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The G20, human health and sustainability: an interview with Jeffrey D Sachs

We must reinvigorate our sense of humanity, justice and foresight

Jeffrey Sachs is an American economist and Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is known as a commentator and advocate for the relief of poverty, the achievement of improved health in developing countries and for environmental sustainability. From 2000 to 2001, he chaired the World Health Organization Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, which made clear the linkage between health gain, relief of poverty and economic growth.

Sachs is author of The end of poverty: economic possibilities for our time (2005). His most recent book is To move the world: JFK’s quest for peace (2013).

He was interviewed by the Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia, Stephen Leeder, who worked with Sachs in New York in 2003–2004, about the upcoming G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia, in November.

What is your primary message as an economist interested in the relief of poverty about sustainability and its relation to both economics and human health?

It is not possible to consider ending poverty…

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