SNEB’s Global Advocacy for Food and Nutrition Education at the UN ECOSOC Partnership Forum | Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB)

SNEB’s Global Advocacy for Food and Nutrition Education at the UN ECOSOC Partnership Forum

Posted by: on Wednesday January 31, 2024

On July 26, 2018, SNEB received special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN). This allows SNEB to designate official representatives to attend ECOSOC events. Pamela Koch, who led the application process to ECOSOC and is a Past-President of SNEB represented the Society at the 2024 Partnership Forum of ECOSOC which was held at the UN Headquarters in New York City on January 30. Pam describes her experience below.

I was delighted and honored to represent SNEB at the ECOSOC Partnership Forum, and this was my first time attending a meeting at the UN Headquarters during my 32 years living in New York City. The morning plenary session included reports from many countries and leading partners of ECOSOC. Almost all of these reports discussed the urgent need to move toward sustainable food systems and achieve food and nutrition security for all people. The presenters discussed why this is especially critical during this turbulent time with multiple conflicts around the globe, increasing harsh weather events, ecosystem destruction, and COVID. The United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 with the goal of achieving them by 2030. Unfortunately, we are falling short of meeting the SDGs and the actions that have been taken to date are not at the speed or scale required for these goals to be reached. Many people said, we have only seven years, or seven growing seasons, to make these food system changes, so the time to start is now.

During a breakout session on SDG 13, Climate Action, I was able to present a statement from SNEB on the critical importance of food and nutrition education. Thank you to SNEB President, Yenory Hernandez Garbanzo, PhD, for writing this statement and SNEB Leadership for their approval. The written statement and a video of me presenting this statement are below. With this statement on the ECOSOC Partnership Forum record, we can hope for more opportunities to work with ECOSOC to expand food and nutrition education for everyone around the globe.

Statement to the UN Partnership Forum – January 30, 2024

The Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) strongly aligns with the ECOSOC Partnership Forum’s theme, “Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises: the effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions” by committing to significant contributions to sustainable development.

SNEB champions the transformative power of evidence-based food and nutrition education (FNE), shaping healthy behaviors and fostering sustainable food practices on a national and global scale.

Recognized as a powerful catalyst, effective food and nutrition education empowers individuals and communities throughout the food system, guiding them to navigate a world in harmony with nature. This transformative education not only promotes improved food behaviors but also supports the shift towards more sustainable food systems, ensuring better nutrition. It plays a pivotal role in eradicating poverty, acknowledging the profound interconnectedness of tailored food and nutrition education with socio-economic and sociocultural well-being.

SNEB believes in the universal right to food and nutrition education, extending access from early life to ensure knowledge and skills for a healthy and sustainable future for everyone.

SNEB is a dynamic community embodying Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) principles, ensuring inclusivity in addressing challenges related to nutrition, food systems, and sustainable development. Our diverse community fuels collaborative efforts, emphasizing partnerships crucial for effective, innovative, resilient, and sustainable food and nutrition education solutions across various sectors.

As we navigate challenging times, SNEB urges collaborative commitment from ECOSOC. Let’s together propel towards a future of equitable and sustainable development, where the transformative impact of food and nutrition education serves as a catalyst for positive change.