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Brundtland addresses top level UK gathering

March 15, 2001, 00:00 CET

World Health Organization director general Gro Harlem Brundtland offered two starkly different visions of the future in a Hydro-sponsored lecture in London on Thursday evening, attended by HRH The Prince of Wales as part of his Business & the Environment Programme.

Dr. Brundtland, a former Norwegian Prime Minister, first presented a vision of a world ravaged by HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, plagued by the health consequences of global warming and growing pollution, struggling in a more violent climatic environment and weighed down by a growing burden of disease from mental disorders, tobacco-related illnesses and other life-style diseases. The net result, she said, will be a growing chasm between the rich and the poor, social instability and economic stagnation.

She then conveyed the hope that with international cooperation and innovative partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society, disease can be managed and solutions found to environmental problems and health challenges.

Dr. Brundtland, who is recognized for chairing the commission that introduced the term "Sustainable Development" to the world stage, has been in her current role since July 1998. She spoke to an invited audience of eminent business people, leading academics and political figures, including UK Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and Margot Wallström, EU Commissioner for the Environment.

Her lecture is the second in the Prince's Business & the Environment Programme and follows that given by James Wolfensohn, Head of The World Bank, in late 1998.

Dr. Brundtland's lecture (PDF 36KB) 
HRH The Prince of Wales's Business & the Environment Programme