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Annual Awards Dinner

For 55 years, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation has presented the Appeal of Conscience Award and World Statesman Award at its black-tie Annual Awards Dinner in New York City coinciding with the week of the United Nations General Assembly in the presence of leaders of business, civic, religious life and the diplomatic corps. This year in 2020 the event will be held virtually on September 24, 2020: Respect the Other Virtual Event and Annual Awards. For more information visit Respect the Other Virtual Event

Click below to view Past Dinners

2019

2019 Program

Speeches
Hon. Henry A. Kissinger

Rabbi Schneier and the Prime Minister, the Appeal of Conscience Dinner is always exciting. When I heard the introduction of me that Mr. Schwarzman made, I thought he would wind up with giving me credit for what had been accomplished in Singapore. (Laughter) So I think thank him for his generous introduction, and I thank Rabbi Schneier for inviting me here to introduce the prime minister of Singapore.

Singapore is, as has already been pointed out, an extraordinary country. In a world in which the relationship among various convictions and among various people. It's such a central point, a small island existing, surrounded by very big countries. The only similar situation is that of Israel. Singapore was created by being expelled from Malaysia of which it was a part because it was too difficult to handle, and the father of the prime minister, one of the great men of this period, Lee Kuan Yew, was in a position to organize an island with no financial resources, with no natural resources, with no identity as a state, and he took on this task, and he said in effect, "The only hope I have is the quality of my people."

But his people were divided. They were 70 percent about Chinese and the rest were Indians, Malays that had been in the period prior to independence, fighting bitter battles against each other. So, Singapore was created by an act of faith and by the education of its people. From an apparent vacuum it was an astounding achievement. When Singapore was created, the per capita income was $600 per person. The per capita income now is 60,000, and the people were given faith in themselves by developing domestic colleges in which they could prove themselves from situation to situation starting with some basic indices.

So, Singapore today is an extraordinarily modern country. When Lee Kuan Yew retired from his position, there were some intermediate prime ministers before his son, who is here with us today, took over. And in this period, he doubled the per capita income, and he created advanced institutions for science and technology because he followed the principles that Singapore always has to be the leader in its region intellectually as well as materially. It is a leader in policies of the environment and similar activities.

So it was first by giving this population a faith in itself that it developed a faith in its society, and then with a size of a medium-sized town by modern standards, it became an extraordinary influence in foreign policy, and it did that as Steve Schwarzman has explained by developing a public service of extraordinary quality with the strictest rules against corruption, and it did so by developing views of the international situation that were relevant to that of big countries.

When the Singapore ministers, especially the prime minister, arrive in Washington, they're always received by the president and not just as a courtesy but in order to get a better understanding of the issues in their part of the world. From the very beginning Lee Kuan Yew followed by his son have taught us what it is like to live as a little country in a region which is composed of very major countries, China, India and countries like Indonesia with also a very substantial size so that the ability to conduct a foreign policy of a cooperative nature.

We in this country know that Singapore is basically a friend of the United States and that it has always believed that a balance of power has to be established in theregion, but we've also known that its skill in conducting a foreign policy vis-'-vis China, India and the others of the world of that region contributed enormously to the stability. As Steve Schwarzman has pointed out, they've studied these issues carefully and well, and so it is always a pleasure to welcome the prime minister of Singapore.

I've had the good fortune of knowing the family for most of my public life, and I've always believed that their contribution to peace and stability in Asia, the efforts they make to create a modern state and their success in that can be an inspiration to their neighboring countries to create an intellectual partnership and an economic partnership so that the issue of pure military power is not at the forefront. But I may say also that Singapore has made it clear that even with its limited resources, it will fight for its independence and for its national interest.

So, in a world which is torn by limited national interest and by manipulation of the domestic process, Singapore has contributed enormously to peace and stability, and so it is my great honor and privilege to introduce the Prime Minister of Singapore and to congratulate him on receiving this World Statesman Award.

H.E. Lee Hsien Loong

Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Founder and President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation
Mr. Stephen Schwarzman
Dr. Henry Kissinger
Religious leaders
Business leaders
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Ladies and gentlemen

A very good evening to all of you.

First of all, let me first congratulate my fellow award recipients tonight, Mr. Timotheus Hottges, Mr. Stephen Ross and Ms. Susan Wojcicki. It is very good to be in your company. I am delighted to be here amongst friends old and new. First, let me thank Mr. Schwarzman and especially Dr Henry Kissinger for reading my award citation. I am immensely honored. I have known both of them for a long time - Dr Kissinger, especially, has been a great and a long-time friend of Singapore. He and I have known each other for more than 30 years and he was also a close friend of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, our founding Prime Minister. So this means a great deal to me personally, and I think it would have meant a great deal to my father too.

I also want to thank Rabbi Schneier and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for conferring on me the great honor of this award. It is especially significant to me, and to Singapore, because the values of the Foundation, tolerance, respect and harmony, are congruent with the values that bind Singapore together as a nation.

The Singapore Experience

For over half a century, Singapore has worked hard to uphold the principle of equality among our different races and religions. It was over this fundamental principle that we separated from Malaysia in 1965 to become an independent country. Indeed, on the very day that we became independent, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew declared that in Singapore �Everybody will have his place: equal; language, culture, religion�. And our National Pledge, which students recite every morning in school, declares that as citizens of Singapore, �we � pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion � to achieve happiness, prosperity, and progress for our nation�. At the time we created the pledge, this was a dream and an aspiration. But over half a century in substantial measure, we have made it come true and we continue to strive towards this ideal.

This founding philosophy has enabled us to grow into a diverse but harmonious society. We are racially and religiously diverse: 5.7 million Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians and others living together on an island slightly smaller than New York City. All the great religions are represented in Singapore - Christians, Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Baha�is, Jews, and also Zoroastrians, the Parsis. The Pew Research Centre ranks us as the most religiously diverse country in the world. And today, it is a harmonious society. We did not become so because Singaporeans are a uniquely virtuous people. In the Federalist Papers No 51, the author (probably James Madison) wrote: �If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.� Singapore�s approach to race and religion is based on a similar insight. We created structures � constitutional, political, social � that discouraged intolerance, curbed chauvinism, and nudged social behavior in positive ways, long before nudging became intellectually fashionable.

