The advent of globalization has changed our perspectives radically. It presents increased understanding of world affairs, new challenges and exciting opportunities. The inequitable distribution and use of finite energy resources and global warming are just two examples of challenges that can only be addressed by concerted international collaboration. Globalization has become an increasingly important influence on dentistry and dental education. The International Federation for Dental Educators and Associations (IFDEA) welcomes the challenges it now faces as a player in a complex multifaceted global community. This report addresses the new circumstances in which IFDEA must operate, taking account of the recommendations made by other working groups. The report reviews the background and evolution of IFDEA and describes the extensive developments that have taken place in IFDEA over the past year with the introductions of a new Constitution and Bylaws overseen by a newly established Board of Directors. These were the consequence of a new mission, goals and objectives for IFDEA. An expanded organization is planned using http://www.IFDEA.org as the primary instrument to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, programmes and expertise between colleagues and federated associations throughout the world, thereby promoting higher standards in oral health through education in low-, middle- and high-income countries of the world. Such aspirations are modified by the reality and enormity of poverty-related global ill health.