How the WHA works


Since the passage of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes in 1981, the WHA Member States meet every two years to report progress on the implementation of the International Code and to review and update recommendations on infant and young child nutrition. Eliminating ambiguity and closing loopholes of marketing practices that are detrimental to infant health are also considered. Ministers of Health and their senior departmental staff are usually represented at WHA meetings. (For example, this year Canada’s Health Minister Anne McLellan, and several provincial staff, were present at a number of the Assembly’s meetings.) These representatives then discuss and make decisions on the various agenda items in the form of Resolutions before the Assembly. Resolutions on infant and young child nutrition that are agreed upon then become additions to the International Code and carry similar weight and importance as the original 1981 document.



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