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Thursday, August 20, 2009

International Conference on Nutrition December 5, 1992

Freedom from hunger and malnutrition was first recognized as a basic human right with the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and reaffirmed as recently as 1989 in the Convention of the Rights of the Child. In many countries great strides have been made since 1948 to improve the food and nutrition situation. However, in virtually all countries malnutrition in all its forms persists and in some countries and among certain population groups it has actually increased. To alleviate malnutrition, attention must continue to be given to increasing the production and availability of food and, most importantly, to ensuring that the poor have adequate access to it. However, increased emphasis needs to be given to improving a broad range of health, social and economic conditions, if improvements in the nutritional well-being of all are to be achieved and maintained.
To meet this challenge, a global, intergovernmental meeting on nutrition, the International Conference on Nutrition (ION), is being jointly organized by FAQ and WHO and will be convened in December 1992. The proposal for sponsoring the ION was approved by the FAQ Conference in November 1989 and by the WHO World Health Assembly in May 1990.
The preparation of the ION is under the overall direction of a Joint FAQ/WHO Streering Committee, and a Joint Secretariat has been established at the FAQ headquarters in Rome to coordinate all ION preparations. These are being undertaken in close collaboration with the other United Nation\'s organizations that are members of the Administrative Committee on coordination\'s Sub-Committee on Nutrition (where the idea of a global meeting was first advanced), and with several bilateral agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The Conference will examine nutrition problems and their causes, as well as the means to prevent them. Special attention will be given to the nutrition problems encountered by poor people throughout the world, ranging from famine and food insecurity to nutrition requirements and the increasing incidence of chronic diet-related diseases.
The overall objectives of the Conference are - to identify the problems of malnutrition, either of deficit or excess, related factors, their magnitude and geographical distribution, their causes and impact on the population and measures to overcome them at world, regional and national levels;
- to develop and adopt a strategy and proposals for action to reach agreed nutrition and dietary goals;
- to mobilize additional financial resources for concentrated efforts by governments, non-governmental organizations and international organizations to implement the strategy through immediate and long-term proposals for broad-based national and international action;
- to increase awareness of the magnitude, causes and consequences of malnutrition and of the benefit of sound nutritional status in order to create momentum behind actions and for a human nutrition focus within the Fourth Development Decade; and
- to establish a global system of collecting and disseminating information on year-to-year changes in nutrition status of at-risk population groups.
These broad objectives will be refined and focused further as the preparation for the Conference proceeds.
In many countries, it is envisaged that the process of preparing for the ION will, in itself, lead to an increased awareness of the scope and causes of nutrition problems and of how they could more effectively be addressed. Each Member country should prepare a country paper summarizing their nutrition situation, including the extent and causes of nutrition problems, past experience in addressing them and plans for future action. These country-level preparations will be complemented by a series of regional or sub-regional workshops, which will provide the opportunity to synthesize ideas and approaches for improving nutrition and will contribute to the development of the ION agenda. A umber of theme papers and case studies will also be commissioned, which along with the results of the regional activities, will lead to a comprehensive assessment and analysis of nutrition problems and their causes, and a global plan of action.
In addition to all relevant segments of the public sector, the participation of non-governmental organizations and the private sector in preparing for the ION is particularly encouraged. Similarly, given the importance that public awareness and information will have in meeting the ICN\'s objectives the effective use of the media will also be a key to the success of the ICN preparations.
(Contributed by: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Islamabad) To commemorate the International Conference on Nutrition, Pakistan Post is issuing a special postage stamp of Rs. 7/- denomination on December 5, 1992.