World Diabetes Day Lights Up the Skyline

    - Global Landmarks Mark First United Nations World Diabetes Day

    BRUSSELS, Belgium, Nov. 12 /CNW/ - On November 14th over 150 landmarks
will light up in blue to mark the first United Nations-observed World Diabetes
Day. Included among them are many of the world's most iconic buildings and
sites. The landmarks will light up the skyline in the blue colour of the
diabetes circle, the global symbol for diabetes.
    The Empire State Building, one of New York's most famous landmarks, was
the first building to join the World Diabetes Day campaign and agree to light
up in blue. Since then the campaign has been joined by some of the world's
most famous landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House, the London Eye,
Leaning Tower of Pisa, Tokyo Tower, Niagara Falls, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai,
the Aleppo Citadel in Syria, the Obelisk in Buenos Aires, the Sears Tower in
Chicago, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, and the building currently considered
the world's tallest: the Taipei 101 Tower in Taiwan.

    Professor Martin Silink, President of the International Diabetes
Federation (IDF), the organization that leads the World Diabetes Day campaign
explained the significance of the lightings: "These buildings are lighting up
as beacons of hope for the 246 million people living with diabetes worldwide.
The illumination of so many landmarks is a prominent statement to governments
everywhere: the global diabetes epidemic can no longer be ignored."
    The UN-recognition of World Diabetes Day follows the passage of
Resolution 61/225 in December 2006. The resolution was the first milestone of
an ambitious campaign led by IDF to raise awareness of diabetes and its
serious complications. The World Diabetes Day Resolution recognizes diabetes
as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease that poses severe risks for
families, countries and the entire world. The UN has thrown its support behind
World Diabetes Day and encourages countries to act now to reverse the diabetes
    Today, 246 million people live with diabetes globally. If nothing is
done, this figure will reach 380 million within 20 years. The World Diabetes
Day Resolution urges governments to implement national policies for the
prevention, care and treatment of diabetes in line with the sustainable
development of their healthcare systems. This is the first time that a
non-communicable disease has been recognized as posing as serious a global
health threat as infectious epidemics like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
    To mark the importance of World Diabetes Day, individuals are encouraged
to wear the diabetes pin, which incorporates the blue circle - the global
symbol for diabetes. Further details of the campaign and how people can show
their support can be found at

    Broadcast videos are available at:

    Note to Editors

    The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization
of over 200 member associations in more than 160 countries, representing
almost 250 million people with diabetes, their families, and their healthcare
providers. The mission of the IDF is to promote diabetes care, prevention and
a cure worldwide. Its main activities include education for people with
diabetes and healthcare professionals, public awareness campaigns and the
promotion and exchange of information. IDF is a non-governmental organization
in official relations with WHO and associated to the United Nations'
Department of Public Information. For more information, please visit

    Introduced by IDF and the World Health Organization in 1991, World
Diabetes Day has been celebrated by diabetes representative organizations
worldwide ever since. The date of 14 November was chosen because it marks the
birthday of Frederick Banting, who, along with Charles Best, is credited with
the discovery of insulin. UN Resolution 61/225 establishes November 14 as a
United Nations observed day from 2007. Visit
for further information about the campaign and for a full list of landmarks
that will light up.

For further information:

For further information: Kerrita McClaughlyn, IDF Media Relations
Coordinator, mobile: +32-487-530625 or +1-203-962-1222,; or Phil Riley, IDF Communications Manager,
Mobile: +32-495-204964,

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International Diabetes Federation

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