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                               11 November 1999


On 17 November, the United Nations University (UNU), in cooperation with the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will host the 1999 Fridtjof Nansen Memorial Lecture. The lecturer will be Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), who will speak on the topic of "Preparing for the Worst: Can we give hope to victims in complex emergencies?" Dr. Brundtland will discuss humanitarian responses to the deep social crises in which large numbers of people suffer from man-made disasters, including war displacement, disease and hunger.

Dr. Brundtland took her present position as Head of the WHO in July 1999. Trained as a medical doctor, she served as Norway's Minister of Environment from 1974-1979. In 1981, she was appointed Prime Minister for the first of three terms of service. She has served as Prime Minister of Norway for more than 10 years, most recently from 1990 through 1996. Among her numerous international positions, Dr. Brundtland chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development, which made recommendations leading to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero in 1992.

The Fridtjof Nansen Memorial Lecture is held annually to commemorate the birth of Norwegian explorer, scientist, and humanist Fridjtof Nansen. Born in 1861, Nansen undertook several expeditions to the Arctic. He served as Norwegian Delegate to the League of Nations and as Rector of St. Andrew's University in Scotland. In 1922, Nansen received the Nobel Peace Prize for his achievements as High Commissioner for Refugees of the League of Nations.

The 1999 lecture will take place from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 17 November, in the International Conference Hall (3F) of the UNU Headquarters. Simultaneous English-Japanese interpretation will be provided. The lecture is open to the public; admission is free, although advance registration is required.

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend.

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For further information, please contact:

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Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246     Fax (03) 3406-7346

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