Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasingly recognized as a global public health problem. There is now convincing evidence that CKD can be detected using simple laboratory tests, and that treatment can prevent or delay complications of decreased kidney function, slow the progression of kidney disease, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Translating these advances to simple and applicable public health measures must be adopted as a goal worldwide. Understanding the relationship between CKD and other chronic diseases is important to developing a public health policy to improve outcomes. The 2004 Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Controversies Conference on 'Definition and Classification of Chronic Kidney Disease' represented an important endorsement of the Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative definition and classification of CKD by the international community. The 2006 KDIGO Controversies Conference on CKD was convened to consider six major topics: (1) CKD classification, (2) CKD screening and surveillance, (3) public policy for CKD, (4) CVD and CVD risk factors as risk factors for development and progression of CKD, (5) association of CKD with chronic infections, and (6) association of CKD with cancer. This report contains the recommendations from the meeting. It has been reviewed by the conference participants and approved as position statement by the KDIGO Board of Directors. KDIGO will work in collaboration with international and national public health organizations to facilitate implementation of these recommendations.