Novo Nordisk issued a press release earlier this week regarding the exciting news that the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted a Resolution on diabetes on December 20, 2006. We loved this news and give big credit to the IDF (international diabetes federation), diabetes advocates Kari and Clare Rosenfeld whose idea this was, and many doctors and researchers and workers in diabetes who helped make it happen, particularly incoming IDF President Dr. Martin Silink. What does this resolution do? It brings diabetes out of the shadows, as Clare told us in an interview earlier this week for Diabetes Close Up. Why? The Resolution recognized for the first time that this chronic disease is as serious a threat to global health as infectious epidemics. It designats the IDF World Diabetes Day, November 14, as a United Nations Day to be observed beginning in 2007. Finally, it calls on all nations to develop national policies for the prevention, treatment, and care of diabetes.
The IDF-led “Unite for Diabetes” campaign has been working since June 10, 2006 for the passage of this Resolution. The IDF launched the campaign at the 2006 ADA meeting, in Washington DC, on June 10, 2006. Top corporate sponsors for the campaign include GSK, J&J, Lilly, Merck, Novo Nordisk, and Pfizer as well as Bayer, Novartis, and Sanofi-Aventis and Abbott Diabetes Care. The People’s Republic of Bangladesh sponsored the Resolution at the UN until it was accepted by the G77 (a coalition of 133 developing and transitional countries led by the Republic of South Africa).
As we saw in Capetown earlier this month, the “Unite for Diabetes” campaign received a great deal of attention this year. Dr. Martin Slink devoted his inaugural address at the closing session of the conference to the importance of this campaign. Dr. Slink said that his first priority as IDF president would be the passage of this Resolution – we’re surprised and thrilled that it happened so quickly, which by most estimates was ahead of expectations.
This provides a good platform for diabetes we think and means more publicity for diabetes - just in time, as we also noted recently a more sobering fact - diabetes now takes more lives than AIDS. Sobering, indeed.