18 February 2022, Geneva, Switzerland – “Of all preventative interventions, breastfeeding has the greatest potential to improve child survival, health, development and wellbeing”. Breastfeeding is a critical aspect in achieving SDG2 and SDG3 — which include ending hunger, improving nutrition, and promoting health.

While breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding. Promoting breastfeeding practices such as initiation within one hour of life and duration for up to two years of age is essential for improving global breastfeeding and child health.  

Through this Initiative, UNITAR aims to contribute to increasing women’s knowledge and skills to breastfeed by developing and providing a variety of educational tools that will target a diverse audience at the policy level, organizational level, and at the community level.

Today’s inaugural working session of the Experts Committee of the Global Breastfeeding Education Initiative marks the foundation of this effort at UNITAR that aims to make contributions to critical issues such as Nutrition and Maternal and Infant Health. During the session, representatives from different organizations from across five continents analyzed critical topics and needs to be considered in educational and training efforts.

Experts Committee Members


  • Dr. Kirsty Pringle, Assistant Dean Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing and a teaching/research academic in the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy and at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia


  • Dr. Moenie van der Kleyn, Head of the department of health Studies, university of applied sciences FH JOANNEUM, Austria


  • Dr. Chang Yen-li Chain, Physician, Curitiba City Hall Health Department; Vicepresident, Brazilian Association of Women Doctors; Member of the State Committee for the Prevention of Infant Mortality (CEPMI); Member of the Department of Infectious Diseases of the Paranaense Society of Pediatrics, Brazil
  • Dr. Simone de Carvalho, Health Education and Maternal Empowerment, Med Campinas State University, UNICAMP, Brazil


  • Prof. Andrea O’Reilly, Associate Professor in the School of Women's Studies, York University, Canada
  • Dr. Meghan Azad, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Canada


  • Prof. Mao Meng, Department of Pediatrics, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, China
  • Dr. Man Sau Wong, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR China


  • Dr. Michael Abou-Dakn, Chief Physician of Gynecology, St. Joseph Hospital, Germany


  • Dr. Horacio Reyes, Pediatrician specialized in internal medicine and breastfeeding, Pigui Clinic, Mexico
  • Ms. Alejandra Gutierrez, Dietitian specialized in Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition, International Certified Breastfeeding Consultant, IBCLC, Mexico


  • Dr. Bernd Stahl, Associate Professor, Utrecht University, Netherlands


  • Dr. Maria Carmen Collado, Researcher, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology at the Spanish National Research Council (IATA-CSIC), Spain
  • Ms. Maria Berruezo, Co-Founder at LactApp Women Health, Spain

South Africa

  • Ms. Puleng Monatisa, Community Development and Training, eThekwini Municipality, South Africa

United States of America

  • Dr. Shelley McGuire, Director and Professor of Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Margaret Ritchie School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Idaho, USA
  • Ms. Heather ONeal, Chief Executive Officer, Maezer LLC DBA- Breastfeeding for Busy Moms, USA
  • Dr. Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, Professor of Public Health at the Yale School of Public Health and Director of the Office of Public Health Practice, USA


  • Ms. Martine Alles, Director Medical Affairs & Health Innovation, Breastfeeding and Maternal Health, Danone Specialized Nutrition

For more information, please contact bei@unitar.org

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