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Report of a workshop of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences held in Berkeley, California, USA, 10-14 August 1981, to consider research organized by the United Nations University, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Health Organization

The views expressed in this book are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the United Nations University. The designations employed and the presentation of material do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the United Nations University concerning the legal status of any country or territory, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitations of the frontiers of any country or territory.

From the charter of the United Nations University

ARTICLE I: Purposes and structure

1. The United Nations University shall be an international community of scholars, engaged in research, post graduate training and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. In achieving its stated objectives, it shall function under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (hereinafter referred to as UNESCO), through a central programming and co-ordinating body and a network of research and post graduate training centres and programmes located in the developed and developing countries.

2. The University shall devote its work to research into the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations and its agencies, with due attention to the social sciences and the humanities as well as natural sciences, pure and applied.

3. The research programmes of the institutions of the University shall include, among other subjects, coexistence between peoples having different cultures, languages and social systems; peaceful relations between States and the maintenance of peace and security; human rights; economic and social change and development; the environment and the proper use of resources; basic scientific research and the application of the results of science and technology in the interests of development; and universal human values related to the improvement of the quality of life.

4. The University shall disseminate the knowledge gained in its activities to the United Nations and its agencies, to scholars and to the public, in order to increase dynamic interaction in the world-wide community of learning and research.

5. The University and all those who work in it shall act in accordance with the spirit of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO and with the fundamental principles of contemporary international law.

6. The University shall have as a central objective of its research and training centres and programmes the continuing growth of vigorous academic and scientific communities everywhere and particularly in the dewioping countries, devoted to their vital needs in the fields of learning and research within the framework of the aims assigned to those centres and programmes in the present Charter. It shall endeavour to alleviate the intellectual isolation of persons in such communities in the developing countries which might otherwise become a reason for their moving to developed countries.

7. In its post-graduate training the University shall assist scholars, especially young scholars, to participate in research in order to increase their capability to contribute to the extension, application and diffusion of knowledge. The University may also undertake the training of persons who will serve in international or national technical assistance programmes, particularly in regard to an interdisciplinary approach to the problems with which they will be called upon to deal.

ARTICLE II: Academic freedom and autonomy

1. The University shall enjoy autonomy within the framework of the United Nations. It shall also enjoy the academic freedom required for the achievement of its objectives, with particular reference to the choice of subjects and methods of research and training, the selection of parsons and institutions to share in its tasks, and freedom of expression. The University shall decide freely on the use of the financial resources allocated for the execution of its functions ....


This document represents the proceedings of a one-week workshop held 10-14 August 1981 on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, California, USA. The workshop was organized by the International Union of Nutritional Sciences Committee l/11, the committee on protein-energy requirements, under the chairmanship of Dr. Benjamin Torún, and was financed by the United Nations University (UNU) in co-operation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The goal of this meeting was to collect and review research on proteinenergy requirements in preparation for the FAO/UNU/WHO Expert Consultation on Energy and Protein Requirements held in Rome in October 1981.

The focus of the workshop was on the UNU and FAO/WHO research completed since the May 1980 protein-energy workshop held at MIT, although additional research was also presented. These research efforts evolved primarily from the two separate programmes of FAO, WHO and UNU. The planning of the FAO/WHO research, funded by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), began at a consultation in Rome in 1977, and an interim review of the research progress was held in Rome in January 1980.* The UNU research evolved from a meeting in Costa Rica in 1977 followed by a workshop at Cambridge in May 1980 at which the initial research results were reviewed, and some of the FAD/WHO research was also discussed.

Papers summarizing this research were presented by the investigators and are included here. The findings were discussed during the week, and summaries of the discussions, prepared during the workshop by the participants, forms the basis of the "Commentary" section of this report. Limitations of time during the workshop did not allow resolution or even consensus to be reached on many of the fundamental questions raised. The guideline for this document, as for the workshop itself, was the relevance of the research results to resolving the general problem of estimating protein-energy requirements under prevailing conditions. No attempt was made to propose recommended allowances since this was to be the task of a joint FAO/WHO/UNU expert consultation to be convened in Rome three months later.

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