Calendar of Events

All events are open to the public.

December 8, 2017

Sustaining Peace: Partnerships for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

A UN-led dialogue with governments, the private sector, civil society, and academia on how we can build a global vision on sustaining peace!

Register here.


With its twin resolutions on review of the UN peacebuilding architecture in 2016, in both the General Assembly [A/RES/70/262)] and the Security Council [S/RES/2282(2016)], the United Nations has made a commitment to taking a more comprehensive approach to peace. Further, the President of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, identified peacebuilding and sustaining peace as a key priority for his term. The General Assembly acknowledges the role of a variety of stakeholders in assisting these national authorities fulfill their goals. With this understanding, the President aims to engage in a dialogue with civil society, academia and the private sector to elaborate on these strategic and operational partnerships, which are indispensable elements in pursuing a comprehensive approach to peace as required by the new concept of sustaining peace.

Event Overview

The meeting “Sustaining Peace: Partnerships for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding” will serve as one of the critical events in the process leading up to a High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly to be convened by the President on the 24th and 25th of April, 2018, and a valuable platform for the relevant stakeholders to present their perspectives. The event will engage diverse stakeholders in discussion on preventing conflict and addressing its root causes. Participants will include university students and faculty, private sector representatives, civil society organizations, and government representatives.

This half-day dialogue will provide a platform for learning and exchange on this topic. It will foster conversation among all participants on challenges and opportunities for sustaining peace in practice. Through this event and subsequent meetings, it is hoped that momentum can be built and sustained beyond the UN, and that greater visibility will be given to this critical issue.

Draft Agenda

Registration opens at 9:00 am

Opening Remarks, 9:30 am – 10:00 am

  • President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák
  • H.E. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet, Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General
  • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Director of the SDSN
  • Shamina Singh, President, MasterCard Centre for Inclusive Growth

Panel 1: Conflict Prevention in Sustaining Peace, 10:00 am – 11:15 am

In the first panel, we will emphasize how prevention plays a key role in sustaining peace. Panel discussants will unpack sustaining peace and situate it in the context of other mutually-supportive agendas, such as those for sustainable development and human rights. The panel will also look at how different actors can best contribute to the preventive aspects of sustaining peace.

  • Miroslav Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General, Officer-in-Charge for Department of Political Affairs, United Nations
  • Anne-Marie Goetz, Clinical Professor, New York University Center for Global Affairs
  • Teresa Jennings, Head of Rule of Law Department, LexisNexis Legal & Professional
  • B. Abel Learwellie, Executive Director and Founder, Camp for Peace Liberia
  • Moderator: Paige Arthur, Deputy Director, New York University’s Center on International Cooperation

Coffee Break, 11:15 – 11:30 am

Panel 2: How Partnerships Can Support Sustaining Peace, 11:30 am – 12:45 pm

Equal, inclusive, and sustainable partnerships with diverse stakeholders are essential for the promotion, development and maintenance of sustaining peace as these actors often possess localized expertise and institutional knowledge. The second panel will explore the many partnerships towards this goal that have emerged between UN and regional organizations, governments, international financial institutions, civil society, academia, and the private sector, and examine some case studies on what has worked well.

  • H.E. Ambassador María Emma Mejía Vélez, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN
  • Ambassador Hahn Choong-hee, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations and Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)
  • Henk-Jan Brinkman, Director of Policy, UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO)
  • Alexandre Marc, Chief Specialist, Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group, World Bank Group
  • Bridget Moix, US Senior Representative and Head of Advocacy, Peace Direct
  • Moderator: Andrew Tomlinson, Director and Quaker UN Representative, Quaker United Nations Office

Closing Remarks, 12:45 pm – 1:00 pm

  • Office of the President of the General Assembly

Click here to download speaker biographies.

Questions? Please email

Unable to attend in person? We’ll be live streaming this event at

Start: December 8, 2017 9:00 am
End: December 8, 2017 1:00 pm
Venue: Faculty House, Columbia University
64 Morningside Drive , New York, NY, 10027, United States

February 9, 2017

Ethics in Action: Ethics and Wall Street


Almost a decade ago, the world plunged into the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression—a crisis from which we are still recovering. This crisis was driven largely by a culture of greed, excess, and reckless risk-taking in the financial sector. In the aftermath of that crisis, the Obama administration opted to bail out Wall Street rather than Main Street, prioritizing the balance sheets of banks over homeowners. At the same time, hardly anyone in the sector was held accountable, and its culture did not change. According to a recent survey of 1,200 financial professionals, 20 percent felt it was sometimes necessary for people to engage in illegal or unethical behavior to succeed. Over the past decade, Wall Street firms have been embroiled in wave after wave of financial fraud and malfeasance—receiving barely more than a slap on the wrist for each ethical transgression.

Not only does Wall Street continue to operate with almost complete impunity, but it enjoys outsized influence in the halls of power. With the new administration, even limited attempts at reform such as the Dodd-Frank Act could now be on the chopping block.

This is a core issue where ethics bumps hard into economic reality, as unethical action can have deep and lasting consequences for individuals and society. It also raises vital questions about the kinds of values that should underpin our economy.

