Selected Talks on the Geopolitics of Global Peace, Security and Sustainable Development by Prof Jeffrey Sachs (2023)

♦ The Geopolitics Of a Changing World: Allama Iqbal Lecture 2023

Reproduced from: The Geopolitics Of a Changing World: Allama Iqbal Lecture 2023 — Jeffrey D. Sachs (

The Geopolitics Of a Changing World by Professor Jeffrey Sachs

  • Jeffrey Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, and global leader in sustainable development. Sachs serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he holds the rank of University Professor. Sachs was the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University from 2002 to 2016. Prior to Columbia, Sachs spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, including as the Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade. Sachs has authored and edited numerous books, including three New York Times bestsellers: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). He is the recipient of several international prizes and has advised several governments across the globe. Prof Sachs has also served as the Special Advisor to UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-moon, and António Guterres.
  • The Dadabhoy Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Karachi that seeks to promote the educational, cultural, and scientific development of Pakistani society. The Sir Muhammad Iqbal Lecture is supported by the Dadabhoy Foundation whose Board of Trustees includes Mr Abdul Ghani Dadabhoy, an Oxford alumnus.
  • The Oxford Pakistan Programme (OPP) is an initiative led by Pakistani-origin alumni and academics that seeks to generate new opportunities for Pakistani-origin scholars at the University of Oxford, promote academic exchange between Oxford and Pakistan’s institutions of higher learning and broaden academic conversations on Pakistan at oxford. The OPP is anchored at Lady Margaret Hall.

For further information visit:

Date: 2 March 2023

Time: 5:00PM GMT (10PM PST)

Location: Simpkins Lee Theatre, Lady Margaret Hall, Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6QA

♦ Briefing to the UN Security Council on the Nord Stream pipeline

Reproduced and clipped from: Briefing to the UN Security Council on the Nord Stream pipeline — Jeffrey D. Sachs (



21 FEBRUARY 2023

Summary of the session can be found here:

UN News piece here:

Prof. Sachs’ testimony begins at 5:30.

Testimony of

Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs

University Professor at Columbia University

UN Security Council Session on the Nord Stream Pipeline Destruction

February 21, 2023

As Delivered

My name is Jeffrey D. Sachs.  I am University Professor at Columbia University. I am a specialist in the global economy, including global trade, finance, infrastructure, and economic statecraft.  I appear before the UN Security Council on my own behalf.  I represent no government or organization in the testimony that I will deliver.

The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines on September 26, 2022 constitutes an act of international terrorism and represents a threat to the peace.  It is the responsibility of the UN Security Council to take up the question of who might have carried out the act, in order to bring the perpetrator to international justice, to pursue compensation for the damaged parties, and to prevent future such actions.

The consequences of the destruction of Nord Stream 2 are enormous.  They include not only the vast economic losses related to the pipelines themselves and their future potential use, but also the heightened threat to transboundary infrastructure of all kinds: submarine internet cables, international pipelines for gas and hydrogen, transboundary power transmission, offshore wind farms, and more.  The global transformation to green energy will require considerable transboundary infrastructure, including in international waters.  Countries need to have full confidence that their infrastructure will not be destroyed by third parties.  Some European countries have recently expressed concern over the safety of their offshore infrastructure.

For all of these reasons, the investigation by the UN Security Council of the Nord Stream explosions is a high global priority.

The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines required a very high degree of planning, expertise, and technological capacity.  The Nord Stream 2 pipelines are a marvel of engineering (see, for example, here and here).  Each section of pipe is rolled steel of 4.5 cm thickness, and with a pipeline internal diameter of 1.15 meters.  The pipe is encased in concrete of 10.9 cm thickness.  The weight of each section of concrete-encased pipe is 24 metric tons. The Nord Stream 2 pipelines, some 1,200 kilometers in length, contain around 200,000 pipes.  The pipelines sit on the sea floor.

