Every May 29th the World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) celebrates World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) and initiates a worldwide public health campaign through its 110 national societies and 50,000 members. Each year focuses on a particular digestive disorder in order to increase general public awareness of prevention and therapy. 2010 is dedicated to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Upon this occasion a WGO IBD task force was compiled from leading international specialists and researchers. The task force also included members of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Diseases (IOIBD) and the European Crohn's and Colitis Organization (ECCO) of the United European Gastroenterology Federation (UEGF). The goal of the task force was to bring together IBD specialists from around the world to discuss the epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of IBD within different regions. This is a summary of the WGO task force meeting at the American Gastroenterological Association's (AGA) Digestive Disease Week, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, May, 2010. The expert panel identified the most pressing issues in IBD worldwide: reliable epidemiological data, global collaboration in clinical and basic research, the approach to distinguishing intestinal tuberculosis from Crohn's disease, access to specialist care and access to the latest diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.