Constitutionally, our state is strictly secular, but not anti-religion. Our religious communities trust the authorities to treat all faiths completely impartially. Laws are based on national interest, and not on religious commandments. One of the first constitutional measures we passed after independence was to create a Presidential Council for Minority Rights. This Council scrutinizes all legislation to ensure that they do not discriminate against any race or religious community. We also created a Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act, which empowers the government to act against religious leaders or groups who cause feelings of enmity, hatred or hostility between religious groups, or who use religion to promote their political cause. Fortunately, we have never had occasion to use the Act in 30 years of its existence, but its very existence has been of considerable deterrent value.

We designed electoral rules to encourage multi-racial politics, instead of the politics of race and religion. In Parliamentary elections, political parties are required to present multi-racial slates to contest multi-member seats. You put up a team of four, five or six � one member of the team must belong to the minority race designated for that constituency and you compete against another team � team against team, and the better team wins. The point of this is to discourage political parties from championing particular racial or religious groups, and dividing our society along primordial fault lines. Because if you do that, you are undermining the minority members of your community and if you champion on minority rights, you alienate the majority members of your team and you alienate the majority of members in your constituency, all of which are racially mixed. This prevents us from being divided along primordial fault lines and it also guarantees that Parliament will always have a minimum number of legislators from the minority communities, so that minorities do not feel shut out.

Recently we took this further. We amended the Constitution to ensure that our President, who is a directly-elected Head of State � we ensure that he or she will come from one of the minority races, if no President from that race has been elected for some time. So it is a fail-safe position, you have a free election if after five elections you have not had a President from a particular race, the next election is a reserved one for candidates of that race. And so we have made multi-racialism not just a political aspiration, but a structural feature of our political system.

This is reinforced by our public policies. For example, in public housing estates, where houses are sold to people and after some years you can then freely transact and resell the houses - we have ensured that every township, every precinct, every residential block, we have an ethnically mixed population. Since over 80 per cent of Singaporeans live in public housing, we have no racial enclaves, we have no ghettoes. Every part of Singapore looks something like every other part � diverse and multi-racial. And every Member of Parliament looks after a multiracial constituency, he does not represent a constituency whose boundaries have been drawn to include only a particular group. Had we not done this and intervened in the housing market, our population would have become racially segregated, as has happened in many other countries, with very serious social consequences.

In our schools, students of all races and religions study together. This is also a result of having mixed constituencies because they live in in mixed residential areas and therefore, they go to schools which are also mixed without being bussed. They are all taught a secular national curriculum, even in schools affiliated to religious groups. And in our media, we do not allow blasphemous cartoons, songs or other offensive material that denigrates or disparages other races or faiths, whether this is done in the name of entertainment or freedom of speech.

Within this constitutional, legal and policy framework, Singaporeans have learnt to live peacefully together. Mosques, temples, churches, and synagogues, are often within walking distance of each other, and sometimes even hold events together. I went to a Catholic school � there is a church in the school grounds and across the road, there was a synagogue � one of two in Singapore catering to a very small Jewish community, a few hundred people, but part of the diversity and the freedom of religion and the harmony of the faiths which we have generated in Singapore. Religious groups make compromises and adjustments in their practices, mindful of the sensitivities of other faiths. For example, mosques tone down their loudspeakers that carry the prayer call, the azan, and to make up for this, we broadcast the azan on national radio. On their part, Christians exercise restraint proselytizing to people of other faiths. Because to you, it is the gospel � the good news - but to people of other faiths, if it is not done sensitively, it can be taken amiss and can cause offence. So we have made our adjustments, we have learned to live harmoniously together and we have made this accommodation of the faiths not just through our policies and edicts, but in our daily lives.

We are also fortunate that religious leaders in Singapore understand the multiracial and religious context, and guide their flocks responsibly. They have worked together to promote mutual understanding, and strengthen ties between the groups, for example through interfaith dialogues. We have an organization in Singapore called the Inter-Religious Organization and almost all the faiths are there and they have existed for 70 years � I just celebrated their 70th birthday with them, and they are probably the oldest such organization in the world. The different leaders have cooperated quietly with one another to resolve sensitive issues which inevitably arise from time to time, and prevent them from flaring up and causing wider misunderstandings.

Our Challenges

These policies and practices have served Singapore well. Over decades, Singaporeans have become more united, we have strengthened our identity as one people. But circumstances are changing, the world is changing and we have to adapt. I want to highlight four forces � four mega trends if you will � that are impacting us greatly.

First, our society is experiencing growing religiosity among all faiths, even though the non-religious form a growing minority. The people who are religious, are becoming more religious, more fervent, more formal in their beliefs. It is a worldwide phenomenon. People everywhere take their faiths more seriously and practice them more fervently. In itself this is not a bad thing at all because religion is a deeply held personal conviction � it guides one�s conscience and gives one a profound sense of the meaning and purpose of life. But as convinced as one may be of one�s own faith, we cannot get carried away, and show disrespect to other people�s faiths or other people�s gods.

In Singapore, we strongly oppose exclusionary practices that discourage people of different faiths from interacting with one another as fellow citizens. This year our religious leaders came together and made a formal collective declaration - that it is entirely proper, and indeed praiseworthy, for people of different faiths to befriend one another, to exchange felicitations on each other�s religious festivals, and eat together despite different dietary rules. All common sense � none to be taken for granted.

Second, being a small open society, Singapore is particularly susceptible to external influences. Every racial and religious group in Singapore has extensive links with larger communities abroad belonging to the same race or the same faith. All our religions have their roots elsewhere, and take guidance from superior authorities somewhere else. We are a small island, but we are not an island onto ourselves. It is not possible.

With globalization, these links have blossomed. They enrich our society and allow us to learn from others, but they can also import disputes and troubles from other lands that will undermine our social cohesion. We do our best to insulate ourselves from other people�s problems, knowing full well that complete disengagement is impossible. So, we ban or expel foreign preachers who bring their foreign quarrels to Singapore, or who seek to persuade Singaporeans to practice their religions in ways that are not appropriate to our society. At the same time, we explain to Singaporeans that different societies often practice the same religion in different ways, and we try to inculcate in ourselves confidence and pride in our own way of doing things, our own practices and norms.

Thirdly, social media has altered the way people communicate. It helps provocative views to circulate and gain currency. Charismatic, radical preachers have built followings in the tens of millions online. A single offensive or thoughtless post that goes viral can be seen by millions within a few hours and create a tense situation when all was peace and calm the night before. It has become dangerously easy for people both to cause offence and also to take umbrage.

