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Icn2 mbtfAssistant Secretary Bernie Flores led the Philippine delegation for the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition held at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy on 19-21 November 2014.

The 2nd ICN was an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO) both of the United Nations.

It was a high-level ministerial conference that adopted a flexible policy framework to address today's major nutrition challenges and priorities for enhanced international cooperation on nutrition.

ICN2 brought together national leaders, senior national policymakers from agriculture, health and other relevant ministries and agencies, leaders of United Nations agencies and other intergovernmental organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, researchers, the private sector and consumers.

 

The conference reviewed the progress in improving nutrition since the first ICN in 1992, reflecting on nutrition problems that remain, as well as on the new challenges and opportunities for improving nutrition presented by changes in the global economy, in food systems, by advances in science and technology.
It then identified policy and program options for improving nutrition, to be implemented according to the unique conditions of each country.


It adopted the 2014 Rome Declaration on Nutrition which spelled out key country commitments to:

1. Eradicate hunger and prevent all forms of malnutrition worldwide;

2. Increase investments for effective interventions and actions to improve people's diets and nutrition, including in emergency situations;

3. Enhance sustainable food systems to provide year-round access to food that meets people's nutrition needs and promote safe and diversified healthy diets;

4. Raise the profile of nutrition within relevant national strategies, policies, actions plans and programmes, and align national resources accordingly;

5. Improve nutrition by strengthening human and institutional capacities to address all forms of malnutrition

6. Strengthen and facilitate contributions and action by all stakeholders to improve nutrition and promote collaboration within and across countries,

7. Develop policies, programmes and initiatives for ensuring healthy diets throughout the life course,

8. Empower people and create an enabling environment for making informed choices about food products for healthy dietary practices and appropriate infant and young child feeding practices

9. Implement the Rome Declaration through the Framework for Action which will also contribute to ensuring accountability and monitoring progress in global nutrition targets

The conference likewise called for the stronger integration of the vision and commitments of the Rome Declaration into the Post-2015 development agenda.

ICN2 built on ongoing global political processes and initiatives to contribute to the post-2015 UN development agenda including identifying priority areas, nutrition development goals as well as the policies that are required to achieve, measure and account for them. The outcome of the ICN2 also contributed to the UN Secretary-General's call for a high degree of policy coherence at global, regional, national and sub-national levels and a global partnership for development at all levels. The ICN2 was also hinged on the Secretary-General's call to leaders gathered at the Rio+20 Summit to take up the "Zero Hunger Challenge".

The Philippine delegation headed by Assistant Secretary of Health Maria-Bernardita T. Flores, the Executive Director of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), included Director Carlos Magnaye of the Department of Agriculture, representatives from the Philippine Embassy in Rome (CDA Leila Lora-Santos, Enrique Voltaire Pingol, Marion Reyes, Lupiño Lazaro, Jr.) and in Geneva (Arnel G. Talisayon), Dr. Anthony Calibo of the Department of Health, and Maria Lourdes A. Vega of the National Nutrition Council.

As head of the delegation, Assistant Secretary Flores delivered the Philippine Country Statement, which outlines the Philippines' commitment to address the double burden of malnutrition.

The country paper recounted key actions that will be pursued in the Philippines to include:

1. Focus on the first 1000 days of life, and as such strengthen efforts to ensure optimum infant and young child feeding practices;

2. Scale up actions to address micronutrient deficiencies as well as acute malnutrition,

3. Advance efforts in nutrition in emergencies through a consciousness of preparedness, response and rehabilitation in emergency situations.

4. Develop nutrition-sensitive interventions among sectors of the government particularly in agriculture and social protection, and under the regime of decentralization,

5. Mobilize local government units in including nutrition among their priorities and investing in its implementation.

6. Strengthen the link of supplementary feeding practices to local agriculture and food production and livelihood opportunities especially in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs)

7. Work in partnership with development organizations including UN agencies.

It also expressed the Philippine commitment to continue the legacy that ICN pursued over the last twenty years, with emphasis on sustainable solutions to malnutrition, amidst the growing threat, but at the same time cognizant of the opportunities posed by further integration between and among nations in the global community, more specifically the ASEAN nations.

And, for her closing message, Asec. Flores firmly asserted that "We will uphold our responsibilities and work with our international partners to improve the nutritional status of Filipinos", assuring everyone to count on the Philippines to do its part in living up to the 2014 Rome Declaration on Nutrition.


For more information on ICN2 and the Philippine country statement, visit the following websites:

http://www.fao.org/about/meetings/icn2

http://www.iisd.ca/fao/nutrition/icn2/ 

Links:

Rome Declaration on Nutrition

Philippine Country Statement on ICN2

Framework for Action