Consultation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Chance to include an indicator for Exclusive Breastfeeding and to define the term ‘Partnership’

Deadline 8th September

The 2020 Comprehensive Review of the global indicator framework to monitor progress on the SDGs has called for  proposals for the replacement/adjustment and addition of  indicators.  One of the is Exclusive breastfeeding another relates to the financing.  
You can access the review here: http://bit.ly/2020Review_Consult
  • You can send your comments/inputs individually or on behalf of your organisation to support the inclusion of Exclusive Breastfeeding as an SDG indicator.
  • If you have time please also send comments on SDG 17 – Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development. This is an SDG that IBFAN has many concerns about. It is used by those pushing  Public Private Partnerships and Multi-Stakeholder arrangements.  The private sector was invited into the SDG consultations in London and it was clear that  this influenced the outcome.

Here are some  suggestions for text:

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. 
This section includes proposals for replacement, revision, additional and deletion of indicators in Goal 2
Target 2.2: By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons
IBFAN comment:
While it is important add an additional indicator to address malnutrition,  care should be taken to avoid over-emphasis on treating micronutrient deficiencies with technical, medicalized, product-based interventions. Much greater focus should be placed on strengthening communities’ self-determination and capacity to feed themselves in dignity, including supporting breastfeeding and locally sourced,  culturally appropriate, minimally processed,nutritious bio-diverse foods. The Target should warn that the inappropriate promotion of product interventions – with health and nutrition claims, social marketing etc,  risks undermining such foods, dependence on ultra-processed food. This can in turn exacerbate overweight, obesity and related non-communicable diseases.

Sustainable agriculture: The indicator should protect sustainable foods  systems and the right to food from bias towards technological solutions, in particular, biofortified seeds and fortified foods, processes that favour large corporations and which entail human rights risks for small-scale food producers, indigenous peoples and consumers. There needs to be a fundamental re-shaping of food systems to support agro-biodiverse production, advance the realization of the rights of small-scale food producers, and promote diversified, healthy and sustainable diets.

While it is important add an additional indicator to address malnutrition care should be taken to avoid over-emphasis on treating micronutrient deficiencies with technical, medicalized, product-based interventions. The highest focus should be placed on strengthening communities’ self-determination and capacity to feed themselves in dignity, including supporting breastfeeding and bio-diverse foods.

 

If the above indicators are adopted there should also be an indicator related to the implementation and monitoring of the WHA Resolutions referring to the marketing foods for infants and young children and the avoidance of conflicts of interest. These provisions should also cover interventions and products used in the treatment, prevention and management of malnutrition (stunting, wasting etc ) For example, WHA resolution 55.25 Para: 1. 4) calls on Member states to ensure that the introduction of micronutrient interventions and the marketing of nutritional supplements do not replace, or undermine support for the sustainable practice of, exclusive breastfeeding and optimal complementary feeding.”

If there is a specific call regarding  the nutritional needs of lactating women,  is essential that parents are not misled by inappropriate marketing of foods and formulas targeting pregnant and lactating women.

· Exclusive Breastfeeding for 6 months is a WHA target that all member states as well as many development partners have endorsed
· Data availability. there are 140 countries with data on EBF in the UNICEF IYCF database, 69 of these in the last 5 years. EBF is already routinely included in global reports every year, including the Global Nutrition Report, the State of Food Security and Nutrition, and the Global Breastfeeding Scorecard.
· Importance of breastfeeding and its relevance to other SDGs. It is a key indicator reflecting optimal breastfeeding practices, which is essential to child survival and well-being. Exclusive breastfeeding has the largest potential impact on child mortality of any preventive interventions. The lack of breastfeeding has huge implications for development. It is estimated that not breastfeeding according to recommendation leads to 823,000 deaths in children under five[*] and nearly 100,000 maternal deaths from breast and ovarian cancers and type II diabetes each year.[†] The overall economic loss attributable to inadequate breastfeeding rates is estimated at USD 302 billion in healthcare costs annually.[‡]
·

[*] Victora CG et al. Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. The Lancet. 2016;387(10017):475-90.
[†] Walters, D., et al. The cost of not breastfeeding: global results from a new tool, Health Policy and Planning, 24 June 2019.
[‡] Rollins NC et al. Why invest, and what it will take to improve breastfeeding practices? The Lancet. 2016; 387(10017):491-504.

 

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

IBFAN comments on the indicators relating to SDG 17

The revision of the Indicators for SDG17 as proposed above is not sufficient and IBFAN cannot support them in this context. The first priority must be to define the term Partnership and outline effective Conflict of Interest safeguards. Partnerships are, by definition, arrangements for ‘shared governance’ to achieve ‘shared goals.’ Indeed shared decision-making is their single most unifying feature ’. The term ‘Partnership’ implies ‘respect, trust, shared benefits’ The ‘image transfer’ that is gained from UN or NGO ‘partners’ has strong emotional and financial value especially for corporations and those who represent their interests and whose marketing, lobbying and other practices damage health, the environment and human rights.An undefined reference to the term ‘Partnership’ in this context is unwise and inappropriate. Interactions with the Private Sector can be necessary in order to make decisions, however but they must be carefully conceived, planned and managed and must not undermine or subvert the primary mission of States to safeguard citizens Right to Health. If there are to be partnerships, partners MUST share the same primary objective. It is totally inappropriate for policy making to be influenced by commercial considerations as a result of a lack of attention paid to these matters and undue deference paid to private sector interests. . The Private Sector is simply one among many societal actors that must operate within a legal framework determined democratically by people (ideally)/government. In the absence of appropriate definitions and safeguards SDG 17 has been and is being used to fundamentally change the global health and nutrition governance structure. This is undermining States and UN agencies capacity to fulfill their constitutional core functions and their role in proposing health conventions and regulations and the building of the international Rule of Law. As mentioned in comments on SDG2, It is critically important that the SDGs do not lead to over emphasise short-term, technical intervention or undermine measures that address the underlying structural causes of malnutrition and measures to safeguard planetary health. Emphasis should be placed on strengthening communities’ self-determination and capacity to feed themselves in dignity, including supporting breastfeeding and bio-diverse foods

 The SDGs should warn that promotion of product interventions risk reliance on ultra-processed food and this can in turn exacerbate overweight, obesity and related non-communicable diseases.
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