UN-Nutrition is the inter-agency coordination mechanism for the United Nations on nutrition. As such, it aims to ensure that UN nutrition efforts are aligned, connected, mutually supportive and well-coordinated at all levels. This means working to maximize the coherence of policies, approaches and positions in nutrition challenges across the UN system, while promoting programmatic alignment and harmonized advocacy. It is not a separate UN agency, programme or fund.
UN-Nutrition was born out of the merger of the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and the UN Network for SUN (UNN4SUN). Consequently, UN-Nutrition supersedes both UNSCN and UNN4SUN.
The UN country team jointly determines which agency convenes UN-Nutrition in a given country. In some countries, co-convenors have been identified and/or a rotational convening arrangement has been adopted, allowing for equity in leadership among participating UN agencies. Where possible, the UN-Nutrition convenor is a senior UN staff member, such as the Resident Coordinator (RC) or a delegated Head of a UN agency in the country. The UN-Nutrition country convenor is not by default the same UN agency that chairs UN-Nutrition at the global level.
UN-Nutrition is committed to implementing the SUN Strategy 3.0, covering the 2021−2025 period. It serves as the UN support network for the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, superseding the UNN4SUN in January 2021. For this reason, the UNN4SUN logo was discontinued and should no longer be used on new materials produced at the global, regional or country level.
UN-Nutrition is an integral part of the SUN Global Support System (GSS) alongside the SUN Civil Society Network, the SUN Donor Network, the SUN Business Network and the SUN Movement Secretariat (SMS). UN-Nutrition supports joint engagement with the SUN country coordinator, who is a government focal point. In addition, UN-Nutrition facilitates collective UN participation in multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder platforms on nutrition (MSPs). Among other resources, its suite of analytical tools helps SUN country coordinators foster action-oriented dialogue and coordination across different sectors and stakeholders. UN-Nutrition also works closely with the SUN Movement Regional Hubs in Bangkok, Dakar, Nairobi and Panama City, as well as the SUN Convergence Hub, with the aim of supporting SUN country coordinators and MSPs.
Technical focal points from the respective UN-Nutrition Member Agencies in-country periodically update the UN-Nutrition country convenor on progress, opportunities and challenges. The country convenor, in turn, relays this information to the UN Resident Coordinator (RC), where the RC is not convening UN-Nutrition so that the RC can update the UN Country Team (UNCT). This helps to ensure that nutrition is integrated into the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), or similar frameworks, and undertake high-level advocacy for nutrition, including efforts to secure increased investment.
Communication and knowledge sharing helps to connect UN-Nutrition’s efforts at all levels. This includes newsletters, eAlerts, interviews, events and other exchanges. In addition, country missions provide an opportunity to strengthen links with the regional and global workstreams and ensure coherence across the various levels.
The UN-Nutrition Secretariat conducts other outreach activities, including those targeted to UN Resident Coordinators, country convenors and technical focal points. This also helps to foster coherence and alignment within the policy, programming, advocacy, assessment and capacity strengthening domains among UN-Nutrition members. It also can help strengthen feedback loops and foster demand-driven guidance and dynamic knowledge management, more broadly.
In addition, UN-Nutrition focal points at the headquarters level, appointed by each Member Agency, liaise with their country counterparts to provide updates, share information, and supply and/or broker technical assistance, as needed.
UN-Nutrition is funded by contributions from its Member Agencies, both in-kind and financial. It also mobilizes additional funding for time-bound specific projects, aligned with national nutrition priorities and the UN-Nutrition priority areas.
In 2021, REACH was mainstreamed into the core functions of UN-Nutrition. The REACH ‘brand’ was subsequently discontinued along with the REACH logo.
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