Response received from UNICEF New York.


Dear ---------,


Thank you for contacting us regarding the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.  We appreciate your support for UNICEF’s work in this vital area.


First and foremost, I assure you that UNICEF’s commitment to the Code is as strong as ever.  UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman has a long-standing commitment to promoting sound nutrition for women and children.  Promotion and protection of early and exclusive breastfeeding remain key elements of our programmes on child survival and maternal health.  The Code is a fundamental platform for achieving Millennium Development Goals Four and Five.  Ms. Veneman has placed the Millennium Development Goals at the centre of UNICEF’s agenda, and they will frame UNICEF’s priorities in the coming years.


In partnership with organizations such as yours, UNICEF has been already able to help many countries adopt the Code. Many others still have a long way to go. Until now we have been relying on a single legal expert based at headquarters to meet their growing needs,  but we have come to the conclusion that more help is required than UNICEF headquarters alone can provide. The urgent challenge we face is to build a strong legal network for infant feeding where it will have the most impact - within countries themselves.


With this in mind, we are decentralizing responsibility for providing legal assistance on the Code to our country offices.  In turn, our country offices will be strengthening ties with non-governmental organizations to bring the right expertise under the UNICEF banner and provide better, more rapid assistance to governments. We will be consulting with you and other organizations working in this field to develop a roster of individuals and organizations able to provide legal support both globally and regionally.


We sincerely believe this decision will give UNICEF and the countries it supports the tools to mobilize for the critical years ahead. Our work in this area continues to grow. The organization is now dedicating significantly more attention and resources to nutrition for mothers and children and we are broadening our action on infant and young child feeding to include stronger and more comprehensive programmes around critical issues such as breastfeeding in emergencies and the feeding of children whose mothers are affected  by HIV/AIDS.  This is a positive trend and we expect it to continue.


UNICEF deeply appreciates your continuing support.  We look forward to working with you to meet the challenges for children in the years to come.








Alan Court


Programme Division


Chitra Jayawardena

Office of the Director

Programme Division

UNICEF, New York

Tel: (212) 326-7235

Fax: (212) 824-6470


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