In 2006, IDF led a visionary campaign to take diabetes to the highest political forum – the United Nations. The ‘Unite for Diabetes’ campaign, led by former IDF President Martin Silink and heavily supported by our member associations, aimed to raise awareness of diabetes and secure a United Nations Resolution on the disease. After a campaign of just six months, the UN passed Resolution 61/225 in December 2006, affirming diabetes as a major global health threat.
The achievement of the landmark resolution was only possible through the united efforts of the global diabetes community. IDF Member Associations were at the heart of the campaign, uniting with a single voice to secure political recognition on the diabetes epidemic. ‘Unite for Diabetes’ bridged diabetes advocacy from the local to the global, achieving a UN Resolution with remarkable speed.
The UNR 61/225 was the first time that governments passed a Resolution on a non-communicable disease, paving the way for the UN Summit on NCDs.
The UN Resolution on Diabetes:
- Recognises diabetes as “a chronic, debilitating and costly disease associated with severe complications, which poses severe risks for families, Member States and the entire world.”
- States that diabetes poses serious challenges for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
- Designates World Diabetes Day – the 14 November – as an official United Nations Day, to be observed every year beginning in 2007.
- Encourages governments to develop national policies for diabetes prevention, treatment and care.
The UN Resolution was a crucial moment for the recognition of diabetes as a development issue. The passage of the resolution was sponsored by Bangladesh and brought to the floor of the General Assembly by G77 countries. Low and middle income countries led the campaign for the Resolution, signaling that the focus of donors on infectious diseases is not aligned with health realties on the ground. The campaign to ensure diabetes is at the heart of national health and development continues.