Ploumen pleased with Verburg’s appointment to UN position

Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen welcomed the appointment of Gerda Verburg as Coordinator of a UN movement for eradicating malnutrition. ‘This is both an acknowledgement of Ms Verburg’s qualities and a confirmation of the leading role played by Dutch companies, knowledge institutes, civil society organisations and public bodies in the areas of food and agriculture around the world. I’m delighted to see this recognised once again,’ said the minister.

Ms Verburg will coordinate the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, which is working to combat malnutrition and ‘hidden hunger’. Efforts should not just focus on caloric deficits. It is equally important to address deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals. Over two billion people around the world are affected by this form of malnutrition, also known as micro-nutrient deficiency. Special attention is given to children, pregnant women and mothers because the damage caused by malnutrition in the first thousand days of a child’s life, from conception, is irreversible.

The SUN Movement is a partnership of UN organisations, civil society organisations and businesses. Some 55 countries have also committed themselves to the movement. The initiative supports Global Goal 2, which aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

In her new position Ms Verburg will be reporting directly to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. From 2011 she served as the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN’s Rome-based agencies, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Ms Verburg previously served as the Dutch Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, and as a member of the Dutch House of Representatives for the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA).