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Whistler, Canada – Nutrition International congratulates Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, the Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, and her G7 Development colleagues for their leadership in launching the Whistler Declaration on Unlocking the Power of Adolescent Girls for Sustainable Development. This declaration reflects a commitment to evidence-based action for adolescent girls across a number of important sectors, including health, education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, financial inclusion – and critically, nutrition.

Nutrition International welcomes in particular the Declaration’s focus on growing adolescent girls’ access to micronutrients, nutrition, and healthy diets for adolescent girls. With anaemia representing the number one cause of disability in adolescent girls, adolescents will continue to be challenged to reach their full potential unless concerted investment and leadership in nutrition is sustained. Nutrition also plays a crucial role in education and the ability to achieve key educational milestones.

“An investment in adolescent girls is an investment in human capital,” said Joel Spicer, President and CEO of Nutrition International. “When girls have access to good nutrition they are better able to learn at and stay in school, safeguard their health, and work towards achieving their dreams.  Supporting the power of young people, particularly girls, to make stronger choices with stronger voices is absolutely critical for building a more just and equitable world.”

This declaration calls for cross-sector action for adolescent health and wellbeing, and for the breakdown of sector silos so that the full needs and aspiration of the individual ― adolescent girls included ― become the focus of global development plans. By giving adolescent girls a seat at the table with G7 leaders ― the decision-makers responsible for over 70% of global aid funding ― the Declaration responds meaningfully to calls by adolescent girls around the world to have ‘nothing for us without us’.

As a global leader in adolescent nutrition, Nutrition International looks forward to working closely with G7 members, partners and people to translate this groundbreaking declaration into action and SDG progress for adolescent girls. We also encourage G7 leaders to follow the recommendations of the Gender Equality Advisory Council to accelerate progress in women’s empowerment and to ultimately make gender inequality history.

Nutrition International also welcomes the launch of the Whistler principles to accelerate innovation for development impact. These principles will help drive innovations that break down development silos, and support innovative partnerships across sectors to drive greater impact for the worlds’ most vulnerable, especially women and girls.