Ex-Norwegian prime minister awarded honorary degree in Taiwan (Focus Taiwan)

  • Gro Harlem Brundtland, 2014 Tang Prize Laureate in Sustainable Development
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Taipei, April 3 (CNA) National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) presented an honorary doctorate degree to former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland on Tuesday in recognition of her ideas and spirit.

NCKU President Jenny Su (蘇慧貞) conferred the degree on the sustainable development advocate and winner of the 2014 Tang Prize for Sustainable Development prior to the closing of the 2018 Gro Harlem Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development, which opened at NCKU on March 29.

Brundtland then delivered a keynote speech in which she looked back at international cooperation to achieve the United Nations' sustainable development goals over the past 30 years.

The Gro Brundtland Week, funded by Brundtland, is a week-long science forum held at NCKU since 2016 at which distinguished female scientists devoted to public health in developing countries gather to promote sustainable development.

Brundtland used NT$5 million (US$171,367), a part of the Tang Prize money she received in 2014, to establish the Gro Brundtland Award and to fund the science forum at NCKU, and this year marks the third and final year of the Gro Brundtland Week.

This year's forum has brought together Natisha Dukhi of South Africa, Barbara Burmen of Kenya, Neha Nehiya of India, Weena Gera of the Philippines and Sarva Praveena of Malaysia to share their research on such topics as AIDS, tuberculosis, vaccines, sustainable development, environmental analysis, and health risk assessments.

Later Tuesday, Brundtland presented those scientists the Gro Brundtland Award during the forum's closing ceremony at NCKU.

Brundtland took office as Norway's first female prime minister in 1981 and served two further terms from 1986 to 1989 and 1990 to 1996.

She was named chairwoman of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development in 1984 and assumed office as director-general of the World Health Organization in 1998. 

(By Chang Jung-hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu)