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The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution designating November 14 as UN-recognized World Diabetes Day and called on all member states, relevant UN bodies, and non-governmental organizations to use the day, beginning in 2007, as an opportunity to promote public awareness of the need to prevent and treat the potentially devastating disease.
The resolution recognized diabetes as "a chronic, debilitating and costly disease associated with severe complications that poses severe risks for families, member states and the entire world."
The UN encouraged member states to develop national policies for the prevention, treatment and care of diabetes in line with the sustainable development of their health-care systems.
The Denmark-based international pharmaceutical and diabetes equipment company Novo Nordisk was the force behind the resolution, campaigning, along with the International Diabetes Federation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), for the establishment of an annual awareness day.
All three groups intend to invest $4.5 million over the next three years in a research partnership to bring about better treatment and a cure for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, which affect 230 million people around the globe, including 400,000 Israelis. The number is due to rise to 350 million patients in a few decades if action is not taken.
The Israel Juvenile Diabetes Association praised the UN resolution and the investment in research. Only recently, said its chairman, Shulamit Nuss, the JDRF contributed $6 million, in cooperation with D-Cure, for diabetes research in Israel.