Gro Harlem Brundtland

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Person.png Gro Harlem Brundtland   Sourcewatch WikiquoteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Gro Harlem Brundtland (cropped).jpg
BornGro Harlem
Bærum, Norway
Alma materUniversity of Oslo, Harvard University
SpouseArne Olav Brundtland
Member ofClub de Madrid

Employment.png Prime Minister of Norway Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
3 November 1990 - 25 October 1996

Employment.png Prime Minister of Norway Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
9 May 1986 - 16 October 1989

Employment.png Prime Minister of Norway Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
4 February 1981 - 14 October 1981
Succeeded byKåre Willoch

[[|x22px|link=Director-General of the World Health Organization]] Director-General of the World Health Organization

In office
13 May 1998 - 21 July 2003

[[|x22px|link=Minister of the Environment]] Minister of the Environment

In office
1 July 1974 - 19 March 1979

Gro Harlem Brundtland is a Norwegian politician, who served three terms as Prime Minister of Norway (1981, 1986–89, and 1990–96)and as Director-General of the World Health Organization from 1998 to 2003. She is also known for having chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development which presented the Brundtland Report on sustainable development.


Gro Harlem Brundtland is born in a bourgeois family in the rich parts of Oslo, Norway's capital. Her father, Gudmund Harlem was defense minister for the Labour government during the Cold War, from 1961-65. In 1963, Gro graduated with a medical degree, a from the University of Oslo. She took her master's degree at Harvard University in 1965, as a Master of Public Health, at the same time as her husband, security academic Arne Olav Brundtland's stay there at the Center for International Affairs (founded by Henry Kissinger).

Brundtland joined the Labour Party, and had a meteoric career, maybe thanks to the networks of her father and husband.

She entered the government in 1974 as Minister of the Environment.

By 1981, she was prime minister in a short 8-month period despite only 4 years of parliamentary experience. She consolidated her party leadership, and became Norwegian Prime Minister for two further, and more durable, terms. The second ministry was from 9 May 1986 until 16 October 1989; The third ministry was from 3 November 1990 to 25 October 1996.

Brundtland belonged to the moderate (ie economically liberal) wing of her party, and made sure the party kept it's dedication to NATO.[1]

She led the extensive efforts to get the country to join the European Union in 1994, thwarted by a referendum. Norway is still not part of EU. Brundtland received the EU's 1994 Charlemagne Prize, for her service for European unification.

As Prime Minister Brundtland was given the nickname "mother of the nation" by the press.

During her third ministry, the Norwegian government in 1993 took the initiative to sponsor secret peace talks between the Government of Israel led by Yitzchak Rabin and the PLO led by Yasser Arafat. This culminated with the signing of the Oslo Accords, branded as an equitable deal, but which in rality consolidated Israeli control over the area.

After the end of her term as PM, Brundtland was then elected Director-General of the World Health Organization in May 1998. In this capacity, Brundtland adopted a far-reaching approach to public health, establishing a Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, chaired by pro-market liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs.

Brundtland is also a member of the Club of Madrid and Deputy Chair of The Elders.


In a 2017 interview, she complained "We are losing control of what people are told"[2]

"When it comes to technology and democracy, more control is needed over the internet, and with social media. They cannot be a garbage can where gravely erroneous things can stand there unchallenged. The challenge is that concepts like freedom of speech stand high in people's consciousness. This is of course important, but if we interpret freedom of speech too broadly, it also includes the right to spread false opinions."[3]


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/198214 May 198216 May 1982Norway
Rica Park Hotel
Bilderberg/198313 May 198315 May 1983Canada
Château Montebello