2011 was undoubtedly a landmark year for diabetes and global health more broadly. The UN High-Level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) in September changed the global health and development landscape forever. Diabetes and NCDs finally reached prominence when 193 UN Member States adopted the Political Declaration on NCDs and agreed to a set of commitments that has the potential to accelerate coordinated global progress that has been lacking for so long. As one of the earliest voices to call for the Summit and an instrumental player during preparations, the International Diabetes Federation is proud to have been at the heart of this sea change. Now it is time to look forward, and prepare to take action.