We must not allow those who spread toxic views and poison on the Internet to get away with what may literally be murder. Policing the Internet is a Sisyphean task, but we must keep our laws updated, and devise fresh and effective countermeasures. Thus we recently passed a new law � the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) � it gives the Government and the courts powers to require the correction of misinformation and falsehoods online, to take action against those who deliberately spread such untruths, and to deal with websites that give them a platform to do so. It is a problem which many countries are grappling with, this is our approach to it. We continue to learn from others, and maybe other people will find something interesting in the way we have decided to tackle our problem.

Fourthly, violence in the name of race or religion is a real and present danger. There will always be some people who pervert and misuse religion to justify their violent ends. For example, just after the September 11 attacks in 2001, we uncovered in Singapore a jihadist group linked to al Qaeda. It was a total surprise to us. They were planning to attack multiple targets in Singapore, including the US Embassy and visiting US armed forces, and advanced in their plans. Had they succeeded; Singapore would have been Ground Zero. It would not only have caused death and destruction, but could have torn apart our social fabric. Non-Muslims in Singapore would have looked at their Muslim compatriots with suspicion and anger, while Muslim Singaporeans would have feared for their safety from non-Muslims.

Having pre-empted the physical attack and neutralized the group, we immediately strove to reinforce trust and confidence between the religions. We talked openly about the danger, so that everyone knew these were the actions of extremists who did not reflect the views of Singapore Muslims in general. Behind closed doors, we shared sensitive intelligence about the threat with religious and community leaders of all faiths. We put them together in the same room when we briefed them. So that we speak candidly and everybody knows that we are briefing everybody the same message. We are not broadcasting different messages to different groups. We have to confront this problem together as Singaporeans.

The leaders understood the problem, felt trusted, and did their part to keep Singapore united. Muslim leaders came out to condemn the terrorists, and affirm their solidarity with non-Muslims. Non-Muslims leaders in turn expressed understanding, and continued confidence in their Muslim brethren. A group of respected Islamic scholars and teachers volunteered to set up the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), to counsel and rehabilitate radicalized individuals as well as look after their families and offer support and guidance.

You can lock a terrorist away, but for how long? What do you do with their families, and how do you explain to the community? But if you can persuade him, turn him around, get him to see the light, and be able to get back into the community and integrate back and find a job, find his place and understand the error of his ways, then we have not only saved a soul; we have kept our community together. We have not succeeded in every case. There are a few who are still there since 2001, and it will take a very long time to persuade. For the majority, we have been able to rehabilitate, to release and to bring back to normal life. We have done that probably to 80 to 90 per cent of the people we have picked up; with only a couple who have relapsed and come back again. With conviction, cooperation and confidence, it is possible to get religious leaders � responsible and respected ones on your side, doing good work, helping to bring a very multi-religious society together.

Through these strenuous efforts, we have succeeded in maintaining multi-religious confidence. Since then, we have kept up our efforts. The danger of a terrorist attack continues, whether from ISIS or al Qaeda, or recently in the last few years, some misguided soul self-radicalized by extremist propaganda which he or she found online. If such an attack ever happens, Singaporeans must hold together as one nation.

Conclusion

Singapore is very fortunate that our founding generation set us in the right direction. They labored mightily to lay the foundation for the harmonious relations we enjoy today. Their successors have maintained tolerance and respect between the different faiths, and bonded more closely together despite serious challenges to our social cohesion.

I hope future generations will cherish this harmony, realize how precious it is, and strengthen it further. We must never allow religion to be weaponized, or used as a front for other conflicts. As Rabbi Schneier has put it: �A crime committed in the name of religion is the greatest crime against religion�.

Government actions alone cannot bring about this religious harmony. Responsible voices need to speak up, set the example, and spread the message of acceptance and respect. Thankfully, organizations like the Appeal of Conscience Foundation have been doing precisely that. In fact, you have been at this for as long as Singapore has, because the Foundation was founded in the same year that Singapore became independent, in 1965.

I commend your good work, and am humbled that you have decided to confer the World Statesman Award on me this year. I accept it not just on behalf of myself, but of all those who have contributed to building a harmonious society in Singapore. May this award continue to inspire us all to pursue our unchanging ideal, of people living together in peace and harmony, regardless of race, language or religion in every country in the world, and in the world as one together.

Thank you.

Mr. Stephen A. Schwarzman

So, I know everyone is just dying for another speech. That's why I'm so happy to get up here. I'm going to talk briefly about the Prime Minister and then introduce Henry. It's a real honor to do this. In 1986 my partner, Pete Peterson, and I were invited to Singapore because Pete was giving the Singapore lecture at the request of the then Prime Minister, and we went first to London where we had lunch with DavidScholey who was the chairman of Warburgs, perhaps the most eminent investment banking firm of its time.

At lunch we asked, "What's new with you?" He said, "Well, we just did an underwriting for Singapore Airlines, and it's very interesting because it's a great airline, but after we priced the deal, there's a secondary banking crisis in Singapore, so we don't know whether we should deliver the funds or not," and I had never been in a situation where there was in effect what's called a market out. So, we said, "Well, jeez, we're on our way to Singapore," and he said, "Well, good luck." So, we got to Singapore, and we had a breakfast at this Singapore monetary authority.

For those of you who are familiar with financial crises, which now is everyone after the global financial crisis, it's a real strain on people, and I thought they were going to cancel the breakfast like I would have canceled the breakfast, and they didn't, and we were waiting for the head of the monetary authority to come in. It was a roundtable, and I was talking to the person to my right, and I said, "What do you do?" He said, "I'm a government bond trader."

I said, "Well ..." That's sort of like a conversational crasher. What do you say next? So, I said something like, "Well, where did you go to school?" He said, "Cambridge," and I said, "What degree did you get?" He said, "A PhD." I said, "In what?" He said, "In physics." I said, "You've got a PhD in physics and you're a government bond trader?" At that point in the States you had a brown suit, and you patted somebody on the back, and you were a government bond trader.

I said, "Well, how did this happen?" He said, "Well, in Singapore they identify people who are capable, and we go, and we get educated, and then we have to give a certain number of years to the country in service." So, I said, "Okay," and then the person on my left was sort of like a carbon copy. He was trading something else, and he had gone to Oxford, and he had a PhD in mathematics.

