Oslo, Aug. 15 (CNA) An official of the Tang Prize Foundation was in Norway Friday to invite Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Tang Prize's first sustainable development laureate, and her husband to attend the award ceremony in Taiwan next month.
Chern Jenn-chuan, Tang Prize Foundation CEO, said he felt "greatly honored to call on a great person -- the winner of the Tang Prize in Sustainable Development."
Brundtland, a former prime minister of Norway, told Chern that she had just spent nearly two weeks working on material for her Taiwan trip in mid-September and was looking forward to her first trip to Taiwan.
She would also use the opportunity to learn about Taiwan's promotion of sustainable development.
The Tang Prize laureate was very positive when learning that Taiwan's government has set indoor air conditioners at above 26 degrees Celsius, noting that a lot of countries set temperatures too low in meetings.
Low thermostat settings not only waste energy but can also make people ill due to difficulties in adjusting to the temperature change, she said.
Brundtland, who founded the World Commission on Environment and Development in the 1980s that spawned the concept of sustainable development, will have a full itinerary in Taiwan, including a scheduled speech at a European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan luncheon.
The former prime minister has had an illustrious international career in addition to her political contributions in Norway.
She served as the director-general of the World Health Organization from 1998 to 2003, during which time she was credited for helping to prevent the spread of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and gained recognition for successfully negotiating an agreement on tobacco control.
She was also a UN Special Envoy on Climate Change from 2007 to 2010 and was on the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability from 2010 to 2012.
Brundtland currently serves as deputy chair of The Elders, a group of world leaders brought together in 2007 by late South African president Nelson Mandela to work for peace and human rights.
The Tang Prize was established in 2012 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin to honor leaders in four fields: sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and rule of law. Laureates are selected based on the originality and impact of their achievements, irrespective of nationality or ethnicity.
The five winners of the four prizes are expected to be in Taiwan for the awards ceremony.
(By Lilian Wu)