Diabetes Views


Breaking down barriers

Sir Michael Hirst

Successful management of diabetes is a reflection of community.

The many dimensions of DAWN2

Rhys Williams

No More Excuses


Michael Hirst

Children and adolescents – our most precious resource

Rhys Williams

From words to action

As the authentic global voice of diabetes, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has achieved much in fixing diabetes firmly on the international political agenda. Diabetes and other Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) are now recognised as leading threats to development in the 21st century and to the success of the United Nations’ ambition to eradicate poverty.

In this issue …

Welcome to this, the second issue of Diabetes Voice for 2013. It has some new features. Let me tell you about them.

Keep the fire burning

The undertaking that I gave on becoming President of the International Diabetes Federation is the same undertaking that was given by every President since the founding of our Federation more than sixty years ago – including such illustrious figures as Maria de Alva, Sir George Alberti, Pierre Lefèbvre, Martin Silink and, my immediate predecessor, Jean Claude Mbanya. But I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances never before experienced by the Federation. This is a moment of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts.

Where are we now?

It is good to be back! My previous contribution (2005-2007) as Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Voice seems a long time ago – much longer than it really is. That is probably because a great deal has happened recently in my professional life. The past 10 years have seen us establishing a new medical school in my home city of Swansea, UK. We are now seeing our newly qualified doctors embarking on their careers in medicine, some of them, I hope, inspired to contribute to the world diabetes scene of the future.

And the wheel keeps turning

Back in 2009, I was standing in the foyer on the first floor of the conference centre in Montreal – those of you lucky enough to have attended that meeting may remember the entrance on the ground floor at the corner and the wall of coloured glass panels that made gorgeous coloured patterns on the floor when the sun shone. Those colours were vivid and so is the memory of that moment.

The beating heart of diabetes

At the International Diabetes Federation, we consider ourselves the ‘global voice’ of diabetes - we have done for more than 60 years. We have become an influential advocate for people affected by diabetes, convincing the world’s leaders of the urgent need for concerted action to turn the tables on the world’s chronic disease pandemic.(1,2) Yet our reasons for existing are as they were upon IDF’s inception in 1950. We are driven by the needs of our constituents: people with diabetes.