Now if you were raised in the U.S. securities business, this was like incomprehensible that people who should be doing moon shots were playing around with financial instruments, and this was the introduction to the remarkable nature of Singapore. The head of the Central Bank came in. If you've ever seen a rabbit with those red eyes, this guy hadn't slept for two days, and I said, "You really don't have to do this." He said, "No, no. We committed to have the breakfast." I said, "Well, don't you like have a fire to put out someplace?" He said, "Yes, but we will take care of it."

So, we finished breakfast, and I think they didn't know what to do with us. So, we were introduced to what I thought was young because he was younger than me, a defense minister to take us on a tour of the island, and that person is sitting two away from me right now which is the first time I met the Prime Minister. He must have been 32, and we had a guided tour around the entire island, and I have watched his career and the development of Singapore ever since. It is simply one of the most remarkable places in the world. I have never met so many smart people.

They basically benchmark government service, so unlike our country where I think senior people get 125, $150,000, they take the top three or four people for every function and benchmark it against the compensation in the private sector.

So, what do you think happens? They get remarkable people like Prime Minister Lee to do the kind of work that any great corporation would do.

Singapore, if you hadn't been there and that was quite some time ago, I guess 33, 34 years ago, is like a little island, and it's flat as a pancake, and you sort of wonder how is it possible that this country, which I guess now has roughly five million people, has become the most profitable GDP per capita? They started with almost nothing in I guess, what, 1960, something like that, and everything they do is strategic. Everything is thoughtful. The people are lovely, but they are so smart, so directed and Prime Minister Lee is a remarkable person who's held almost every major job in his country, which is also normal where people in effect apprentice.

To be a country of that size with the kind of global influence is a function of a great system and great human being. They have a wonderful sovereign wealth fund called Temasek which they took different businesses and then liquidated some of them and expanded others. They have the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, which is about the mostinnovative financial institution in the world. Those of us who have the privilege of dealing with them are like constantly amazed that they have the world's best strategic sense. They always know where to be, where to go, and Prime Minister Lee is an example.

I just want to end by saying that his wife, Ho Ching, who is sitting two over, is a similar extraordinary person. She ran the sovereign wealth fund. She is one of the most intelligent, perceptive, cognitive person with great judgment, and the two of them together are more than sort of a glamour couple. They are humble. They are modest. They are astonishing. They are a pleasure to spend time around. They are generous with their time. They are both curious, and if you need a great judgment, you can ask either one of them.

So, it is my pleasure to now introduce Henry Kissinger who apparently comes to all these things the way I do who will talk about the Prime Minister, but you are in the presence of representatives of a great society, highly, highly unusual, perhaps the most capable in the world. So, with that I give you one of the most famous people in the world, and if you can do what Henry Kissinger is doing at 95, I wish you well. Henry.

Mr. Stephen M. Ross

Thank you, Dan. With an introduction like that, I should just say thank you, and thank you for being here tonight. Thank you, Rabbi Schneier and Steve Schwarzman. But really the real thanks tonight really goes to my wife, Kara. Kara is here tonight. It is her birthday. When I told her what we were doing on her birthday, she was very gracious and said, "I'm really happy and thrilled to join you." So Kara, I thank you. I love you, and I'll make up for it.

I'm also pleased that my two daughters, Jennifer and Kimberly, and my future son-in-law are also here tonight to join me, and thank you.

I'm really thrilled and humbled to receive this award based on the people who have received it in the past as well as the fellow recipients today of the awards they're getting. It's a real, real honor. Rabbi Schneier, you and the foundation are really an inspiration to all of us as you work every day to make this world a better place and bring today what was needed so much is the stability, the civility and stability that we need so much.

When I look at what I've done in the past, I really feel that when you have a problem, as Dan said, you have an obligation, and you can have an impact on doing something. You have an obligation to yourself and to society to really give back, and I think all the people in this room today really share that. The one thing we all have in common is we're here tonight because we really believe in giving back.

I know when I had the issue with the Dolphins, you think when things are down and what you can do, I think you get your best thoughts in being able to really think in what society needs, and I think this is what the Appeal of Conscience does for all of us, and I really thank you for all of that. It's a real honor for me to be here and to accept this award. I know it's a long night of speeches, so I'm going to be very short and just tell you how honored I am, and I really believe that together all of us can really make this world a better place, because that's why we're all here. Thank you.

Ms. Susan Wojcicki

Thank you, Maurice. And thank you, Rabbi Schneier and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

It's an honor to be here tonight.

You've helped create a more peaceful world, and your work to bring diverse voices together is particularly important to me.

I have a deep appreciation for interfaith discussions, since I saw them around the kitchen table in my childhood. My mother came from a religious Jewish family and my father came from a Polish Catholic family. And as a result, I grew up learning to accept and appreciate so many different points of view.

For more than 50 years, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation has promoted tolerance and inclusion through mutual understanding.

At YouTube, we haven't been around quite as long -- just 14 years, to be exact. But we have a similar mission. We're enabling understanding through digital dialogue, and we're bringing people together with shared interests in virtual communities.

I was lucky I was one of the few people in the world to see online videos when this medium started. The first video I saw was of some purple puppets singing in a foreign language. I wasn't sure what to think. When it ended there was a long pause because none of us knew what to think. And then my kids shouted, "Play it again!"

As more videos came online there were wacky and funny videos, but also many videos of people talking directly to the camera sharing something important about their lives -- a passion, a funny moment or a hard day.

It was immediately clear to me that people wanted to share their stories with others. But what surprised me even more is that so many other people wanted to hear these stories. From the very beginning, I could see that YouTube was a place for coming together in new ways and sharing our humanity.

Today, two billion people come to YouTube every month. Their reasons are different -- some want to connect with others around a shared passion like woodworking or see the latest in fashion. Others want to watch the hottest music video, learn a foreign language, or perfect a job skill. For the first time in history, with a phone and an internet connection, anyone can access a global video library and anyone can post videos and find a global audience. We call the people who publish videos "creators."

There are more than 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute by creators.

Collectively, creators have generated the world's largest video library of How To content -- from how to play an instrument to how to fix an appliance. And they've created new mediums like vlogging, gaming and music mashups.

But we know that with this scale comes responsibility. That's why responsibility is my number one priority.

Before I talk further about our important work on this front, I'd like to share a few examples of how online spaces foster dialogue and help build mutual understanding.

