Gro Harlem Brundtland Stumps for Sustainable Development

Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland delivers a speech to OSU students at Mershon Auditorium on Sept. 28. Credit: Kyle Powell / Assistant Design Editor

TN Note: Gro Brundtland headed the Brundtland Commission that in 1987 produced the seminal book on Sustainable Development, Our Common Future. The U.N. credits Brundtland as being the singular architect of Sustainable Development and Agenda 21, leading up to the U.N.’s 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. At the time, she was a member of the Trilateral Commission.

Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former prime minister of Norway, visited Ohio State on Monday to deliver a speech about global sustainability to students and faculty at the Mershon Auditorium. The event was presented as part of the Provost’s Discovery Themes Lecture Series.

Throughout her presentation, Brundtland drew on her career and experience in public service and international advocacy. She served three terms as the prime minister of Norway, spent five years as the director-general of the World Health Organization, and currently serves as the United Nations special envoy for climate change.

“Today, I see 2015 as a year of hope,” Brundtland said. “Finally, after nearly 30 years, countries all over the world have been able to overcome often very deep differences of opinion and priorities, and define common sustainable development goals, that apply to all countries, not just to the developing world.”

The sustainable development goals that Brundtland referenced are a series of targets for international development agreed upon by the United Nations Conference in New York on Sept. 27. The SDGs are a multinational attempt to outline and achieve meaningful change concerning issues of development, such as eradicating poverty, ensuring environmental sustainability, and achieving universal education.

The SDGs are meant to replace the Millennium Development Goals, a similar series of targets adopted in 2000, that will expire at the end of this year. Brundtland spoke about her involvement with these targets during her tenure as director-general of the World Health Organization.

“Indeed great strides have been fought, since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000,” Brundtland said. “We have dramatically reduced the amount of people living in extreme poverty, more people have access to safe drinking water, fewer children are dying in infancy, and fewer mothers (are dying) when giving birth.”

Brundtland said that despite some of the world experiencing unprecedented levels of prosperity, the gap between rich and poor is widening, “environmental degradation” is ongoing, and climate change is threatening the world’s most vulnerable populations and ecosystems.

“This is why the new sustainability goals will be so important,” she said.

The Ohio State Center for Ethics and Human Values’ COMPAS program will hold its fall conference, “Sustainability: Visions & Values,” later this week, on Thursday and Friday. The conference, which will be held on the 11th floor of Thompson Library will focus heavily on the same topics of global sustainability that Brundtland discussed. It will feature a variety of accomplished speakers from Princeton, Yale, the U.S. Department of State and many of Ohio State’s own faculty.

Cinnamon Carlarne, a professor at Moritz College of Law specializing in environmental and climate change law, who will speak at the event said, “It’s about thinking critically and trying to find new, creative solutions to these problems in a way that’s optimistic.”

Carlarne added “It’s coming at a really exciting time after the adoption of the sustainable development goals and the papal encyclical, and right before the Paris Climate Conference this December.”

Brundtland’s speech and the COMPAS conference come just after the conclusion of the UN Sustainable Development Summit, where the SDGs were adopted in New York City on Sunday.

Read full story here…

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3 Comments on "Gro Harlem Brundtland Stumps for Sustainable Development"

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Kathy
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All of the globalist sound so altruistic. The words sound as though there is a glorious utopia at the end of their rainbow. But the truths is, they are making plans for other peoples lives without their knowlege and consent. We as a country did not vote for this. Now they a selling it to us in a pretty box laced with ribbons. The real down to earth changes will not effect any of these people. We are losing our soveriegnty. It is not us spreading democracy over the world. It is reducing our democracy and serving a corporate authority.… Read more »
dennisa
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“The U.N. credits Brundtland as being the singular architect of Sustainable Development and Agenda 21”

She was the face on the box, but other contributors included the real architect, Maurice Strong, together with the first head of the EPA under Nixon, Bill Ruckelshaus and UN apparatchik, Nitin Desai. All three of these now elderly gentlemen are still in the frame and pulling strings.

UNAgenda21
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C L I M A T E E N G I N E E R I N G A N D U N A G E N D A 2 1 United Nations commissioned scientists – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Royal Society, the World Academy of Arts & Science, UN Population Fund, World Bank, the UN, NASA, 178 countries, The Earth Charter, modern U.S. Presidents, have declared a global emergency …terminal Climate Change caused by humans. http://www.jamespowell.org/ The United Nations Agenda 21 “sustainability” theme is the CO2 argument, whether scientifically sound or not. Overpopulation saturating the… Read more »
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