Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland received an honorary doctorate degree of Medicine of from the National Cheng Kung University President Dr. Huey-Jen Jenny Su (蘇慧貞) at the closing ceremony of the third Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development on April 3rd. The lecture was attended with NCKU faculty and students from Tainan First Senior High School and Tainan Sheng Kung High schools. On the same day, Dr. Brundtland presented a plenary lecture on “Sustainable Development Goals, a Thirty Year Story of International Collaboration” and attended the 2018 Brundtland Week closing ceremony.
“We are privileged to present the honorary doctorate of Medicine to Dr. Brundtland,” said Dr. Su. “Dr. Brundtland’s path-taking endeavors have profoundly inspired hundreds and thousands of public health practitioners, environmental scientists, and to some extent the politicians around the world to believe that there can always be a great calling and higher aim regardless of the disciplines if we bring passion and vision into each and every one of our profession.”
At the commencement of the lecture, Dr. Brundtland gave her word of appreciation to Tang Prize Foundation for the grant, with which NCKU has successfully assembled the Brundtland Week of Women in sustainable development for three years. Dr. Brundtland started to share her thirty year journey in sustainable development with a phenomenal global event back in 2015, when The United Nations approves the Sustainable Development Goals. “It brings the global countries and leaders together for a common future. This is my life story of 30 years, to engage for sustainable development and our common future.”
“When there is a hope, push for a change.”
“I want to change the society and the attitude,” said Dr. Brundtland. “A doctor is who wanted to heal and who wanted to change. Not least to change the causes of suffering and injustice. There is a very close connection between being a doctor and a politician. The doctor tries to prevent illness, the tries to treat it if it comes. That’s exactly the same as what you try to do as a politician, but regard to society.”
Gro Harlem Brundtland, A medical doctor and Master of Public Health (MPH), spent 10 years as a physician and scientist in the Norwegian public health system, before she was nominated as Norwegian Environmental Minister in 1974, and the first female Prime Minister of Norway in 1981. With her domestic political career, Dr Brundtland has developed a growing concern for issues of global significance. In 1983, she chaired the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, and published the 1987 Brundtland Report, “Our Common Future”, which introduced sustainable development into global agenda at the Earth Summit in 1992 and Kyoto Protocol in 1997.
Dr. Brundtland continues to tackle on the global challenges of public health and climate change. Elected as the Director-General of the World Health Organization in 1998, she set the tone to “be combating disease and ill-health - promoting sustainable and equitable health systems in all countries” in her acceptance speech for the World Health Assembly. Among her accomplishments were negotiating a major multilateral treaty on tobacco, as well as the rapid response to the SARS epidemic, for which she was named Policy Leader of the Year by Scientific American Magazine.
Dr. Brundtland was appointed as the UN Special Envoys for Climate Change in 2007 and a member of UN Secretary Generals’ “High Level Global Sustainability Panel” in 2010. With her effort, the approval of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 and the Paris Agreement show that there is a global commitment now to acknowledging the problem and working together to solve it.
Recognized as “the mother of sustainable development, Dr. Brundtland travels and lectures extensively as a leading voice on climate change, an advocate for a healthier and better educated world, and a champion of sustainable development.
“Sustainable Development is s development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” – Our Common Future, 1987 the Brundtland Report
“Everything is linked to everything else. Environment and development are to be integrated,” said Dr. Brundtland on April 3rd. “We care for the quality of growth. We need to make the consequences transparent, to education the generations, to engage the private sectors, to take on global responsibility, to introduce innovation and change policies. We need to reduce the impact of global warming and climate change, for our common future.”
Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development (2016-2018)
“The Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development is a generous and visionary initiative from Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland,” said Dr. Su. “The Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development was made possible by her generosity aimed to enhance the involvement of younger women researchers from developing countries in the issues of sustainable development and public health, and to build a network and support system among female scientists from different countries.”
The Brundtland Week is a three-year project, from 2016 to 2018, granted with Dr. Brundtland’s Tang Prize in 2014. With Dr. Brundtland’s grant her 2014 Tang Prize award, the Brundtland Week awards fifteen outstanding female scientists to visit Taiwan. Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-Chuan (陳振川) said, “Tang Prize grant is used for a good cause. It is the partnership that matters.” With her 2014 Tang Prize money, Dr. Brundtland also grants the community hygiene programs in Tanzania.
The 2018 Brundtland Week award was given to Dr. Natisha Dukhi (South Africa), Dr. Barbara Burmen (Kenya), Dr. Neha Dahiya (India), Dr. Weena Gera (Philippines) and Dr. Sarva Mangala Praveena (Malaysia). They co-presented on “Healthy Cities in Asia and Africa: Exploring Community Initiatives to Address Air Pollution in Complex urban system” to NCKU President Dr. Su and Dr. Brundtland, after the award ceremony.
Raise our torch for a sustainable future
At the closing of 2018 Brundtland Week, Dr. Su said, “I am also hopeful and motivated when we officially close to the weeklong activities as what you have presented which are comprised of diverse disciplines and carrying the ultimate spirit of sustainability…the network and capacity to facilitate sustainability development is seeded in another corner of the globe. Taiwan, as a country, and I myself as the professor, are proud to showcase you the next batch of capable cadets as we raise our torch for a sustainable future!”
