This week, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong welcomed a delegation of MPs from the Parliament of Malaysia to the House of Parliaments. The delegation comprised members of the Malaysian Parliament’s Special Select Committee on Agriculture and Domestic Trade.
On the agenda: parliamentary action to address food security, improve the global food supply chain and increase nutritional levels globally.
One in three people globally suffers from at least one form of malnutrition. The economic loss attributable to bad nutrition is estimated at US$ 3.5 trillion per year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The Malaysian parliamentary delegation highlighted the important role of the IPU as the global convener of parliaments from around the world to exchange good parliamentary practice on food security.
The IPU has been mobilizing parliaments to address food security and nutrition for many years through its development programmes and research.
Malnutrition is regularly debated in IPU regional seminars on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), most recently in September 2022 at the Third Regional Seminar for the parliaments of the Asia-Pacific region, held in Islamabad, Pakistan.
A debate on war and climate change as triggers of food insecurity will be held at the forthcoming 145th IPU Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda, providing MPs with an opportunity to discuss what parliaments can do to better address the root causes of food insecurity, against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.
The IPU regularly encourages parliaments to factor in nutrition to policy-making. The IPU Secretary General is actively engaged in these efforts, including through his role as one of the members of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement.
The IPU also recently published its 32nd Handbook for Parliamentarians: Food Systems and Nutrition, to provide lawmakers with practical guidance on legislative processes that prioritize nutrition. The handbook was produced in partnership with the FAO and in collaboration with the SUN Movement, the World Heath Organization, United Nations Children's Fund and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.