Former Norwegian prime minister says keep environment in mind
MOSCOW, IOWA – During an economic crisis, don’t forget about environmental issues. That is the message from the World Health Organization’s former Director-General and former Norwegian Prime Minister Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, who keynoted this year’s Borah Symposium at UI.
By Matt Loveless – Klewtv.com
The expert on climate change walked into a familiar climate during yet another spring snowstorm in Moscow Tuesday (April 1).
“Today it looks like Norway, where I come from,” said Brundtland.
Brundtland spoke Tuesday night during the symposium, which was titled “Building Peace, Building Health”.
In the 80s, Brundtland chaired a group called the World Commission of Environment and Development, a time when she said health ministers and health budgets were secondary. “In general, health was not given the priority it needed to have, so for me, bringing health onto the global agenda was a very important aspect of my years at W.H.O.,” said Brundtland.
Brundtland said climate change has again taken a backseat, this time to the global economic downturn. “Economic crisis has dominated the thinking for the past few weeks and months, and if we forget the climate crisis, it will hit back,” said Brundtland. “So, that’s why I think it’s essential that these are looked at at the same time by political leaders.”
Brundtland said she was encouraged by American voter interest in the 2008 general election, and said all democracies should remain active in their governments.
“Government leaders have to have the support of the people in order to be effective,” said Brundtland. “In democracies, there is a direct link between the two. But without government policies supported by a reasonable majority of the population, we cannot move forward.”