The Thirty-fourth World Health Assembly,

Recognizing the importance of sound infant and young child nutrition for the future health and development of the child and adult;

Recalling that breastfeeding is the only natural method of infant feeding and that it must be actively protected and promoted in all countries;

Convinced that governments of Member States have important responsibilities and a prime role to play in the protection and promotion of breastfeeding as a means of improving infant and young child health;

Aware of the direct and indirect effects of marketing practices for breastmilk substitutes on infant feeding practices;

Convinced that the protection and promotion of infant feeding, including the regulation of the marketing of breastmilk substitutes, affect infant and young child health directly and profoundly, and are a problem of direct concern to WHO;

Having considered the draft International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes prepared by the Director-General and forwarded to it by the Executive Board;

Expressing its gratitude to the Director-General and to the Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund for all the steps they have taken in ensuring close consultation with Member States and with all other parties concerned in the process of preparing the draft International Code;

Having considered the recommendation made thereon by the Executive Board at its sixty-seventh session;

Confirming resolution WHA33.32, including the endorsement in their entirety of the statement and recommendations made by the joint WHO/UNICEF Meeting on Infant and Young Child Feeding held from 9 to 12 October 1979;

Stressing that the adoption of and adherence to the International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes is a minimum requirement and only one of several important actions required in order to protect healthy practices in respect of infant and young child feeding;

1. ADOPTS, in the sense of Article 23 of the Constitution, the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes annexed to the present resolution;

2. URGES all Member States:

(1) to give full and unanimous support to the implementation of the recommendations made by the joint WHO/UNICEF Meeting on Infant and Young Child Feeding and of the provisions of the International Code in its entirety as an expression of the collective will of the membership of the World Health Organization;

(2) to translate the International Codeinto national legislation, regulations or other suitable measures;

(3) to involve all concerned social and economic sectors and all other concerned parties in the implementation of the International Code and in the observance of the provisions thereof;

(4) to monitor the compliance with the Code;

3. DECIDES that the follow-up to and review of the implementation of this resolution shall be undertaken by regional committees, the Executive Board and the Health Assembly in the spirit of resolution WHA33.17;

4. REQUESTS the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission to give full consideration, within the framework of its operational mandate, to action it might take to improve the quality standards of infant foods, and to support and promote the implementation of the International Code;

5. REQUESTS the Director-General:

(1) to give all possible support to Member States, as and when requested, for the implementation of the International Code, and in particular in the preparation of national legislation and other measures related thereto in accordance with operative subparagraph 6(6) of resolution WHA33.32;

(2) to use his good offices for the continued cooperation with all parties concerned in the implementation and monitoring of the International Code at country, regional and global levels;

(3) to report to the Thirty-sixth World Health Assembly on the status of compliance with and implementation of the Code at country, regional and global levels;

(4) based on the conclusions of the status report, to make proposals, if necessary, for revision of the text of the Code and for the measures needed for its effective application.

21 May 1981

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