Cover Image
close this bookEnding Malnutrition by 2020: An Agenda for Change in the Millennium - Final report to the ACC/SCN by the commission on the nutrition challenges of the 21st century (ACC/SCN, 2000, 104 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentExecutive Summary: Main Messages of the Commission Report
close this folder1. Recent Progress
View the document1.1 International declarations for action in the 1990s
View the document1.2 Progress in accelerating improvements for nutrition
View the document1.3 The case for investing in nutrition
View the document1.4 Setbacks to progress: nutritional well-being during economic crisis
close this folder2. Global Nutrition Challenges: A Life-Cycle Approach
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.1 Poor nutrition starts in utero
View the document2.2 Adult undernutrition
View the document2.3 Micronutrient deficiencies are major public health problems in nutrition
View the document2.4 Changing food consumption patterns
View the document2.5 Preventing premature adult death and disability
close this folder3. Societal Issues Underlying Malnutrition: Implications for Progress
View the document(introduction...)
View the document3.1 Conceptual framework
View the document3.2 Poverty and nutrition
View the document3.3 Women
View the document3.4 Care
View the document3.5 Education
View the document3.6 Key role of local communities
View the document3.7 The importance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
View the document3.8 The potential for public-private co-operation
View the document3.9 Purposeful action: the need for equity
close this folder4. Food, Agriculture and Environment: Future Challenges
View the document4.1 Food as an important determinant of nutritional status
View the document4.2 The constraints to meeting future demands
View the document4.3 Other forces affecting food security: trade, global finance and new technology
View the document4.4 Food production and food security: meeting the challenges
close this folder5. Food, Nutrition and Human Rights
View the document(introduction...)
View the document5.1 What difference does a rights-based approach make?
View the document5.2 The International Code of Conduct of the Human Right to Adequate Food
close this folder6. Vision and Goals for the Future
View the document(introduction...)
View the document6.1 A Vision
View the document6.2 Achieving rapid progress for the 21st century
View the document6.3 The need to review goals and options
View the document6.4 Integrating goals for diet-related diseases
View the document6.5 An integrated approach
close this folder7. Establishing a New Agenda for Change
View the document(introduction...)
View the document7.1 Developing regional and national policies
View the document7.2 Improving UN Mechanisms
View the document7.3 National-level developments
View the document7.4 Linking national policy developments and actions to international support
View the document7.5 Key international issues relating to nutrition
View the document7.6 Conclusions and priorities
View the documentAnnex 1: The Establishment and Membership of the Commission
View the documentAnnex 2: Existing Nutrition Goals which Should be Maintained, Developed or Refined
View the documentAnnex 3: Ending Undernutrition in India by 2020
View the documentAnnex 4: Issues to be Considered by Regional and National Meetings
View the documentReferences

1.1 International declarations for action in the 1990s

Over the last nine years, major international commitments have been made to reduce malnutrition. Nutrition goals formally adopted include:

The World Summit for Children, 1990. Called for "a reduction in severe and moderate malnutrition among children under 5 to half the 1990 rate by the year 2000". The Sub-Committee on Nutrition (ACC/SCN) conducted a series of country-level reviews, in collaboration with national nutrition institutes, for Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Tanzania, Thailand and Zimbabwe. These aimed to document a wide-ranging base of national experiences in nutrition policies and programmes, looking specifically at why and how actions were undertaken, and evaluating their effect on nutrition. This work showed that through focused action, accelerated progress against childhood undernutrition can be achieved.

The International Conference for Nutrition, 1992. Reaffirmed the goals set out at the World Summit for Children and other earlier goals, set them in a broader context and also called for the "elimination of death from famine". The Conference - co-sponsored by WHO and FAO -was to be followed by countries writing their own National Plans of Action for Nutrition. Some plans of action were prepared, awareness of nutrition problems increased, a wide range of people with responsibility for nutrition action were brought together, and some strong local networks were created. More recently the Asian Development Bank, in collaboration with UNICEF, has provided funding for implementation of National Plans in selected countries in Asia.

The World Food Summit, 1996. This Summit declared "the commitment to achieving food security for alt, and to an ongoing effort to eradicate hunger in all countries, with an immediate view to reducing the number of undernourished people to half its present level no later than 2015". The summit endorsed the 1992 International Conference for Nutrition recommendations and incorporated them into the World Food Summit Plan of Action and the Rome Declaration on World Food Security. Since 1996, several UN agencies have been driving forward the Plan of Action - monitored by the Committee on World Food Security. FAO has developed a number of country-specific programmes working with national governments to implement the summit recommendations. An inter-agency working group has also been set up to take forward a plan for Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Mapping Systems (FIVIMS).

These conferences emphasised the reduction of undernutrition as part of a broader strategy to eradicate poverty. Reducing poverty is an end in itself and a means to achieve other goals. At the World Summit for Social Development in 1995, governments committed themselves to establish national goals for "substantially reducing overall poverty in the shortest possible time, reducing inequalities and eradicating absolute poverty by a target date to be specified by each country in its national context". In 1996, the Development Ministers of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee proposed a global development and assistance partnership to meet a core of priority goals, including "a reduction by half in the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015". Each conference also emphasised the vital role of the UN family itself: goals should serve as a focus for collaboration among the different agencies and organisations involved in mobilising and monitoring implementation.

The 20/20 Initiative enjoins governments in developing countries and donors to devote 20% of their expenditures to basic social services. This initiative was first suggested by the UNDP's Human Development Report in 1992 and formally approved at the World Summit for Social Development in 1995. Many governments and donor agencies are now involved in working towards this goal. Such commitments will help to provide the needed financial support for community-based programmes.