The International Diabetes Federation’s 20th World Diabetes Congress

9 April 2009

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) will organize its 20th World Diabetes Congress this year in Montreal, Canada from 18-22 October. The Congress is held every two years and is one of the world’s largest medical congresses.

The World Diabetes Congress is held in a different location each time, allowing IDF to rotate the congress through its seven Regions (Africa, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, North America, Southeast Asia, South and Central America and Western Pacific) and emphasize the diabetes issues that are important in each location.

From the first congress held in Leiden, the Netherlands in 1952 to the 19th World Diabetes Congress, held in Cape Town, South Africa in 2006, the numbers of participants have grown from a few hundred to over 12,000 delegates and over 400 speakers. The 20th World Diabetes Congress is expected to attract up to 15,000 delegates, more than 300 high-level speakers, and bring together representatives from over 200 diabetes member associations from more than 160 countries.

About the World Diabetes Congress

The World Diabetes Congress will highlight the latest developments in clinical research, showcase new data on the diabetes pandemic, and promote political action to tackle diabetes. Health ministers and officials will join the world’s leading diabetes experts to share knowledge, experience and innovative solutions to address the diabetes threat.

“Our World Diabetes Congress is important because it unites the global diabetes community,” said Luc Hendrickx, Director of Congress for the International Diabetes Federation. “Through our Congress we aim to raise awareness of the diabetes epidemic, wake up the political world to the diabetes threat and advocate for increased funding for diabetes care worldwide.”

“Our ultimate goal” Hendrickx added, “is to advance diabetes care for the 250 million people living with diabetes worldwide and increase efforts to prevent diabetes in the many more at high risk.”

The Congress not only attracts the diabetes scientific community of physicians, researchers, nurses and diabetes educators, it also welcomes people with diabetes, governments, the media, IDF Member Associations and industry. The congress provides the opportunity to discuss a broad range of diabetes issues, from latest scientific advances to cutting-edge information on education, diabetes care, advocacy and awareness.

The advancement of health through the free exchange of knowledge between peers is key tenet of the World Diabetes Congress. The Congress provides ample opportunity for networking and best practice sharing between across the global diabetes community.

“Our Congress gives young scientists the opportunity to network with the leading experts in the field and through their abstracts, display their scientific achievements to the diabetes world,” said Hendrickx.
“We receive close to 2000 abstracts, which are then put through a rigorous review process with only the best selected for presentation. We believe that the World Diabetes Congress is a premiere scientific Congress and are working to ensure that it will be also become an important political event.”

Congress programme

The World Diabetes Congress features state-of-the-art topics arranged into six programme streams:

  1. Association Development
  2. Clinical Research
  3. Education
  4. Foundation Science
  5. Healthcare and Epidemiology
  6. Living with Diabetes

Each stream includes lectures that will be held in a variety of formats to allow for constructive interaction and to share best practice:
Symposia address the latest results in diabetes research, current issues in therapy and education, and findings in the economic and personal impact of diabetes.

  • Meet-the-expert sessions provide the opportunity for participants to interact with experts on a specific topic.
  • Debates will see opposing teams defending and refuting proposals related to controversial topics.
  • Teaching lectures provide educational opportunities on relevant topics.
  • Workshops include practical demonstrations, problem-solving or hands-on training sessions.
  • Poster sessions allow the authors of abstracts to present their findings.

Find out more about the Congress Programme online -

Congress objectives

Besides sharing the latest scientific advances and knowledge on practical aspects related to diabetes care, education and advocacy, IDF expects that the 20th World Diabetes Congress will:

  • influence policy makers and local health authorities to create national diabetes plans that make diabetes a health priority;
  • help attract resources to assist those working to improve the lives of people with diabetes;
  • help the Federation’s 200 member associations to develop strategies to implement the United Nations Resolution on diabetes; and
  • to fulfil the Federation’s mission to raise global awareness of diabetes, promote appropriate diabetes care and prevention, and encouraging activities towards finding a cure.

Congress key dates

Registration for the World Diabetes Congress is open. Key dates include:

  • 30 April 2009 — Deadline Early registration rate
  • 31 July 2009 — Deadline Standard registration rate

All registration can be completed online at:

The venue

The chosen setting for the World Diabetes Congress is the cosmopolitan city of Montréal, which boasts a unique combination of European flair and North American savoir-faire. Conversations on the city’s streets are threaded with French, English and dozens of other languages.

The International Diabetes Federation’s Congress affords the ideal opportunity for diabetes stakeholders to discover for themselves why the world’s second-largest French-speaking city enjoys such a reputation for culture, nightlife and charm.

Montreal is a safe city that is easily accessible. It is great for walking and can easily and safely be explored on foot or by public transport. Quick, safe and clean, the metro connects downtown and the congress centre to major tourist attractions, as well as to numerous bus stops and train stations.

From the downtown area, you can access the Montreal Underground Pedestrian Network which is used by over 500,000 people daily. The Network connects 30-kilometres of walkways, featuring 1,700 shops, restaurants and an array of services. It connects to some 40 performance venues, theatres and cinemas, as well as many hotels, attractions and museums.

A large number of rooms, within a broad range of categories and budgets, have been booked throughout the city of Montréal for congress participants. Make your reservation online as soon as possible to secure your accommodation at preferential rates. Most hotels are within a 20-minute walking range from the Convention Centre (Palais des congrès) or close to a subway or bus stop.

See you in Montreal

The International Diabetes Federation welcomes the global health community and people living with diabetes to our World Diabetes Congress in Montreal. We hope everyone will find the Congress scientifically rigorous, make new and important connections with leading diabetes experts and are energized to join the fight against the diabetes epidemic. If nothing is done, over 380 million people with live with diabetes by 2025. To do nothing is not an option.
Kerrita McClaughlyn is the Media Relations Manager for the International Diabetes Federation.

About the International Diabetes Federation

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is the global advocate for the over 250 million people with diabetes worldwide. It is an umbrella organization of over 200 diabetes associations in more than 160 countries.

Its mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. The International Diabetes Federation is an NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization and an associated NGO with the United Nations Department of Public Information.

The International Diabetes Federation leads the World Diabetes Day and Unite for Diabetes campaigns.

Additional information is available at

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