1998 Honorary Member
Maurice Strong, special adviser to the secretary general, is a native of Oak Lake in the Canadian province of Manitoba. His first major U.N. role came in 1972 when he chaired the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden. He then went on to become the first executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme and executive coordinator of the U.N. Office for Emergency Operations in Africa during the famine relief effort of 1984-86. One of his most visible roles was as secretary-general of the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, otherwise known as the Rio Earth Summit. More recently, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan named him executive coordinator for United Nations reform. Strongs involvement in Canadian public life has been equally prolific. A member of the Queens Privy Council, recipient of the Order of Canada, the Pearson Peace Medal and 41 honorary degrees, Strong has held many high ranking positions in both government and the private sector. He has been president of the Canadian International Development Agency and Power Corporation, president and chairman of the International Development Research Centre and Petro Canada, and more recently chairman and chief executive officer of Ontario Hydro. He has served as president of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, as a member of the World Commission on Environment and Development and as chairman of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Currently Strong is chairman of the Earth Council, a global coalition that facilitates links between governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and individuals as they search for a new development paradigm.