Destroying a pipeline of heavy rolled steel, encased in concrete, at the depth of 70-90 meters, requires highly advanced technologies for transportation of the explosives, diving to install the explosives, and detonation.  To do so undetected, in the exclusive economic zones of Denmark and Sweden, adds greatly to the complexity of the operation.  As a number of senior officials have confirmed, an action of this sort must have been carried out by a state-level actor.

Only a handful of state-level actors have both the technical capacity and access to the Baltic Sea to have carried out this action. These include Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, Norway, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, either individually or in some combination.  Ukraine lacks the necessary technologies, as well as access to the Baltic Sea.

A recent report by the Washington Post revealed that the intelligence agencies of the NATO countries have privately concluded that there is no evidence whatsoever that Russia carried out this action.  This also comports with the fact that Russia had no obvious motive to carry out this act of terrorism on its own critical infrastructure.  Indeed, Russia is likely to bear considerable expenses to repair the pipelines.

Three countries have reportedly carried out investigations of the Nord Stream terrorism: Denmark, Germany, and Sweden.  These countries presumably know much about the circumstances of the terrorist attack. Sweden, in particular, has perhaps the most to tell the world about the crime scene, which its divers investigated. Yet instead of sharing this information globally, Sweden has kept the results of its investigation secret from the rest of the world.  Sweden has refused to share its findings with Russia, and turned down a joint investigation with Denmark and Germany.   In the interest of global peace, the UN Security Council should require these countries to immediately turn over the results of their investigations to the UN Security Council.

There is only one detailed account to date of the Nord Stream destruction, the one recently put forward by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, ostensibly based on information leaked to Hersh by an unnamed source.  Hersh attributes the Nord Stream destruction to a decision ordered by US President Joe Biden and carried out by US agents in a covert operation that Hersh describes in detail.  The White House has described Hersh’s account as “completely and utterly false,” but did not offer any information contradicting Hersh’s account and did not offer any alternative explanation.

Senior US officials made statements before and after the Nord Stream destruction that showed the US animus towards the pipelines.  On January 27, 2022, Under-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland tweeted, “If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” On February 7, 2022, President Biden said, “If Russia invades… again, then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.” When asked by the reporter how he would do that, he responded, “I promise you we will be able to do it.”

On September 30, 2022 immediately following the terrorist attack on the pipeline, Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that the destruction of the pipeline is “also a tremendous opportunity.  It’s a tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy and thus to take away from Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial designs.”  On January 28, 2023, Under-Secretary Nuland declared to Senator Ted Cruz, “I am, and I think the administration is, very gratified to know that Nord Stream 2 is now, as you like to say, a hunk of metal at the bottom of the sea.”

Such language is not at all appropriate in the face of international terrorism.  I hope that the US together with all other Security Council members will condemn this heinous act of international terrorism and join together in an urgent UNSC-led investigation of this international crime in order to determine the truth.  The truth is not yet known by the world, but it is knowable.

More than ever, the world depends on the UN Security Council to do its work to stop the escalation to a new world war. The world will be safe only when the permanent members work together diplomatically to solve global crises, including the war in Ukraine and the rising tensions in East Asia.  The UN Security Council provides the unique global venue for that peace-affirming work.  More than ever, we need a healthy, functioning UN Security Council carrying out the mission assigned to it by the UN Charter.

A UN Security Council objective investigation of the Nord Stream terrorism, in which all countries contribute what they know, is important for the global confidence in this body and most importantly, for global peace and sustainable development.

♦ Jeffrey Sachs on Seymour Hersh, Nord Stream Bombing, Ukraine & the Cold War with China

Reproduced from: Jeffrey Sachs on Seymour Hersh, Nord Stream Bombing, Ukraine & the Cold War with China

acTVism Munich

Premiered Mar 7, 2023

In this episode of The Source, we speak with world-renowned economist and best-selling author Jeffrey Sachs about Seymour Hersh’s article on the US bombing of the Nord Stream pipeline. We take a look at recent developments around Ukraine and examine why the West should pursue diplomacy instead of weapons. Finally, we talk about the new cold war with China and how to achieve a vision of peace and multilateralism in the 21st century.

