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On July 19 in New York, the United Nations (UN) officially launched its Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025). High-level dignitaries from several governments, along with senior representatives from the UN, academia, civil society, and business gathered at the UN Headquarters for the launch, which was held on the sidelines of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

“The declaration of the Decade of Action on Nutrition is a clear sign that the UN recognizes the vital role nutrition plays in sustainable development as a whole ― as well as the need for urgent global leadership to make it a development priority,” said Joel Spicer, President and CEO of the Micronutrient Initiative (MI). “Millions of lives and voices are missing from our global economy and collective story because of the preventable burden of malnutrition, and it’s time for this to change. If we don’t invest what it takes to solve this issue, it will jeopardize the ability of future generations to participate in a better and brighter future. This is particularly true for women and girls, as one billion of them worldwide are being held back from reaching their full potential due to malnutrition. We cannot build the world we need without tackling this issue head-on,” he added.

The launch of the Decade of Action on Nutrition comes after the adoption by the UN, in September 2015, of new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including one to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Good nutrition is also essential to achieving many of the other SDGs ― in fact, the 2016 Global Nutrition Report shows that 12 of the 17 goals have indicators of success that are highly relevant for nutrition.
Momentum has been building for several years for concerted action on nutrition, as world leaders and foundations have pledged at various fora to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

“Canada has been, and continues to be, a champion in the fight against malnutrition. As one of the world’s leading donors, the country can be proud of its longstanding contribution to saving lives and building resilience for future generations. Over the next decade, Canada is well positioned to be at the forefront of efforts to end malnutrition ― bringing a particular focus on women and girls,” said Spicer.

Read more about the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition
Read more about MI’s work to improve women and girls’ nutrition