When I watched my first YouTube video, I could never have imagined that someday a teenager named Claire Wineland would start a YouTube channel out of her bedroom in California to cope with the complications of living with cystic fibrosis.

Claire saw the way we treat illness in our society, and she wanted something different. Claire passed away last year, but she leaves behind a legacy of videos to help us understand how to support someone who is struggling with serious medical issues.

When I watched my first YouTube video, I never could have imagined that someday Jenny Doan, a mother of seven in Missouri, would create a business out of quiltmaking by posting How To Quilt videos on YouTube.

Ten years after her son first encouraged her to post a tutorial, her channel has helped to transform her town into what they now call "the Disneyland of quilting" -- creating jobs and drawing thousands of tourists every month who share a passion for quilting.

Every day, there are many more stories like these unfolding on YouTube.

And that's why I'm so focused on our responsibility. It's critical that we get this right.

Our responsibility efforts are focused on the 4 Rs:

Our first R -- Remove. We're removing content that violates our policies as quickly as possible. In the last quarter alone, we removed 9 million videos, the majority of which were first flagged by machines and removed before even getting a single view.
Second, Raise: we raise up authoritative voices in searches and recommendations for news and information,
Third, Reduce: we're reducing recommendations of the content that brushes up against our policies,

 And finally, Reward. We set an even higher bar for videos on YouTube that make money on our site.

We're working hard to implement all of the four Rs in a way that's both fair and transparent for all our users and creators.

That's why we're continuing to invest in cutting-edge machine learning technology and why we've dedicated more than 10,000 people across Google to take on problematic videos.

These are historic times. Never before have we had the opportunity for so many around the globe to connect online, express their points of view, and create virtual communities, all under the same roof.

Having a digital town square where the world can come together and discuss everything has created some challenges, but it has also created extraordinary opportunities.

It's these opportunities that inspire me every day. As we take on these complicated and unprecedented issues of responsibility at scale, I think about the decisions of today through the lens of the future. What will the critics say when they write their commentaries about this unique period of time?

I want to be sure that we're on the right side of history, providing a blueprint for open platforms to protect but also empower the next generation of storytellers.

Thank you to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for your efforts, and for encouraging all of us to make the world a better place.

Mr. Timotheus Hottges

Thank you. Your Excellency, dear Ambassador Negroponte, dear Rabbi Schneier, distinguished audience. Rabbi Schneier asked me to do this speech in his mother tongue in German. So, I hope you can stand the next 35 minutes the German speech. When I was told to the Appeal of Conscience Award, two things went through my head. The first, gratitude for ranking me alongside all these outstanding people here. It's great that we celebrate together across the globe our shared values here together, and I'm very, very proud and very honored to be here tonight.

Second thought was, why the hell me? What meaningful can I say tonight? As a German, anyhow difficult to be funny. So I'm just an employee serving his company, Deutsche Telekom, and unlike some of you, I did not even have my hands in decisive moments of history. This is, by the way, how in 1927 the Austrian author, Stefan Zweig, called these moments when the world took a certain irreversible course.

So today I'd like to share two thoughts with you, and for the first I quote Stefan Zweig again. He said something, which for me is some kind of an ethical imperative, an imperative on how I'm trying to run my business. He said, "Every faith that serves money or power damages its soul." I think that's true. The core of every religion, for example, is about respect, love and peace, and it is right that the Appeal of Conscience Foundation dedicates its work exactly to that idea.

But sometimes religion is just misused to put one group against another as a tool of power, and then it betrays its faith. When it comes to business, things are a little bit different. Putting one company against another might well serve today. Therivalries of the 20th and 21st century are famous. Mercedes against BMW, Microsoft against Apple, and now T-Mobile against AT&T and Verizon. We love that competition. We all know nothing unites better in the world than a common enemy, but I also believe we, as leaders must put more behind it.

If we do not look at the greater good of our business, if we do not offer a purpose of our business, if we do not follow our values, then we betray our entrepreneurial faith. Deutsche Telekom's purpose, for example, is to connect people, and by connecting people we never want to be exclusive. We are inclusive. We want everyone to have equal chances. We build networks for everybody in the society, and we connect not only the big cities, but we want to connect as well the rural areas, and this is, by the way, how Deutsche Telekom became the number one telecommunication operator in Europe.

In 13 markets we are the number one player, and that is the reason that we are in the U.S. trying to merge with our friend, Marcelo, and his company, Sprint (Laughter) to become the number one in the U.S. and to build a 5G network not only in the big cities but everywhere in this nation. This is what we believeis bringing people together and connecting the society, and this is prerequisite for exchange in the digital age.

Recently, ladies and gentlemen, somebody asked me, "What do religion and business have in common?" And this answer was they both promise paradise for the future, the religion to its believers, the business to its investors which might be basically the same (Laughter) which leads me to my second thought. Entrepreneurship is based on ambitions for the future, but we must also focus on the responsibilities and possibilities to serve our society today.

This is something I also learned from my late mother. As a child she used to live in Thuringia and had to leave her home after the war, but for her home, her home was never a place. It was an idea of understanding and being understood. So, she worked on that and created a new home. In other words, my mother showed me that "paradise" has not to be a distant place. It can also be the connections between people that you build based on values like compassion, charity and human dignity. My mother created paradise for me, for my brother and for my sister, not as a hope for the future, not as a place somewhere, but as adaily life, as a right here and right now.

Of course, entrepreneurship is about visions. We place many hopes in future developments driven by digitization, for example. Data analytics will lead to more efficiencies and thereby reductions of resource consumptions. 5G will truly enable the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence might cure cancer someday. But last night, my friends, I watched TV, and I saw the rainforest burning right now, and it crossed my mind that maybe we are destroying many useful and undiscovered medical plants at this very moment. So, for me it's important to make some appeals of conscience here.

I conclude by coming back to Stefan Zweig. When we have our hands in the decisive moments of history, it's our duty not to betray faith, and it's our job to create good places not only tomorrow but today, and that's why I dedicate this prize to what often feels like my "paradise" around me, to every single of my 215,000 colleagues at Deutsche Telekom who live up to our purpose of connecting people across the globe, to my mother who gave me love and taught me to take responsibility and action, my wife, Adriane, who is the love of my life and we just last week celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.

And to my sons, Jonathan and Balthazar, because I know that they would make the right decisions in each of those decisive moments of history not only for them but also for society. Thank you very much.