成功大學3日頒發名譽博士學位予挪威前總理格羅．哈萊姆．布倫特蘭女士（Gro Harlem Brundtland），她被譽為「永續發展教母」，是首屆唐獎永續發展獎得主。成大校長蘇慧貞推崇Dr. Gro Brundtland身為全球卓越領袖，歷任挪威總理、聯合國環境與發展委員會主席及世界衛生組織總幹事等職位，推動環境永續發展，並激勵許多女性科學家進行重要工作改善人類生活品質，「成大以莫大的榮譽歡迎挪威國母接受名譽博士，繼續推動未來世代在兼顧環境永續與經濟發展的平衡目標。」
蘇慧貞校長指出，Dr. Gro Brundtland是醫生也是政治人物，醫生的工作主要在預防及治療疾病，政治則是在預防社會問題創造解決方案並擴及全球影響力。永續發展的主要目標就是在經濟發展的同時兼顧環境永續，Dr. Gro Brundtland不但捐出獎金中的500萬元支持「女性永續發展科學週」活動，提供了女性科學家交流與合作的平台，也有機會看到台灣不同區域面臨的挑戰。
蘇慧貞校長也推崇，Dr. Gro Brundtland捐出另一部份獎金在坦尚尼亞支援262個單位改善當地環境衛生，讓230萬人受益，同時更激勵無數女性科學家從事更重要工作，改善了人類生活品質與永續發展。Dr. Gro Brundtland的先生Arne Olav Brundtland此次特別陪同來到成大，校長蘇慧貞致詞時透露，Arne Olav Brundtland是國際關係專家，但身處保守黨，與Dr. Gro Brundtland隸屬的工黨是不同黨派，每天吃早餐都像開國際研討會。引起現場一片笑聲。
授予典禮上午在成大格致堂舉行，校長蘇慧貞親自為Dr. Gro Brundtland撥穗、授證，副教務長王育民宣讀推薦書，2018女性永續發展科學週5位Gro Brundtland Award得獎者、成大黃正弘副校長等主管以及Dr. Gro Brundtland的先生Arne Olav Brundtland皆出席觀禮。Dr. Gro Brundtland隨後以「Sustainable Development Goals, a Thirty Year Story of International Collaboration（聯合國永續發展目標：回溯30年國際合作概況）」為題發表演說。
Dr. Gro Brundtland在演說中表示，她35年來致力於推動國際合作，促進全球永續發展，1983年擔任聯合國環境與發展委員會主席，1987年發布《我們共同的未來》（Our Common Future）的報告，又稱為《布倫特蘭報告》，並成為1992年在巴西里約熱內盧召開的第一屆聯合國環境與發展大會（UNCED），亦稱「地球高峰會」（Earth Summit）的主要議程。同年也推動了「21世紀議程」（Agenda 21），視之為人類邁向永續發展的藍圖。
Dr. Gro Brundtland指出，地球氣候變遷及人口成長造成水資源缺乏及食物供應壓力，此外全球國家貧富不均使得貧窮國家受到上述問題更大影響，當時在《布倫特蘭報告》中即已提出。她曾一再強調，「永續發展是符合當代發展需求又不能犧牲下一代福祉。」代表必須正視經濟成長的品質，不傷害環境，減少全球暖化、氣候變遷的影響，政策的改變勢在必行，某些國家的能源政策將會造成貧窮國家的衝擊，例如在非洲、中國等地區創造經濟成長的模式造成全球社會不穩定，而這都是為了「我們共同的未來」必須努力的方向。
演講後特別開放在場學子提問，聖功女中同學提問，在推動女性平權數十年歷程中曾遭遇何種挑戰？Dr. Gro Brundtland回答指出，她最近曾看到1則新聞影片剪輯，回顧1961年針對挪威民眾意見調查，受訪的50多歲男性民眾直言應該要由男性擔任總理，但受訪的年輕女性卻說：也該是改變的時候了。但是改變並非一蹴可及，1981年她當上第一任女性總理，民眾的態度在她總理任期中才慢慢改變，2013年挪威選出第二位女性總理，大眾理所當然的接受，再沒有性別上的質疑。
Dr. Gro Brundtland說，母親曾質疑她為何要從政，而她回答，「因為想改變社會、改變民眾的態度，等到下一任女性總理上任時就會有所不同。我證明了我是對的！這也激勵大家，只要認為有希望就要去努力推動讓改變發生，現在是女人說話的時代，男人應該要更加傾聴。」
法學院學生詢問如何平衡職涯與家庭，Dr. Gro Brundtland說，自己曾任挪威環境部長、總理也曾任政黨黨魁，任期中她不斷推動兩性平權，為提高女性權利，從法規制度面改變家庭傳統觀念，例如她曾積極推動產假，在她那一代產假12週，她女兒是18週，而到她孫女則可有1年產假，同時男性也有育嬰假14至52週。
【小檔案】Gro Harlem Brundtland於1963年畢業於奧斯陸大學醫學系、1965年獲美國哈佛大學公共衛生碩士學位、1974年出任工黨政府環境保護大臣、1975年當選工黨副主席、1981年出任挪威首相，成為挪威歷史上第一位女首相、1984年被聯合國秘書長任命為聯合國環境與發展委員會主席、1998年擔任世界衛生組織總幹事、2014年獲首屆唐獎永續發展獎。