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Advocacy in Practice

The SCN's Strategic Plan (April 2000) recognizes the increasing need for effective advocacy. The multiple sectors in which nutrition plays a vital role, along with the broad implications of the benefits of sound nutrition, and of the adverse impacts of malnutrition in developing and industrialized countries underscore the need for communicating clearly to actors outside the nutrition community. The Plan reported on the decision to appoint up to four Distinguished Nutrition Advocates, who would:

· Assist the SCN Chair in raising awareness of nutrition problems and mobilizing commitment to solve them.

· Act as spokespersons for the SCN in support of the malnourished throughout the world and those at risk of either chronic or acute malnutrition;

· Propose new ideas for the SCN to consider in order to strengthen its work in accelerating the reduction in malnutrition at the international, regional and national levels.

· Act as SCN spokespersons for nutrition in natural and man-made emergencies.

· Extend the SCN's already large advocacy network of nutrition professionals to seek to influence key decision-makers and leaders at senior governmental and private sector levels.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Monkombu Sambasivam Swaminathan has accepted to serve as a Distinguished Nutrition Advocate

Professor MS Swaminathan, the architect of India's green revolution and the first World Food Prize Laureat in 1987, is based in Chennai (Madras) and Chairs the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. The Foundation, truly a "foundation without walls", is committed to a mission of harnessing science and technology for environmentally sustainable and socially equitable development. Professor Swaminathan is also UNESCO Cousteau Chair in Ecotechnology and this year won the prestigious Indira Gandhi Peace Prize. His many other distinguished award include the UNEP Sasakawa Award. His is a member of various academies including the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy, Italian and Chinese Academies.

Javier Perez de Cuellar described Professor Swaminathan (October 1987) as: "... a living legend. His contributions to agricultural science have made an indelible mark on food production in India and elsewhere in the developing world. By any standards, he will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of rare distinction".

We look forward to working with Professor Swaminathan.

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