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Chicago to host international child malnutrition summit

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WASHINGTON--An international child malnutrition summit is piggybacking on the May NATO summit in Chicago, meeting at the Chicago History Museum at a time global leaders, press and other organizations are gathered in the city.

The event is one of many being organized by non-profits in the run-up to and during the NATO summit, to be headquartered in McCormick Place, with the heads of state of some 40 nations expected.

Planning is accelerating for NATO; last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the NATO Chicago Host committee threw a reception at the Museum of Science and Industry for the more than 500 NATO advance staffers who have been in Chicago working on arrangements for the massive event.

The May 21 session on malnutrition will be hosted by the "1,000 Days Summit," a public/private group created by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and others in 2010 to focus on the health of pregnant women and youngsters under two years old.

The 1,000 days is a reference to a critical time in child development: the nine months of pregnancy and the first two years of life.

"Whether it is the strength of our schools or the safety of our streets, every child deserves a good start and a fair shot at life," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement

""Addressing nutrition for pregnant women and children before age 2 is critical for building healthy populations, and prosperous societies," said Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Womenʼs Issues at the State Department. "Nutrition for women and children, especially during the 1,000 day window, supports long term economic growth, and has been a top priority of Secretary Clinton."

The Summit partners include Concern Worldwide, Feeding America, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, the World Food Programme, the City of Chicago and World Business Chicago.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, partnering with the host committee and local and international groups is running a speakers series in April and May on various NATO related topics.

On May 2, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright--an honorary co-chair of the host committee --with speak on What Prague's Past Means for NATO's Future
 at the Auditorium Theater.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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