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPfA) was adopted.

Our common understanding of the challenges of malnutrition in all its forms

Understanding the challenge of malnutrition in all its forms requires a holistic and multidisciplinary analysis, one that combines the political and technical perspectives. Above all, it requires recognizing the need for urgency and justice, the appreciation for diversity and the values of human dignity, equity, sustainability and sovereignty.