Secretary-General's message on World Diabetes Day
New York, 14 November 2012
Diabetes is one of the most common noncommunicable diseases. Three hundred and fifty million people worldwide live with diabetes – 80 per cent of them in the developing world – and the disease is becoming more widespread each year due to a combination of ageing populations and the globalization of unhealthy lifestyles.
Unless diagnosed and treated early, diabetes can lead to serious ill-health. Every year, more than three million people who have had diabetes die from problems such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. According to the World Health Organization, diabetes-related deaths will increase by two-thirds by 2030.
Diabetes is a development issue. The poor are disproportionately at risk, and affected families are often pushed further into poverty. Diabetes is also straining national health systems and threatening to reverse hard-won development gains in low- and middle-income countries, as well as the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Governments across the globe are struggling to protect their citizens from factors that increase the risk of diabetes. These include unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and alcohol abuse. Many governments also face challenges in providing essential diabetes information, treatment and care to those who need them most.
In September 2011, the United Nations General Assembly recognized diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases as a global health and development challenge, and committed to strengthen their prevention and control. At the World Health Assembly in May 2012, Governments established a new and welcome goal of reducing premature mortality caused by chronic diseases by 25 per cent by 2025.
We can significantly advance this goal by raising awareness of the threat of diabetes. Physical activity and healthy diet are effective remedies that should be actively promoted by all governments. Primary health care should be strengthened to diagnose and treat diabetes early. Health companies can contribute by developing affordable medicines and technologies, such as low-cost devices to check blood sugar. And businesses – especially those that profit from selling processed foods to children – can commit to marketing healthier, more sustainable goods.
On this World Diabetes Day, let us commit to greater collective effort to prevent diabetes and improve the quality of life of all who suffer from it, particularly the poor and disadvantaged.
Statements on 14 November 2012
- Djibouti, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's message to Ministerial Meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [delivered by Mr. Haile Menkerios, Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan]
- New York, 14 November 2012 - Statement of the Secretary-General on Internal Review Panel Report on Sri Lanka
- Brasilia, Brazil, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's video message to Inauguration of UN House in Brasilia
- , 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's message to Fourteenth Annual Conference of HIgh Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons [delivered by Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)]
- , 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's message to the opening of the 11th Session of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court [delivered by UN Legal Counsel Patricia O’Brien]
- The Hague, Netherlands, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's video message on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the International Criminal Court
- New York, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's video message for "Climate Reality Project: The Dirty Weather Report" Webcast, 14-15 November
- Qatar, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's message to International Conference on Food Security in Drylands
- New York, 14 November 2012 - Secretary-General's remarks at Memorial for Fallen Staff