ASA researchers presented their work to Her Excellency Tarja Halonen
Researchers from the Advanced Systems Analysis program met H. E. Tarja Halonen, Finland’s former head of state, in the framework of her visit to IIASA and presented their research projects being carried out in collaboration with partners from Finland.
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.
She has also served as chair of the International Labour Organization’s World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. She is currently chair of the Council of Women World Leaders, whose mission is to bring together female leaders from around the world to achieve collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development. She takes a keen interest in topics that are central to IIASA research and has played an important role in the formation of the Sustainable Development Goals. “To me, the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals are the most important guarantee for the future of the world,” she said in 2015. In 2013 she was designated as Drylands Ambassador of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and in 2015 as a UN Global Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction. Along with IIASA Director General and CEO Professor Pavel Kabat and other senior researchers at IIASA, Halonen is part of the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group, a reflection group founded by IIASA and the European Forum Alpbach.