22 August 2016
IIASA, Laxenburg

Lecture by Her Excellency Tarja Halonen: Equality – The Core of Sustainable Development

Tarja Halonen, Finland’s first female head of state, gives a lecture at IIASA exploring how to build sustainable development on three essential pillars: social, economic and ecological.  

© Matthias Silveri | IIASA

© Matthias Silveri | IIASA

Halonen was Finland’s president from 2000 to 2012. Among many other distinguished positions, she is currently a member of the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and was co-chair of the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability from 2010 to 2012. In her lecture she explores the Sustainable Development Goals, which she has been involved with from their initial formulation. The former president discusses the need for investment and commitment, but also the considerable pay back we will receive if we are successful.

Halonen focuses on human rights, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights, decent work, climate change, desertification and disaster risk reduction among other topics. These span the issues that she has worked on during the process that led to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.


About the speaker

Halonen’s career is rooted in social justice and a firm commitment to human rights. Trained in law, she initially worked as a lawyer for the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions before being elected to parliament in 1979, serving as an MP for 21 years. An early advocate for LGBT rights, she was chair of the main Finnish gay rights organization, Seta, from 1980 to 1981.




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Last edited: 14 October 2016

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