2018

2018 Program

Speeches
Hon. Henry A. Kissinger

Rabbi Schneier and the Prime Minister, the Appeal of Conscience Dinner is always exciting. When I heard the introduction of me that Mr. Schwarzman made, I thought he would wind up with giving me credit for what had been accomplished in Singapore. (Laughter) So I think thank him for his generous introduction, and I thank Rabbi Schneier for inviting me here to introduce the prime minister of Singapore.

Singapore is, as has already been pointed out, an extraordinary country. In a world in which the relationship among various convictions and among various people. It's such a central point, a small island existing, surrounded by very big countries. The only similar situation is that of Israel. Singapore was created by being expelled from Malaysia of which it was a part because it was too difficult to handle, and the father of the prime minister, one of the great men of this period, Lee Kuan Yew, was in a position to organize an island with no financial resources, with no natural resources, with no identity as a state, and he took on this task, and he said in effect, "The only hope I have is the quality of my people."

But his people were divided. They were 70 percent about Chinese and the rest were Indians, Malays that had been in the period prior to independence, fighting bitter battles against each other. So, Singapore was created by an act of faith and by the education of its people. From an apparent vacuum it was an astounding achievement. When Singapore was created, the per capita income was $600 per person. The per capita income now is 60,000, and the people were given faith in themselves by developing domestic colleges in which they could prove themselves from situation to situation starting with some basic indices.

So, Singapore today is an extraordinarily modern country. When Lee Kuan Yew retired from his position, there were some intermediate prime ministers before his son, who is here with us today, took over. And in this period, he doubled the per capita income, and he created advanced institutions for science and technology because he followed the principles that Singapore always has to be the leader in its region intellectually as well as materially. It is a leader in policies of the environment and similar activities.

So it was first by giving this population a faith in itself that it developed a faith in its society, and then with a size of a medium-sized town by modern standards, it became an extraordinary influence in foreign policy, and it did that as Steve Schwarzman has explained by developing a public service of extraordinary quality with the strictest rules against corruption, and it did so by developing views of the international situation that were relevant to that of big countries.

When the Singapore ministers, especially the prime minister, arrive in Washington, they're always received by the president and not just as a courtesy but in order to get a better understanding of the issues in their part of the world. From the very beginning Lee Kuan Yew followed by his son have taught us what it is like to live as a little country in a region which is composed of very major countries, China, India and countries like Indonesia with also a very substantial size so that the ability to conduct a foreign policy of a cooperative nature.

We in this country know that Singapore is basically a friend of the United States and that it has always believed that a balance of power has to be established in theregion, but we've also known that its skill in conducting a foreign policy vis-'-vis China, India and the others of the world of that region contributed enormously to the stability. As Steve Schwarzman has pointed out, they've studied these issues carefully and well, and so it is always a pleasure to welcome the prime minister of Singapore.

I've had the good fortune of knowing the family for most of my public life, and I've always believed that their contribution to peace and stability in Asia, the efforts they make to create a modern state and their success in that can be an inspiration to their neighboring countries to create an intellectual partnership and an economic partnership so that the issue of pure military power is not at the forefront. But I may say also that Singapore has made it clear that even with its limited resources, it will fight for its independence and for its national interest.

So, in a world which is torn by limited national interest and by manipulation of the domestic process, Singapore has contributed enormously to peace and stability, and so it is my great honor and privilege to introduce the Prime Minister of Singapore and to congratulate him on receiving this World Statesman Award.

Hon. Christine Lagarde

Bonsoir and good evening to all of you. Rabbi Schneier, thank you ever so much for that warm welcome, for bestowing upon me this honor, this globe. You've given me the Earth, and I would like to just recognize like other speakers before me the extraordinary work that you do on behalf of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation that you created yourself. Thank you.

Dr. Kissinger, Mr. Moynihan, I would like to both of you thank you ever so much. I'm humbled, and I'm very, very honored to have been recognized by you tonight, and as I was listening to you, I was really wondering who you were talking about. It's just so much praise and so much gratitude and so many compliments, and yet you were talking about me. So, thank you, but this is way too much.

Dear Steven, Secretary Mnuchin, thank you very much for your keynote address earlier on today and thank you for reminding me of the extraordinary relationship that we have developed over the course of the last year and a half or so, sometimes through difficult circumstances and having to deal with difficult issues, because if you run the largest economy in the world, I also have to look after the smallest economies in the world and to pay attention to all.

We both do that in good intelligence and mindful of all the people. Mr. Rupert, dear Johann, thank you so much for sharing with me the honor tonight. We go back a long way both of us, and I can only say how generous you are and how grateful I am for your kindness and the generosity with which you look at other people and extend that generosity sometimes unknown to many. As a former lawyer, a reformed lawyer I should say as probably many of you are in this room, I have a disclaimer. It's amazing how certain things come together, but I'm actually an accident of faith and fruit of love.

My father was born to a Jewish mother and a nonreligious father and converted to Catholicism when he went to l'Ecole normale supurieure which is a high-level school in France, and he was actually converted to Catholicism by a Chinese priest who was a refugee. This is not invented. I promise you it's true, and he was so well-converted by this Chinese refugee priest that he wanted to become a priest and studies long enough to the point where he could actually have pursued what other leaders of faith tonight lead, but he met my mother, and this whole business of becoming a priest fell through the cracks. So I am that accident of faith and that fruit of love.

Now as I was thinking about this award that you've decided to give me, Rabbi Schneier, I was thinking to myself tonight is the great moment. Well, not so much for you because you'd like to eat, but those of us who really find some delight in this moment. It is the best moment. Awards, recognition, friendship, nice chats and, for some of us, almost the end of process which is unbelievably time-consuming from bilaterals to meetings to conferences to appearances to panels and so on and so forth, and I was thinking to myself, Rabbi Schneier, that the hard work begins after that because we all go back to wherever we come from.

We go back to our private sector. We go back to our public offices. We go back to our non-governmental organizations. We go back to civil society, and that's when the hard work begins, and that's where the Appeal of Conscience must inhabit us. The mission of the IMF best described by Brian earlier on is very much intertwined with the mission of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

One might debate as to what comes first, whether it's peace or good economic development, and there is no question that the International Monetary Fund cannot be involved at times of war and in countries that are torn apart by conflict, be they inspired by horrible terrorism or by civil war or war between neighbors.

