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    A Dialogue with Prof. Jeffrey Sachs and UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moonEthical Culture is honored to launch our Ethics in Action Initiative with an interview of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon by Professor Jeffrey Sachs. They discuss the U.N.’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, we 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.
Jeffrey D. Sachs is Professor of Sustainable Development and of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Sustainable Development Goals. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, director of the Millennium Villages Project, a world-renowned professor of economics, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist.