Global Experts Convene in Kuala Lumpur to Move ASEAN Stakeholders Towards Sustainable Development Goals

World-renowned economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs to speak at inaugural conference and launch of the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway University


BANDAR SUNWAY, Malaysia, Nov. 14, 2016 -- The Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Association are launching the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC) at Sunway University in Malaysia, as a catalytic move to mobilise comprehensive collaboration, particularly amongst Southeast Asian nations, to move towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development is the result of a gift of USD10 million from the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, Malaysia's largest education-focused social enterprise. To date, the gift is the largest financial commitment focused on SDG education and implementation since 193 members of the UN adopted the 17 goals in September 2015.

In conjunction with the launch, there will be an inaugural conference featuring five keynote speakers and pundits in the area of sustainability. The event will be held at Sunway University in Malaysia on 9 December 2016, titled 'Moving Decisively Forward on Sustainable Development Now!' The five experts are:

  • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University; Director, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network; and Chairman, Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development;
  • Professor Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia;
  • Professor Daniel Schrag, Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology, Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, Director of the University Center for the Environment, and Director of the Laboratory for Geochemical Oceanography, Harvard University, USA;
  • Professor Angelo Riccaboni, Chair of SDSN Assembly; and Rector of the University of Siena, Italy;
  • Professor Xue Lan, Member of United Nations University Council; and Dean, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Professor Jeffrey Sachs' talk will be on "What Does Sustainable Development Really Mean?", Professor Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid will be speaking on "Walking the Talk on Implementing the SDGs: A Case for Malaysia and South-East Asia," Professor Daniel Schrag will be covering "Climate Change and Sustainable Development: Opportunities for the Developing World", Professor Angelo Riccaboni will focus on "Food Systems for Sustainable Development: Innovations are Needed" while Professor Xue Lan will be discussing "Policy Challenges in Implementing Sustainable Development Goals."

The Jeffrey Cheah Foundation is modelled along the lines of some of the oldest and most eminent universities in the world, such as Harvard University. To date, the Foundation retains ownership and equity of 16 learning institutions, including Sunway University, Monash University Malaysia*, the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sunway College, Sunway TES Centre for Accountancy Excellence and Sunway International School, valued at more than RM720 million (now in excess of RM1 billion).

For more information on the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC) at Sunway University please email:

*Monash University Malaysia is jointly-owned by Monash Australia and Jeffrey Cheah Foundation