The 2020 Congress theme was Knowledge, Policy, Action in the Decade of Nutrition 2016-2025 - What is working or not? Where are the gaps? What needs more effort or change? In proclaiming the Decade of Nutrition Action 2016-2025, the United Nations (UN) heralded the essential role nutrition must play in global public health. Establishing six specific nutrition targets to be achieved by 2025 gave the world an opportunity to reflect on the interconnectedness of nutrition and health outcomes. The six targets focus on addressing all forms of malnutrition: undernutrition, hidden hunger or micronutrient deficiencies like anemia and obesity. These Global Nutrition Targets (GNTs) are essential for the achievement of many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which the world hopes to achieve by 2030. SDG 2 and 3 are specifically focused on nutrition, food security and health. However, to achieve any of these targets requires urgent action such as implementing policies which support positive health and nutrition outcomes, investing in equitable and effective health systems supported by social services like quality education, water, sanitation, and employment opportunities.
The importance of all these issues has been reinforced by the present global pandemic.
In 2020, at the midpoint of the Decade of Nutrition, the Congress encouraged presenters and participants to engage in critical reflection on what is working globally to achieve the GNTs and what is not working.
Symposium 1B reflects on the role of health systems in meeting the Global Nutrition Targets by 2025. Regina Keith is the theme lead focusing on global progress with case studies from Zanzibar, Sri Lanka and Australia. Conference papers will feed into UN review of progress on GNTs in September 2020.