Capitalizing on the presence of Health Ministers and other participants at the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva, a series of events were hosted by the SUN Movement Secretariat between 21-24 May 2018 to raise awareness about nutrition and push for increased impact at the country level. The events covered a series of hot topics and provided a space – the “SUN Nutrition Hub” – for learning and exchanges across the SUN networks. Both an opportunity to showcase the UN’s technical expertise and to exercise its convening power, the UN Network Secretariat seized the occasion to lead two key events. In both cases, the events benefitted from a solid turnout as well as the engagement of multiple stakeholders, including Government, the UN, civil society, donors and business.
The first event on Nutrition in Fragile and Conflict-affected Contexts featured a lively panel discussion that was moderated by Purnima Kashyap, the UN Network Global Coordinator. Panellists included key figures such as: (1) the UN Assistant-Secretary General and Coordinator of the SUN Movement Secretariat; (2) the Global Nutrition Cluster Coordinator; (3) the Special Advisor on Health and Nutrition and SUN focal point from the Federal Government of Somalia; and (4) a neonatologist from the SUN Civil Society Alliance in the Philippines. Insights were shared on strategic issues, including: funding flexibility, the role of country multi-stakeholder platforms in strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus and investment in the institutional capacities of national and local responders. Attuned to the issues, the moderator was also able to draw upon her own experiences in Yemen and Ethiopia, where she held UN leadership positions.