In Focus

Spring Course on Food and Nutrition Security
Rome, 13-17 May 2019
New application deadline: 6 May 2019

Rome (Italy), 13-17 May 2019

Extended application deadline 6 May 2019

How to apply

“The world’s population is projected to increase by slightly more than one billion people over the next 13 years, reaching 8.6 billion in 2030, and to increase further to 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100.” (World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision. New York: United Nations). These demographic changes are closely interlinked with the issues of access to sufficient, affordable and healthy food.

With this consideration in mind, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), in cooperation with John Cabot University (JCU), is organizing the first edition of the Spring Course on Food and Nutrition Security, which will take place at JCU in Rome, Italy, from 13 to 17 May 2019.

Food security is not a new challenge. Despite its long history, it remains a major concern. Climate change, conflicts, the phenomenon of migration and new economic systems are compelling the global community to re-shape the entire food supply chain, from production to consumption. Aiming to reach the second SDG “Zero Hunger” within 2030, Member States and international organisations need to find a balance between economic development, environmental protection and food security.

Africa is the continent with the highest levels of malnutrition today. However, there are numerous countries in the world where conflicts, limited development opportunities, and adverse environmental conditions are threatening food security. Phenomena related to climate change, such as floods, desertification and soil erosion, illegal exploitation of resources and environmental crimes are producing dramatic consequences on food production. Furthermore, armed conflicts, terrorism, the absence of the rule of law and the constant political instability are hindering the capacity of the population to produce food and meet nutritional requirements, expanding the cycle of hunger, poverty and violence generated by the need to access essential resources.

While countering malnutrition and facilitating access to food, international and national institutions highlight the importance of controlling and monitoring the food supply chain. The increasing complex and global dimension of the food supply chain urge governments to plan more effective strategies to reduce risks and to increase controls over the large quantity and variety of food along the international trade routes. Substitution, adulteration, mislabelling, counterfeiting and misrepresentation of food products are growing exponentially and are seriously endangering the quality of what we eat. In many legislative frameworks they constitute criminal activities, all over the world they represent a public health and economic harm. Not to mention, that food fraud generates illicit profits that allow criminals to expand their trades and their areas of influence. Uniform and appropriate safety and control standards are essential to protect the integrity of the food supply chain and ensure safe and healthy nutrition for all.

The course will bring young professionals up-to-date with programs and current challenges about food and nutrition security, also improving participants’ ability to address the issue in a comprehensive way.

The course will provide participants with a fundamental understanding of main determinants and issues connected to food and nutrition security, among which:

  • Towards the multidimensional definition of food and nutrition security
  • The UN strategy for Goal 2 “Zero Hunger” (SDGs)
  • The four dimensions of food security
  • Legal tools on right to food, food safety and security
  • Food industry and food fraud: counterfeiting and adulteration 
  • Food industry and food waste Climate Change impacts on Food Supply
  • Migration and food insecurity
  • Access to food and conflicts
  • Food emergency and food aids
  • Innovation for the future: blockchain for Zero Hunger

The Spring Course combines theory-based lectures with roundtable discussions, challenging case studies, and practical exercises. The faculty is composed of leading scholars and academics from JCU and other universities, as well as international legal experts from the United Nations system, international and non-governmental organizations, and civil society.

In this unique learning environment, participants will have the opportunity to interact with internationally recognised experts, meet peers and build lasting professional relationships with young professionals and students from around the world. This intensive experience fosters intercultural dialogue and promotes a deeper understanding of the most salient issues faced by the international community related to food and nutrition security.

For further information on application process, entry requirements, registration fees and certificate of participation, please visit the relevant page on UNICRI Website or send a message to unicri.courses@un.org.

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