World Health Organization Executive Board Session
Geneva, 14-21 January 2002
Statement by La Leche League International, a nongovernmental
Organization in official relations with WHO
Thank you, Madam Chair,
for providing this opportunity for La Leche League International (LLLI)
to comment briefly on the draft Global Strategy for Infant and Young
As a community-based nongovernmental organization that has been active for 45 years in breastfeeding promotion, protection and support, we welcome the WHO Global Strategy. We expect that the Strategy will provide impetus and direction to efforts to support breastfeeding, building on the work already accomplished as a result of the Innocenti Declaration, the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative and the World Declaration on Nutrition.
LLLI will work through its network of seven thousand volunteer Leaders and over two thousand trained Peer Counsellors to participate in implementing the Global Strategy, including by:
Helping mothers initiate early breastfeeding, breastfeed exclusively for six months, offer appropriate complementary foods and continue breastfeeding for two years or longer.
Developing and publishing literature in several languages for lay and health professional audiences on breastfeeding and lactation.
Organizing conferences, workshops, seminars and other events at which breastfeeding, lactation issues, and infant nutrition are addressed.
Educating its network on the vital role of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and how to support the Code's implementation.
Working with the Mother Support Task Force of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action in the promotion of the Global Initiative on Mother Support (GIMS for Breastfeeding), whose aim is to create an appropriate environment of awareness and support for mothers to initiate and sustain breastfeeding.
Disseminating information on the Global Strategy to LLL Leaders and members.
LLLI calls upon WHO to
monitor the breastfeeding and HIV/AIDS situation and to ensure that
action taken by organizations, governments and international agencies
does not result in an unnecessary decrease in breastfeeding.
Through its official relations with WHO, LLLI will follow the progress of the Global Strategy and is prepared to provide assistance to strengthen and accelerate that progress.
the following question: Since breastfeeding is recognized as essential
to food security, sustainable development, and maternal and child
health, why are barriers to breastfeeding tolerated? We challenge
the international community to use the Global Strategy to eliminate
these barriers once and for all.
LLLI congratulates WHO and all those who contributed to the preparation of this important international document.