UN FSS Pre-Summit affiliated event: Putting Nutrition at the Centre of Food Systems Transformation

Tuesday, 27 July 2021
1:30pm to 2:20pm (CEST)

Food systems are broken. They neither work for the planet, nor do they support good nutrition and health. This is because they are not people or public goods centred, but rather commodity focused. Consequently, there is a need to sharpen the human rights lens if we are to address the triple burden of malnutrition through diversified diets and safeguard the planet.

This requires good governance at several levels (global, national, regional, local) as well as looking at solutions that fit the environmental and local contexts. Some areas are already well advanced and have built, or are building, strong coalitions which include or are centred around nutrition (e.g. school food coalition, coalition on prevention and treatment of child wasting). The nutrition community believes that more emphasis is needed on areas where the importance of nutrition is not clearly defined but that cuts across all Action Tracks and Areas.

Nutrition is essential and can be strengthened in all the priority areas coming out of the second wave of propositions, particularly strengthening One Health, and resilience in fragile situations.

Achieving food systems transformation for nutrition requires: (1) putting emphasis on children and youth, including child nutrition; (2) a stronger focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment, including the right to adequate food and health at the heart of food systems; (3) strengthened community engagement and empowerment in nutrition policies; and (4) fostering community agency and government accountability and transparency.

UN Nutrition advocates for a food systems transformation with people at its heart and with nutrition outcomes as its principal measure of success. With one voice from members, UN Nutrition embraces a human rights-based approach, and promotes the right to adequate food as a means to address social and environmental determinants of nutrition, health, climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity, social protection, education, women’s empowerment, innovative financing, and more.

This event, organized in the context of the Pre-Summit of the UN Food Systems Summit, showed how UN leadership is rallying forces for nutrition leaving no one behind.



Dr. Naoko Yamamoto, UN Nutrition Chair and Assistant Director General for Universal Health Coverage, WHO

Keynote address:

Ms. Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF and Chair of the SUN Lead Group

Thematic Panel:

  • His Excellency Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Public Health of Guyana

  • Mr. Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria

  • Dr. Shakuntala Thilsted, Global Lead, Nutrition and Public Health, WorldFish
  • Mr. Mike Khunga, Act4Good, Vice-Chair for UN Food System Summit Action Track 5

Final call for action: 

H.R.H. Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan, the WFP Special Advisor on Mother and Child Health and Nutrition

Moderator: Ms. Nancy Aburto, Deputy Director, Food and Nutrition Division, FAO and member of the UN Nutrition Steering Committee

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