At this event, Professor Jeffrey Sachs will moderate a robust discussion on the role of the financial sector in furthering the common good of society. It will address what Wall Street does right, what it does wrong, what reforms are needed, and what role ethical deliberation should play in guiding financial market participants.

Our distinguished panel includes:

  • Judge Jed Rakoff, US District Judge for the Southern District of New York, Adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia Law School
  • Sheelah Kolhatkar, Staff Writer at The New Yorker and author of Black Edge
  • Ari Melber, MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent
  • Bob Ivry, Staff reporter for Bloomberg News and author of The Seven Sins of Wall Street

Signed copies of books by Ms. Kolhatkar and Mr. Ivry will be available for purchase after the event. Professor Sachs will also be signing copies of his new book, Building the New American Economy (foreword by Bernie Sanders).

Please join us by registering at the attached link. This event is free. Following the discussion, you will have a chance to ask questions of the panelists.

Start: February 9, 2017 6:30 pm
End: February 9, 2017 8:00 pm
Venue: New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street at Central Park West, New York, NY, 10023, United States
Cost: Free

January 18, 2017

Book Launch – Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair & Sustainable

This event will include a lecture by Professor Sachs, followed by a book signing. The event is free and open to the public.

Please register HERE.

Start: January 18, 2017 4:30 pm
End: January 18, 2017 6:00 pm
Venue: Low Library Rotunda
Columbia University, New York, NY, 10027, United States
Cost: Free

November 29, 2016

Ethics in Action: “The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals” with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon


A Dialogue with Prof. Jeffrey Sachs and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Join the Ethics in Action Initiative for an interview with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon by Professor Jeffrey Sachs. They will discuss the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted last September by 193 countries — goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years, and for that to happen, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and… us New Yorkers.

Collaborating with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Religions for Peace, Ethical Culture will convene a series of meetings over the next few months, bringing together a select group of community leaders to dialogue with Jeffrey Sachs about some of the great social, economic, political, and environmental challenges facing the world today — and specifically facing New York City.

Based on the premise that these are profoundly ethical challenges, they require not only technical solutions but the actualization of universal ethical principles such as human dignity, social justice, the common good, and shared well-being. Since individuals and communities at all levels have genuine capacities to respond to these challenges, they have related moral obligations to do so. The issues will be discussed in an effort identify the values and ethics needed to respond effectively to them—and hopefully to forge a shared moral consensus that can serve as an impetus for action.

Start: November 29, 2016 6:30 pm
End: November 29, 2016 8:00 pm
Venue: New York Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street at Central Park West, New York, NY, 10023, United States
Cost: Free

March 5, 2015

The Age of Sustainable Development

Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, presents The Age of Sustainable Development, offering readers a way to understand the world and help solve its problems through a holistic approach to well-being and development.

See more information here

Start: March 5, 2015 7:00 pm
End: March 5, 2015 8:00 pm
Venue: Barnes & Noble
2289 Broadway, New York City, NY, 10024, United States
Cost: Free

March 2, 2015

Book Launch: The Age of Sustainable Development

Jeffrey D. Sachs is one of the world’s most perceptive and original analysts of global development. In this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can use a holistic way forward to address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice: sustainable development.

Sachs offers readers, students, activists, environmentalists, and policy makers the tools, metrics, and practical pathways they need to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Far more than a rhetorical exercise, this book is designed to inform, inspire, and spur action. Based on Sachs’s twelve years as director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, his thirteen years advising the United Nations secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals, and his recent presentation of these ideas in a popular online course, The Age of Sustainable Development is a landmark publication and clarion call for all who care about our planet and global justice.

Register here

Start: March 2, 2015 4:30 pm
End: March 2, 2015 6:00 pm
Venue: Casa Italiana
1161 Amsterdam Ave, New York City, NY, 10025, United States
Cost: Free

March 1, 2015

The Future of Life on Earth

What can we do today to help prepare future generations for the life on earth that awaits them?

Learn what positive steps can be taken now to adapt to changing populations and climates, and see how we can build and envision a positive human future.

There will be a selling and signing of Jeffrey Sachs’ book, The Age of Sustainable Development, following the event.
Start: March 1, 2015 7:30 pm
End: March 1, 2015 9:00 pm
Venue: 92Y
Lexington Avenue at 92nd St, New York City, NY, United States
Cost: 30

July 15, 2013

London: ‘To Move the World’ Discussion

Register here.

Start: July 15, 2013 6:30 pm
End: July 15, 2013 8:00 pm
Venue: London School of Economics
United States

June 14, 2013

Beyond the Great Recession and Beyond GDP

The Institute for Policy Studies’ Genuine Progress Project joins Demos in welcoming Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs for a dialogue on measuring and sustaining what matters in the 21st-Century Economy.

Start: June 14, 2013 4:30 pm
End: June 14, 2013 6:00 pm
Venue: Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
United States

Wash DC: ‘To Move the World’ Discussion

Register here.

Start: June 14, 2013 12:30 pm
End: June 14, 2013 2:00 pm
Venue: World Bank Auditorium
United States