The Thirty-fifth World Health Assembly,

Recalling resolution WHA33.32 on infant and young child feeding and resolution WHA34.22 adopting the International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes;

Conscious that breastfeeding is the ideal method of infant feeding and should be promoted and protected in all countries;

Concerned that inappropriate infant feeding practices result in greater incidence of infant mortality, malnutrition and disease, especially in conditions of poverty and lack of hygiene;

Recognizing that commercial marketing of breastmilk substitutes for infants has contributed to an increase in artificial feeding;

Recalling that the Thirty-fourth World Health Assembly adopted an international code intended, inter alia, to deal with these marketing practices;

Noting that, while many Member States have taken some measures related to improving infant and young child feeding, few have adopted and adhered to the International Code as a "minimum requirement" and implemented it "in its entirety", as called for in resolution WHA34.22;

1. URGES Member States to give renewed attention to the need to adopt national legislation, regulations or other suitable measures to give effect to the International Code;

2. REQUESTS the Director-General:

(1) to design and coordinate a comprehensive programme of action to support Member States in their efforts to implement and monitor the Code and its effectiveness;

(2) to provide support and guidance to Member States as and when requested to ensure that the measures they adopt are consistent with the letter and spirit of the International Code;

(3) to undertake, in collaboration with Member States, prospective surveys, including statistical data of infant and young child feeding practices in the various countries, particularly with regard to the incidence and duration of breastfeeding.

May 1982

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