But at the same time, if there is no economic prosperity, if there is no hope, if there is no sense of one's being the master of his or her own destiny, how can peace be achieved? That is why the mission of an institution like the IMF which has to do with economic prosperity, which has to do with financial stability, which has to do with helping those countries that find themselves in serious trouble because they have mismanaged their public finance is very strongly related to the mission of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

I very much admire the work that the Foundation has done in many countries, whether it's Cuba, whether it's Hungary whether it's many other countries where you are active and engaged and decide to bring people together and get them to talk, get them to listen to each other and establish a dialogue where peace can be achieved, but it's a constant struggle, and it's hard work all the time.

How do you achieve that hard work? I have to go back again to my own history sometimes because it's natural to go home and to withdraw in your turf, to protect your territory, to not look beyond the boundaries but to erect some more barriers or build some more walls. That's easier. What's harder is to have that Appeal of Conscience that forces us to look beyond, to praise diversity and to welcome brothers and sisters even though they look different. Not easy.

So, when something is not easy, I always think to myself, what was really hard? I think of my days as a synchronized swimmer. That might come as a lot for those of you who are swimmers, because synchronized swimming has always been regarded as something a bit trivial relative to swimming or diving or water polo, but I was lucky to join the French national team. So, I served my country as a finance minister, but I served my country as an athlete as well.

I was superbly lucky because in 1973 when I came to this country in the Washington, D.C. area and going to Holton Arms School, I was lucky to be welcomed by the Rockville Jewish Community Center which was the only swimming club which had synchronized swimming. I was able to continue that unbelievable routine that you do when you're a synchronized swimmer where you build muscle memory, and you do the routine over and over and over, and you join hands with the other members of the team, and you listen to every note of music, and you know exactly how and where you're going to do this, that or the other. I'll spare you the details.

I think that this is what we have to do, because when you then compete, you don't have to think twice to just do it. It does become a routine. It does become your second nature, and I personally believe that peace, tolerance and respect have to become second nature, and they are profoundly needed now.

So, we just need to practice the routine over and over. I will not prolong this intervention. I will simply tell you that tonight I'm unbelievably happy, and I cannot tell which one of the three events that occurred today made me the happiest. This award is one, but I received also earlier on today the first echography of my to-be grandson, and that was also a nice moment.

What's more, my director of communication mentioned to me that the Vatican had tweeted one of my interventions. So I am blessed tonight.
Bless you all. Thank you.

Hon. Steven T. Mnuchin

So, I know everyone is just dying for another speech. That's why I'm so happy to get up here. I'm going to talk briefly about the Prime Minister and then introduce Henry. It's a real honor to do this. In 1986 my partner, Pete Peterson, and I were invited to Singapore because Pete was giving the Singapore lecture at the request of the then Prime Minister, and we went first to London where we had lunch with DavidScholey who was the chairman of Warburgs, perhaps the most eminent investment banking firm of its time.

At lunch we asked, "What's new with you?" He said, "Well, we just did an underwriting for Singapore Airlines, and it's very interesting because it's a great airline, but after we priced the deal, there's a secondary banking crisis in Singapore, so we don't know whether we should deliver the funds or not," and I had never been in a situation where there was in effect what's called a market out. So, we said, "Well, jeez, we're on our way to Singapore," and he said, "Well, good luck." So, we got to Singapore, and we had a breakfast at this Singapore monetary authority.

For those of you who are familiar with financial crises, which now is everyone after the global financial crisis, it's a real strain on people, and I thought they were going to cancel the breakfast like I would have canceled the breakfast, and they didn't, and we were waiting for the head of the monetary authority to come in. It was a roundtable, and I was talking to the person to my right, and I said, "What do you do?" He said, "I'm a government bond trader."

I said, "Well ..." That's sort of like a conversational crasher. What do you say next? So, I said something like, "Well, where did you go to school?" He said, "Cambridge," and I said, "What degree did you get?" He said, "A PhD." I said, "In what?" He said, "In physics." I said, "You've got a PhD in physics and you're a government bond trader?" At that point in the States you had a brown suit, and you patted somebody on the back, and you were a government bond trader.

I said, "Well, how did this happen?" He said, "Well, in Singapore they identify people who are capable, and we go, and we get educated, and then we have to give a certain number of years to the country in service." So, I said, "Okay," and then the person on my left was sort of like a carbon copy. He was trading something else, and he had gone to Oxford, and he had a PhD in mathematics.

Now if you were raised in the U.S. securities business, this was like incomprehensible that people who should be doing moon shots were playing around with financial instruments, and this was the introduction to the remarkable nature of Singapore. The head of the Central Bank came in. If you've ever seen a rabbit with those red eyes, this guy hadn't slept for two days, and I said, "You really don't have to do this." He said, "No, no. We committed to have the breakfast." I said, "Well, don't you like have a fire to put out someplace?" He said, "Yes, but we will take care of it."

So, we finished breakfast, and I think they didn't know what to do with us. So, we were introduced to what I thought was young because he was younger than me, a defense minister to take us on a tour of the island, and that person is sitting two away from me right now which is the first time I met the Prime Minister. He must have been 32, and we had a guided tour around the entire island, and I have watched his career and the development of Singapore ever since. It is simply one of the most remarkable places in the world. I have never met so many smart people.

They basically benchmark government service, so unlike our country where I think senior people get 125, $150,000, they take the top three or four people for every function and benchmark it against the compensation in the private sector.

So, what do you think happens? They get remarkable people like Prime Minister Lee to do the kind of work that any great corporation would do.

Singapore, if you hadn't been there and that was quite some time ago, I guess 33, 34 years ago, is like a little island, and it's flat as a pancake, and you sort of wonder how is it possible that this country, which I guess now has roughly five million people, has become the most profitable GDP per capita? They started with almost nothing in I guess, what, 1960, something like that, and everything they do is strategic. Everything is thoughtful. The people are lovely, but they are so smart, so directed and Prime Minister Lee is a remarkable person who's held almost every major job in his country, which is also normal where people in effect apprentice.

To be a country of that size with the kind of global influence is a function of a great system and great human being. They have a wonderful sovereign wealth fund called Temasek which they took different businesses and then liquidated some of them and expanded others. They have the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, which is about the mostinnovative financial institution in the world. Those of us who have the privilege of dealing with them are like constantly amazed that they have the world's best strategic sense. They always know where to be, where to go, and Prime Minister Lee is an example.

