Global nutrition summit meets in Rome

Nations pledge to combat malnutrition through policies and actions

Ministers and top officials from over 170 countries are attending a three-day summit at the Rome-based United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), aimed at eradicating malnutrition worldwide.

Political leaders from around the world gathered in Rome on 19 November for the Second International Conference on Nutrition (CIN2), which is organised by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) and runs until 21 November.

Government representatives are being asked to make firm commitments and adopt policies and investments aimed at ensuring universal access to healthier and more sustainable diets.

The global leaders and policy makers due to attend FAO over the three days include more than 100 health and agriculture ministers, as well as Pope Francis, Spain's Queen Letizia, King of Lesotho Letsie III, economist Jeffrey Sachs, and philanthropist Melinda Gates.

Figures released by FAO reveal that the number of undernourished people in the world has dropped by over half in the past two decades, from one billion people in 1992 when the first conference (CIN1) was held, to 805 million in 2014.

However malnutrition remains a global problem, taking the form of nutrient difficencies and obesity, and afflicting poor and rich alike. FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva said that the push to improve global nutrition must be a "joint effort", involving governments, civil society organisations and the private sector.

For more details see FAO website