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New York, 20 September 2011

Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

It is difficult to overestimate the fundamental role that food and nutrition play in ensuring health, vitality and development. This was very clear in last year’s UN Summit on MDGs held in the General Assembly, where the debate confirmed the importance of nutrition in contributing to the achievement of all the MDGs.

Ensuring good nutrition is of course particularly challenging in today’s financial and environmental climate. Soaring global food prices pose a major threat to global food and nutrition security and are causing a host of humanitarian, developmental, human rights and security-related consequences. The people of Somalia are today gripped by record levels of acute malnutrition and a tragic food crisis. As President of the General Assembly, I will do my utmost to focus the attention of the General Assembly on this unfolding crisis.

Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

The movement to scale up nutrition – with its focus on empowering communities for the better nutrition of all, especially pregnant women and children under two – has inspired interest among countries, development partners, civil society, business partners and the United Nations System. This multi-stakeholder effort is very encouraging. Tomorrow’s day-long stakeholder workshop on “Scaling Up Nutrition”, intended to review practical challenges and agree on the way forward, will also be an important step.  It is my belief that, through collaboration and the necessary political will, the “Scaling Up Nutrition Movement” will make an important contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Today’s meeting is an opportunity to think creatively about how countries can be supported in addressing the challenges of under-nutrition and obesity. I wish you a productive meeting.

Thank you.




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