PN leader addresses global forum on diabetes

Simon Busuttil urges parliamentarians to take the fight against diabetes to their national parliaments

PN leader Simon Busuttil addressing the Vancouver conference
PN leader Simon Busuttil addressing the Vancouver conference

Leader of the Nationalist Party Simon Busuttil urged parliamentarians from around the world to take the fight against diabetes to their national parliaments.

Using Malta as a model, Busuttil called on parliamentarians to set up a cross-party Diabetes Working Group in their respective national parliaments. A similar bipartisan group was successfully set up in Malta on his initiative two years ago. 

Busuttil was addressing a global forum of parliamentarians meeting to discuss the fight against diabetes in Vancounver over the weekend. The forum was organised by the Parliament Diabetes Global Network which brings together members of Parliament from around the world committed to the fight against diabetes.

Busuttil is a vice president of this network. 

“Other concrete ways in which parliamentarians can push diabetes up the political agenda is by pressing national Governments to adopt a policy and strategy on diabetes and by presenting legislative proposals to help preventing diabetes by reducing obesity,” Busuttil said. 

He also called on parliamentarians to include political commitments on the fight against diabetes in their electoral manifestoes and to engage in international networking.

“We do not need to reinvent the wheel. Look around you and learn from the experience of others. Someone else is likely to have done it before and you can do it better,” he said. 

The theme of the forum was the human, social and economic cost of diabetes. More than 60 countries from across the world were represented in Vancouver. 

At the end of the conference, Busuttil was confirmed for a second term as Vice President of the network. 

MPs Clyde Puli (PN) and Godfrey Farrugia (PL) also participated in the conference. Farrugia presented a country report on the state of play in Malta, where diabetes afflicts some 10 per cent of the population. Countless others are not yet aware that they are diabetic and still need to test themselves. 

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