♦ The Role of Sustainability Amidst Current Global Crises

Reproduced from: Jeffrey D. Sachs: The Role of Sustainability Amidst Current Global Crises — Jeffrey D. Sachs (

Economics professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development presentation at the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB).


Reproduced from: Jeffrey Sachs: US FOREIGN POLICY AFTER THE MID TERM ELECTIONS — Jeffrey D. Sachs (



Against a background of an international climate of heightened tensions, an unprecedented act of military aggression by Russia against Ukraine, many unresolved issues in the US relationship to China, the Mid Term Election of November 2022 has altered the domestic political landscape in the US. Foreign policy mainly is in the domain of the President. Nevertheless, the question whether and to what extent the outcome of the election can impact on foreign policy in general and on the President’s capability to shape it needs to be explored

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader in sustainable development. He serves as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. He is also President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, and an SDG Advocate for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. From 2001-18, Sachs served as Special Advisor to UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan (2001-7), Ban Ki-moon (2008-16), and António Guterres (2017-18). Sachs has authored and edited numerous books, most recently A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism (2018), and The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020).

Eva Nowotny, Board Member of Bruno Kreisky Forum, Amb. ret., Chair of the Vienna University Board

Recorded at Kreisky Forum, December 14, 2022

♦ Interreligious Perspectives on Peace and Development

Reproduced from: Interreligious Perspectives on Peace and Development: A Conversation with Jeffrey Sachs — Jeffrey D. Sachs (

December 15, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. EST
Location: Online Zoom Webinar

How do and can religious, interreligious, and intrareligious networks mobilize their strengths and partnerships in support of peace and development? How can they support and prod global institutions and leaders facing multiple global crises? What are the prospects for a “culture of encounter” (a phrase often used by Pope Francis) that fosters dialogue and collaboration across the religious-secular divide?

The Berkley Center’s Katherine Marshall addressed these questions with Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, a leading voice in calling for action across the wide agenda of issues for sustainable development, as well as an influential advisor to multilateral and national leaders and religious bodies.

More about the event here

♦ Book: Ethics in Action for Sustainable Development

Reproduced from: Ethics in Action for Sustainable Development | Columbia University Press

Edited by Jeffrey D. Sachs, Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Owen Flanagan, William Vendley, Anthony Annett, and Jesse Thorson. Foreword by Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations in 2015, comprise an ambitious and sweeping agenda that unites economic, social, and environmental aims. What resources do the world’s religious and secular traditions offer in support of these objectives? Which principles do these traditions hold in common, and how can these shared values help advance global goals?

This book presents an in-depth and deeply engaged conversation among interfaith religious leaders and interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners in pursuit of an ethical consensus that could ground sustainable development efforts. Drawing on more than two years of close-knit discussions convened by Jeffrey D. Sachs and Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, it offers an extensive and inclusive vision of how to promote human flourishing. The book features theological, philosophical, and ethical deliberations of great diversity and depth on the challenges of sustainable development, addressing questions of poverty, environmental justice, peace, conflict, and the future of work. It includes consensus statements on the moral imperatives of sustainable development, introductions to seven major religious traditions and their conceptions of the common good, and thematic reflections. Wide-ranging and urgent, this book represents a major contribution to interreligious dialogue and to the articulation of a shared global ethics.

The book features a foreword by Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.


Jeffrey D. Sachs is University Professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University as well as president of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and he has been an advisor to three UN secretaries-general.

Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo is a Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Vescovio, Italy, and former chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

Owen Flanagan is James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and codirector of the Center for Comparative Philosophy at Duke University.

William Vendley is secretary general emeritus of Religions for Peace International and vice president and senior advisor for religion at the Fetzer Institute.

Anthony Annett is a Gabelli Fellow at Fordham University and senior advisor at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Jesse Thorson is program manager at the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

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