Until October 2001, when the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) decided, as part of the reform of its working methods, that coordination should be pursued through more informal and flexible mechanisms rather than formal subsidiary bodies, the Sub-Committee on Nutrition constituted a forum for consultations and coordination between entities with mandates in nutrition on those aspects of their activities that were of mutual concern.

The mandate of the Sub-Committee on Nutrition was to keep under review the overall direction, scale, coherence and impact of UN system response to the world's nutritional problems, particularly by being a point of convergence for harmonizing concepts, policies and activities in accomplishing the objectives of resolution V of the World Food Conference (1974) and of the International Conference on Nutrition (1992).

To this end, the Sub-Committee:

  • examined the existing and projected activities of the United Nations system with reference to the implementation of the resolutions of the World Food Conference and the International Conference on Nutrition related to nutritional improvement, taking account of the relevant decisions of the governing bodies of the agencies concerned;
  • determined whether the efforts of the system were fully mobilized and integrated, in cooperation with Governments, at all levels in order to achieve the maximum impact at the country level, taking into account programmes being undertaken on a bilateral basis;
  • considered whether the existing arrangements and resources could respond effectively to the major nutritional problems of the developing world.

The Sub-Committee on Nutrition was established in 1977. Its members included agencies, funds and programmes with mandates in nutrition. Representatives of bilateral agencies and international NGOs participated in the annual meetings of the Sub-Committee. Its Chair rotated among participants