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Irshad Danish
#Child Rights Activist #Advocacy & Campaigns Specialist. Interest in #SDGs Child #Health. Views are my own.
#Child Rights Activist #Advocacy & Campaigns Specialist. Interest in #SDGs Child #Health. Views are my own.


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Australian support to SUN Academia and Research Network Pakistan was lauded by senior government officials and development partners during a Research Studies Dissemination event organized by Nutrition International in collaboration with Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Secretariat at the Ministry of Planning Development and Reform.

SUNAR, Pak is a Network of 52 Academic and Research Institutions involved in Nutrition teaching and research in Pakistan. Australian Government has supported Nutrition International to build the capacity of SUNAR, Pak members and conduct high quality research in the field of Nutrition.

Opening the ceremony, Aslam Shaheen, Chief Nutrition Planning Commission/ SUN Focal Person thanked Nutrition International and Australian High Commission for extending technical and financial support to SUNAR. He said this support should be continued to promote nutrition research in Pakistan.

Dr Naseer Mohammed Nizamani, Secretary of SUNAR, Pak said that with support of Australian Government, Nutrition International has built capacity of 140 young researchers, scholars and faculty members on research methodologies and scientific writing skills through a series of workshops held in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

These trainings have been cascaded by faculty members in their respective institutions. He said, under Australian Grant, SUNAR members have conducted 5 research studies on different themes of nutrition.

He added that findings of these studies will be helpful in planning of and implementation of nutrition interventions at national and provincial level.

Dr Mohammed Azeem Khan, Member Food Security and Climate Change, Planning Commission said that Government of Pakistan was fully cognizant with the importance of nutrition, “that’s why we have prioritized this in the Vison 2025 which focuses on food and nutrition security through innovative interventions.”

He said that the new Food Security Policy, Pakistan Multi-sectoral Nutrition Strategy and Pakistan Dietary Guidelines for better nutrition are ready for launches which are some of the major strides that will have long term implications on nutrition outcomes.

He assured that government of Pakistan’s support to SUN Movement particularly SUNAR Pak for sustaining high quality research and implementation practical recommendations of SUNAR, Pak studies.

Dr Abdul Baseer Achakzai, Director Nutrition Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination praised Australian Government’s commitment for improving nutrition situation in Pakistan.

He said SUNAR had been helpful for enabling engagement of the academia with national policy-making processes by bridging the gap between the Academia, Researchers and the policy formulators and practitioners.

Margaret Adamson, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan said: “Efforts to end hunger and improve nutrition must be based firmly on good evidence to be effective. That’s why Australia gave A$ 300,000 to improve SUNAR’s ability to produce high-quality research that will shed light on Pakistan’s nutrition challenges, especially for women and children, and provide a strong evidence base for government policy.”

Key findings of research studies on nutrition were disseminated among participants of the event. Meeting was attended by large number of academicians, researchers, government officials, civil society, UN representatives,
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Findings from the Global Nutrition Report 2016 highlighted that malnutrition has a lifelong effect on Pakistan's children and adults and severe consequences for the economy. In report and subsequent discussions on policy responses to country's nutrition crisis, experts said that many factors were contributing to the nutrition crisis which calls for a multi-sectored approach to the problem. #GNR 2016 #Pakistan  
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Islamabad, Pakistan - the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security.  Following recent attacks and acts of terror, the Resolution signals the world leaders’ acknowledgement of youth’s contribution to countering violent extremism, recognizing their role as crucial partners in building a safer world.
Search for Common Ground (Search), in collaboration with UNOY, World Vision, UN entities and other civil society organizations, has played a lead role in initiating and advocating for Resolution 2250 since 2011. Search has co-chaired the interagency working group responsible for supporting youth’s efforts leading up to Resolution 2250, including the Guiding Principles for Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding, the Amman Declaration at the Global Forum of Youth, Peace, and Security, and the Youth Action Agenda at the Countering Violent Extremism Summit.
Statement by Shamil Idriss, President of Search for Common Ground:
“Search for Common Ground welcomes the historic passage of Resolution 2250 as a recognition of the vital leadership role that young women and men will play in peacebuilding when supported by adults, and as a commitment of the world's leadership to provide that support.
This resolution moves us all firmly away from the platitude that 'youth are the leaders of tomorrow' and toward a recognition of the fact that, given half a chance, youth are and will continue to provide critical leadership today.
At Search for Common Ground we commit to doing our part to support Governments to implement Resolution 2250 and to support our youth partners and volunteers around the world to make the most of the peacebuilding opportunities that this Resolution will make available to them."
The Resolution outlines the duty of governments to protect young people during conflict and in post-conflict societies, promote their participation in peacebuilding and peacekeeping, include youth participation at all levels of decision-making, and invest in youth’s educational and professional capabilities to disengage and reintegrate the minority of the world’s youth population involved in violence.
This document could have a groundbreaking impact on the way we deal with the resolution of conflicts, especially if followed by intensified youth-focused peacebuilding programming, for which the Resolution lays out a framework.
Statement by Saji Prelis, Co-Chair of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Youth and Peacebuilding  and the Children & Youth Director at Search for Common Ground:
“The Resolution creates a paradigm shift — away from the idea of young people being seen as a threat to security towards the very real notion that they have the power to transform violent conflict.
Now we must breathe life this resolution so that youth can play a meaningful role in peace processes locally. ”
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  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of David Nabarro of the United Kingdom as Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The Special Adviser will work with Member States and other relevant stakeholders to galvanise action on implementation of the Agenda.  He will also oversee the Secretary-General’s special initiatives, e.g. Every Woman Every Child.

Dr. Nabarro has more than 30 years’ experience of public health, nutrition and development work at country, regional and global levels, and has held positions in non-governmental organizations, universities, national Governments and the United Nations system.

Since September 2014, Dr. Nabarro has served as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Ebola, providing strategic and policy direction for the international response. From 2005 to 2014 he was Senior Coordinator for Avian and Pandemic Influenza. From 2011 to 2015 he served as Coordinator of the Movement to Scale Up Nutrition.  Since 2009 he has been the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition, a position he will continue to hold.

Dr. Nabarro started his career in the United Kingdom National Health Service.  He then worked in child health and nutrition programmes in Iraq, South Asia and East Africa. Since 1990 he served as Chief Health and Population Adviser to the United Kingdom Overseas Development Administration.  In 1997, he became Director for Human Development in the Department for International Development.  

In 1999, Dr. Nabarro joined the World Health Organization (WHO) to lead the Roll Back Malaria initiative.  He was appointed as an Executive Director in 2001 and in 2003 became head of WHO’s Department for Health Action in Crises.

Dr. Nabarro was born in London and qualified as a physician in 1973.
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HRCP moot demands proper framework to deal with internal displacement
Islamabad, November 26: Pakistan must stop dealing with its many internal displacement situations in an ad hoc manner and adopt a specific framework in line with internal standards on displacement. This was the consensus opinion of the participants at a consultation organised by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Thursday.
The participants included representatives of civil society organisations, lawyers, economists and citizens who were or had been IDPs, mainly from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and organisations working for IDPs.
The speakers said that the authorities in Pakistan were either unaware of the international standards on displacement or were intentionally ignoring them. They said that despite internal displacement rising to unprecedented levels in Pakistan over the last decade, the refusal to benefit from UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and other standards was contributing to the challenges for the government and the internally displaced persons (IDPs). They said civil society organisations and host communities helping out IDPs did  not absolve the state of its responsibility to assist and protect the IDPs.
The main recommendations at the consultation included the following:

·       Rather than dealing with internal displacement in an ad hoc manner, Pakistan must adopt a proper human rights-based legal policy framework which should reflect the many lessons that the world had learned from its experience of various phases of displacement.

·         The right to be free from arbitrary displacement should be recognised. A comprehensive definition of who is an IDP should be adopted and applied in a non-discriminatory manner. Selective application of the term IDP, especially discriminating depending on where displacement occurred, must be outlawed.

·         Every effort should be made to prevent involuntary displacement from occurring and minimise it where it is inevitable.

·         The fact of displacement should not deprive a person of all the rights he is entitled to as a citizen of Pakistan.

·         The need to raise awareness of the existence, scale and nature of internal displacement

·         A system for the collection of relevant data on displacement in a comprehensive and disaggregated manner must be given due priority.

·         Institutional focal points for internal displacement issues should be developed at the national and provincial levels.

·         An autonomous institution like the National Human Rights Commission should be given the authority to monitor and report on the respect and protection of IDPs.

·         IDPs must be consulted and involved in all matters affecting them during all phases of displacement.

·         Pakistan should develop and benefit from a trained volunteer cadre for disaster management. Girl guide and boy scout cadres should also be utilised.

·         The witnessing and delivery role for NGOs need to facilitated and not made more difficult. Imposition of conditions for civil society organisations such as seeking no-objection certificate (NOC) before offering assistance to IDPs must be done away with.

·         Prior and pre-arranged protection and assistance mechanisms for vulnerable segments, such as children, women, persons with disabilities and members of religious minority communities, should be ensured. The protection and assistance for such individuals should take into account their special needs and should guard against discrimination.

·         Lack of identity documented must not lead to denial of assistance. Alternative steps for provision of lost identity papers should be put in place.

·         Wherever peace had been restored in a situation of conflict displacement, civilian authorities must be handed back control of rehabilitation and development.

Zohra Yusuf
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Long-term (chronic) #malnutrition undermines both physical and mental development; nearly half of #Pakistan’s children are chronically malnourished, and have their brain development and immune systems impaired, with life-long consequences .
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