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Brundtland says she means business

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 23 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1553
  1. Adrea Mach
  1. Geneva

    At the same time as celebrating its own 50th anniversary, the World Health Organisation last week confirmed the election of Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, who had formerly been prime minister of Norway three times, as the organisation's fifth director general.

    Applause broke out as the audience stood to honour the first woman to take the helm of the WHO. Dr Brundtland launched into her inaugural address, the leitmotiv of which was “hard work ahead.” She said: “The transition from one century to another sees changes which will be faster and more dramatic from an economic, social, and health perspective … WHO can and must change. It must become more effective, more accountable, more transparent, and more receptive to a changing world.”

    Dr Brundtland's overall motivation is “making a difference.” Her primary areas of concern for her five year term, which begins on 21 July, are: rolling back communicable and non-communicable diseases (malaria and tobacco were …

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