In November 2005 an international conference was held in Florence, Italy, to assess progress during the 15 years since government policy makers from 30 countries adopted the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding.  {} (The Declaration was named after the magnificent venue where the meeting was held: the Spedale degli Innocenti.  The World Health Assembly in 1991 welcomed the Declaration as “a basis for international health policy and action”.)   

The 2005 conference was hosted by the Regional Authority of Tuscany and sponsored by WHO, UNICEF, USAID, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, the International Baby Food Action Network, and others.   The conference noted that , while significant progress had been made, inadequate infant feeding remains the greatest threat to child health and survival globally.  It called on multilateral and bilateral organizations and international financial institutions to recognise that optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding are essential to achieving the aims of the Millennium Development Goals…and the long-term physical, intellectual and emotional health of all populations.
By Peter Greaves,
12 February 2006.