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The health sector should take its rightful place at the core of the sustainable development agenda, Gro Harlem Brundtland, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), told attendees at the Third Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in London, England, on June 16.

Brundtland listed a series of major challenges to health and the environment on a global and regional basis. These challenges include the lack of adequate water supplies for one billion people worldwide and lack of proper sanitation facilities for three billion people, and at least one-half million deaths worldwide each year due to outdoor air pollution.