The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation held its 37th Evening for Peace on October 18, 2023 in Santa Barbara, honoring Professor Jeffrey Sachs as our 2023 Dinstinguished Peace Leader.

The evening began with remarks by Robert Laney, a long-time member and current Treasurer of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Following dinner, Dr. Ivana Nikolić Hughes, NAPF’s President, delivered remarks about the challenges of the current moment and NAPF’s long-time vision of a peaceful world, free of nuclear weapons. Dr. Hughes introduced Professor Sachs, expressing deep admiration for his many accomplishments, his calls for peace and international cooperation, and the way in which so much of his work on eliminating deep poverty, ensuring sustainability, and addressing climate change, reflected one of NAPF’s mottos that “peace is more than the absence of war.” To read Dr. Ivana Hughes’s remarks, please see HERE.

In accepting the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Distinguished Peace Leader Award for 2023, Prof. Sachs spoke of the brilliance of President John F. Kennedy, his relationship with Nikita Khrushchev, and how they successfully averted nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Starting with 1963, the year that President Kennedy was assassinated, Prof. Sachs described two 30-year long periods, 1963-1993 and then 1993 to today. Although the first was defined by the Cold War, it ultimately ended with the world in 1993 in a better place than where we started. The same can sadly not be said of the end of the second 30-year period. It brings us to today when the world and all of humanity are threatened by multiple conflicts involving countries that possess nuclear weapons. Ultimately, Prof. Sachs emphasized the possibilities and the challenges of achieving a peaceful world in which we all might flourish. To watch the video of Professor Sash’s remarks, see HERE and below.

Following Professor Sachs’s remarks, Sandy Jones (NAPF’s Director of Communications) and Hal Maynard performed two of their original songs: Nukes Are Nuts and The Wall of Pain. The evening ended with remarks by Anastasia Shakidzhanova, a Columbia University student and NAPF Intern extraordinaire. In her remarks, Anastasia noted the lack of exposure to nuclear issues throughout her schooling, the incredible opportunities that she has had interning for NAPF at the United Nations in New York, and her trip to Japan, where, as part of the NAPF’s youth initiative Reverse the Trend, she had the chance not only to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki and learn an immense amount about nuclear disarmament, but also to network with youth activists from around the world. You can read Anastasia’s remarks HERE.

Photos by Rick Carter