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Meeting of the “Group of Friends of Healthy and Sustainable Diets: Mediterranean and others” with WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Today, members of the “Group of Friends of Healthy and Sustainable Diets: Mediterranean and others” together with observer countries, met with the Director General of the World Health Organization.

The Group, bringing together Albania, Cyprus, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, San Marino and Tunisia, explained its objective of promoting and preserving traditional healthy diets, like the Mediterranean one, food diversity and healthy eating habits and lifestyles, considering the importance of food as part of the cultural heritage and a vehicle to promote nutrition literacy.

The Group reaffirmed its strong support to WHO, in particular its fight against non-communicable diseases, and its availability to partake in all WHO’s initiatives aimed at tackling this epidemic

The most effective way to prevent and control nutrition-related non-communicable diseases lies in the promotion of a balanced, healthy and sustainable diet, that does not exclude a priori any food and beverage, while limitingthe total intake of each single nutrient. The 2018 Political Declaration on NCDs is the consensus document to be respected by all.

With the WHO Director General, the upcoming World Health Assembly was discussed, as well as the plans of cosponsoring a side-event on the topic of healthy and sustainable diets.

The Group was first established in New York during the ongoing negotiations on the Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of non-communicable diseases, held on 27 September 2018. It played an important role in the negotiations of the General Assembly 2018 “Foreign Policy and Global Health” annual resolution, which for the first time reaffirmed the need to promote and preserve traditional healthy diets.