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No more missed opportunities: advancing public- private partnerships to achieve the global nutrition goals

Monday 2 – Tuesday 3 October 2017 | WP1565

Held in Harvard Club, New York City


Poor diet is the number one risk factor for early death, contributing to 20% of global deaths with the burden falling disproportionately on children under five and women of reproductive age.

Each year, malnutrition is a factor in almost half of the six million deaths of children under five and 159 million children are stunted, with impacts on their physical and cognitive abilities that last a lifetime. More than 500 million women are anaemic with an increased risk of maternal death and delivering premature and low-birthweight babies. At the same time, 600 million adults are obese and 420 million have diabetes, with rates rising steeply. Every country is now struggling with some aspect of malnutrition, and a growing number are experiencing both undernutrition and obesity.

Despite the seriousness of the global nutrition crisis and its implications for economic growth and human development, governments and businesses are not actively and effectively working together to tackle the problem, a situation nutrition experts have described as a “missed opportunity” (Lancet, 2013). If this modus operandi continues, the new Sustainable Development Goals that relate to health and nutrition will not be achieved, including ensuring access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food (Goal 2.1), ending all forms of malnutrition (Goal 2.2), ending preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths (Goals 3.1-2); and reducing by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (Goal 3.4).

To achieve these ambitious goals, 193 governments have agreed to work in multi-stakeholder partnerships, including with the private sector (Goal 17). As food is produced, marketed and distributed by the private sector in all but the most extreme of humanitarian settings, new efforts are urgently needed to enable greater government-business collaboration in the service of nutrition goals.

Goals and objectives

This meeting seeks to support the accelerated achievement of the global nutrition goals, and commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, by convening a high-level group of leaders from government, business and other stakeholders to:

  • discuss a set of draft Principles of Engagement for Government-Business Collaboration on Food & Nutrition, to frame and guide greater government business collaboration on food and nutrition for the Sustainable Development Goal era (2017-2030) and the UK’s commitment to Overseas Development Assistance;
  • forge new relationships between development and business leads to kick-off a new era of constructive partnership; 
  • identify and address ways to improve business engagement in the global nutrition goals;
  • and identify how this constructive partnership can engage in multisector platforms to specifically address factors including, supply chains, distribution channels, and technical and scientific research, to accelerate the achievement of the global nutrition goals and directly benefit ODA recipient countries.


The dialogue is co-sponsored by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the USCIB Foundation, the educational arm of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), and Wilton Park USA in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman, Every Child movement. It is consistent with several Sustainable Development Goal business engagement initiatives, including the Health Action Platform of the UN Global Compact and USCIB’s Business for 2030.

*The invite only event will be held under the ‘Wilton Park Protocol’, whereby all discussion will be off the record. 

Further enquiries

General enquiries to:

Sarah-Jane Holtam, Project Manager
T: +44 (0) 1903 817726
F: +44 (0) 1903 816373

Programme enquiries to:

Harriet Oliver, Research Assistant to the Chief Executive
T: +44 (0) 1903 817737
F: +44 (0) 1903 816373


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