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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
6-Feb-2014

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Contact: Diana Friedman
dfriedman@nyas.org
212-298-8645
New York Academy of Sciences

'Meeting Post-MDG Challenges: Integrating Nutrition and Child Development Interventions'

Special event provides evidence-based look at how integrating interventions could lead to more effective solutions for helping children meet their development potential

NEW YORK, February 6, 2014—Today The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences and UNICEF host a launch event for Every Child's Potential: Integrating Early Childhood Development and Nutrition Interventions—a special volume of Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. The event focuses on how to optimize and integrate two highly complementary fields: nutrition and child development.

Held at UNICEF headquarters, the event brings together diplomats, policy-makers, and researchers from key institutions with an interest and investment in furthering children's optimal survival, growth, and development. The event comes a day after the 8th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development, which met to shape the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals.

International experts in nutrition and childhood development will present talks on the current state of evidence in integrating interventions (an assessment of overall effectiveness, factors in the success or failure of such interventions, and strategies to bring such interventions to scale), as well as the need to consider early childhood development in the post-2015 development agenda.

Speakers include Dr. Pia Britto (UNICEF), Dr. Mandana Arabi (The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science), Dr. Rafael Perez-Escamilla (Yale University), Dr. Jane Lucas (consultant at the World Health Organization), Lucy Sullivan (1,000 days), Annals volume editors Dr. Maureen Black (University of Maryland) and Dr. Kathryn Dewey (University of California at Davis), and Annals authors Dr. Michael Georgieff (University of Minnesota), Dr. Sally McGregor (The University College of London), and Dr. Aisha Yousafzai (Aga Khan University). Welcome remarks will be provided by Dr. Nicholas Alipui (UNICEF) and Dr. Werner Schultink (UNICEF).

As World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan points out in her opening Annals commentary ("Investing in early childhood development: an imperative for sustainable development"), much progress has been made on the MDG goal of reducing childhood mortality, but there is still much work to be done in terms of helping every child reach his or her full development potential—achieved through a combination of health, nutrition, and psychosocial factors.

Says Chan in her commentary, "…every individual should have the right to attain their full development potential. Good health and education are critical ingredients for individuals to progress and for societies to reduce inequalities."

Science supports the premise that a global commitment to early childhood development is a key factor in creating healthier, more successful societies. However, the steps taken to achieve such a goal must also be grounded in sound science in order to lead to the desired outcomes. At the event, researchers, government leaders, and policy-makers will come together to discuss critical evidence-based strategies to help all children achieve their full development potential.

"This is a critical time for us to review our achievements towards the Millennium Development Goals, and come together as a unified community of scientists, program implementers, and policy experts to address the remaining challenges of the post-MDG era," says Dr. Mandana Arabi, executive director of The Sackler Institute. "Nutrition and early childhood development interventions are among the key areas of focus for ensuring the optimal well-being of children worldwide, and we are committed to continued support of evidence-based efforts to integrate effective interventions across these areas and beyond."

"We are very pleased to support the dissemination of this important multi-disciplinary, evidence-based collaboration in Annals, with such a wide range of expert contributors working to advance and integrate knowledge of early childhood development," says Steve Miron, senior vice president of Global Research at Wiley, publisher of Annals.

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Media Invitation

Members of the media are invited to attend a special launch event for Every Child's Potential: Integrating Early Childhood Development and Nutrition Interventions being held at UNICEF Headquarters, East 44th Street (between First and Second Avenues) on February 6; RSVPs are required. Security check-in, registration, and refreshments begin at 8:30am. The event runs until 12:30pm.

To RSVP, or for more information, interview requests, and other press inquiries, please contact Diana Friedman (dfriedman@nyas.org; 212-298-8645).

For more information on the Annals volume, please visit the webpage: http://www.nyas.org/ChildHealth. Open access to the Annals volume is sponsored by The Sackler Institute and The Mathile Institute for the Advancement of Human Nutrition.

About the New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With 22,000 members around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at http://www.nyas.org.

About The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science

The New York Academy of Sciences, in partnership with The Mortimer D. Sackler Foundation, Inc., established The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science to create a coordinated effort to support and disseminate nutrition science research. The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science is dedicated to advancing nutrition science research and knowledge, mobilizing communities, and translating this work into the field. The Sackler Institute is generating a coordinated network across sectors, disciplines, and geographies that promotes open communication; encourages exchange of information and resources; nurtures the next generation of scientists; and affects community intervention design and public policy changes. Visit us online at http://www.nyas.org/nutrition.

About Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences is one of the oldest scientific serial publications in the United States and among the most cited of multidisciplinary scientific serials worldwide. Continually published since 1823, Annals is the premier publication of the Academy, offering review articles in special topical areas and proceedings of conferences sponsored by the Academy as well as other scientific organizations.

Annals provides multidisciplinary perspectives on research of current interest in the scientific community and society at large. Although primarily focused in biomedicine and biology, the scope of Annals extends into diverse fields such as psychology, anthropology, and philosophy. Edited in consultation with experts in their fields, Annals provides a neutral forum for discourse within and across many institutions and disciplines.



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