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Gro Harlem Brundtland, champion of sustainable development and former prime minister of Norway, will give Iscol lecture, April 28

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Gro Harlem Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway and director-general emeritus of the World Health Organization (WHO), will give the Jill and Ken Iscol Distinguished Environmental Lecture at Cornell University, April 28.

Her lecture, "The Global Significance of Sustainable Development," is free and open to the public and begins at 4:30 p.m. in Call Alumni Auditorium of Kennedy Hall, on campus. It concludes Cornell's Campus Sustainability Month.

During the 1980s, Brundtland chaired the World Commission on the Environment and Development (the "Brundtland Commission"), which coined and popularized the concept of sustainable development in its 1987 landmark report, "Our Common Future." Its recommendations provided the momentum for the U.N. "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In 1998 Brundtland was elected to serve as director-general of the WHO for a five-year term. Recently, she served as a member of the U.N. High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. That panel's 2004 report, "A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility," includes sustainable development as an integral part of a new vision of collective security, and she will discuss its key findings.

During her campus visit, Brundtland also will take part in a seminar, April 29, fielding students' questions about global efforts since the release of "Our Common Future," in B09 Sage Hall.

A medical doctor with a master's degree in public health, Brundtland became both the first woman and the youngest prime minister in Norway's history in 1981, at age 41. She again served as prime minister in 1986-89 and 1990-96.Among her numerous honors are the 1988 Third World Prize for leadership on sustainable development and the 1989 Indira Gandhi Prize.

The Iscol lecture program at Cornell was established to advance understanding of pressing environmental issues, featuring scholars working at the frontiers of scientific inquiry of paramount global importance. Lectures are presented by the Cornell Center for the Environment and are free and open to the public.

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