Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide public health problem. There is an increasing incidence and prevalence of patients with kidney failure requiring replacement therapy, with poor outcomes and high cost. There is an even higher prevalence of patients in earlier stages of CKD, with adverse outcomes such as kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. Patients at earlier stages of CKD can be detected through laboratory testing and their treatment is effective in slowing the progression to kidney failure and reducing cardiovascular events. The science and evidence-based care of these patients are universal and independent of their geographic location. There is a clear need to develop a uniform and global public health approach to the worldwide epidemic of CKD. It is to this end that a new initiative "Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes" has been established. Its stated mission is "Improve the care and outcomes of kidney disease patients worldwide through promoting coordination, collaboration and integration of initiatives to develop and implement clinical practice guidelines."