I just want to end by saying that his wife, Ho Ching, who is sitting two over, is a similar extraordinary person. She ran the sovereign wealth fund. She is one of the most intelligent, perceptive, cognitive person with great judgment, and the two of them together are more than sort of a glamour couple. They are humble. They are modest. They are astonishing. They are a pleasure to spend time around. They are generous with their time. They are both curious, and if you need a great judgment, you can ask either one of them.

So, it is my pleasure to now introduce Henry Kissinger who apparently comes to all these things the way I do who will talk about the Prime Minister, but you are in the presence of representatives of a great society, highly, highly unusual, perhaps the most capable in the world. So, with that I give you one of the most famous people in the world, and if you can do what Henry Kissinger is doing at 95, I wish you well. Henry.

Johann Peter Rupert

Thank you, Dan. With an introduction like that, I should just say thank you, and thank you for being here tonight. Thank you, Rabbi Schneier and Steve Schwarzman. But really the real thanks tonight really goes to my wife, Kara. Kara is here tonight. It is her birthday. When I told her what we were doing on her birthday, she was very gracious and said, "I'm really happy and thrilled to join you." So Kara, I thank you. I love you, and I'll make up for it.

I'm also pleased that my two daughters, Jennifer and Kimberly, and my future son-in-law are also here tonight to join me, and thank you.

I'm really thrilled and humbled to receive this award based on the people who have received it in the past as well as the fellow recipients today of the awards they're getting. It's a real, real honor. Rabbi Schneier, you and the foundation are really an inspiration to all of us as you work every day to make this world a better place and bring today what was needed so much is the stability, the civility and stability that we need so much.

When I look at what I've done in the past, I really feel that when you have a problem, as Dan said, you have an obligation, and you can have an impact on doing something. You have an obligation to yourself and to society to really give back, and I think all the people in this room today really share that. The one thing we all have in common is we're here tonight because we really believe in giving back.

I know when I had the issue with the Dolphins, you think when things are down and what you can do, I think you get your best thoughts in being able to really think in what society needs, and I think this is what the Appeal of Conscience does for all of us, and I really thank you for all of that. It's a real honor for me to be here and to accept this award. I know it's a long night of speeches, so I'm going to be very short and just tell you how honored I am, and I really believe that together all of us can really make this world a better place, because that's why we're all here. Thank you.

Rabbi Arthur Schneier

Thank you, Maurice. And thank you, Rabbi Schneier and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

It's an honor to be here tonight.

You've helped create a more peaceful world, and your work to bring diverse voices together is particularly important to me.

I have a deep appreciation for interfaith discussions, since I saw them around the kitchen table in my childhood. My mother came from a religious Jewish family and my father came from a Polish Catholic family. And as a result, I grew up learning to accept and appreciate so many different points of view.

For more than 50 years, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation has promoted tolerance and inclusion through mutual understanding.

At YouTube, we haven't been around quite as long -- just 14 years, to be exact. But we have a similar mission. We're enabling understanding through digital dialogue, and we're bringing people together with shared interests in virtual communities.

I was lucky I was one of the few people in the world to see online videos when this medium started. The first video I saw was of some purple puppets singing in a foreign language. I wasn't sure what to think. When it ended there was a long pause because none of us knew what to think. And then my kids shouted, "Play it again!"

As more videos came online there were wacky and funny videos, but also many videos of people talking directly to the camera sharing something important about their lives -- a passion, a funny moment or a hard day.

It was immediately clear to me that people wanted to share their stories with others. But what surprised me even more is that so many other people wanted to hear these stories. From the very beginning, I could see that YouTube was a place for coming together in new ways and sharing our humanity.

Today, two billion people come to YouTube every month. Their reasons are different -- some want to connect with others around a shared passion like woodworking or see the latest in fashion. Others want to watch the hottest music video, learn a foreign language, or perfect a job skill. For the first time in history, with a phone and an internet connection, anyone can access a global video library and anyone can post videos and find a global audience. We call the people who publish videos "creators."

There are more than 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute by creators.

Collectively, creators have generated the world's largest video library of How To content -- from how to play an instrument to how to fix an appliance. And they've created new mediums like vlogging, gaming and music mashups.

But we know that with this scale comes responsibility. That's why responsibility is my number one priority.

Before I talk further about our important work on this front, I'd like to share a few examples of how online spaces foster dialogue and help build mutual understanding.

When I watched my first YouTube video, I could never have imagined that someday a teenager named Claire Wineland would start a YouTube channel out of her bedroom in California to cope with the complications of living with cystic fibrosis.

Claire saw the way we treat illness in our society, and she wanted something different. Claire passed away last year, but she leaves behind a legacy of videos to help us understand how to support someone who is struggling with serious medical issues.

When I watched my first YouTube video, I never could have imagined that someday Jenny Doan, a mother of seven in Missouri, would create a business out of quiltmaking by posting How To Quilt videos on YouTube.

Ten years after her son first encouraged her to post a tutorial, her channel has helped to transform her town into what they now call "the Disneyland of quilting" -- creating jobs and drawing thousands of tourists every month who share a passion for quilting.

Every day, there are many more stories like these unfolding on YouTube.

And that's why I'm so focused on our responsibility. It's critical that we get this right.

Our responsibility efforts are focused on the 4 Rs:

Our first R -- Remove. We're removing content that violates our policies as quickly as possible. In the last quarter alone, we removed 9 million videos, the majority of which were first flagged by machines and removed before even getting a single view.
 Second, Raise: we raise up authoritative voices in searches and recommendations for news and information,
 Third, Reduce: we're reducing recommendations of the content that brushes up against our policies,
 And finally, Reward. We set an even higher bar for videos on YouTube that make money on our site.

We're working hard to implement all of the four Rs in a way that's both fair and transparent for all our users and creators.

That's why we're continuing to invest in cutting-edge machine learning technology and why we've dedicated more than 10,000 people across Google to take on problematic videos.

These are historic times. Never before have we had the opportunity for so many around the globe to connect online, express their points of view, and create virtual communities, all under the same roof.

Having a digital town square where the world can come together and discuss everything has created some challenges, but it has also created extraordinary opportunities.

It's these opportunities that inspire me every day. As we take on these complicated and unprecedented issues of responsibility at scale, I think about the decisions of today through the lens of the future. What will the critics say when they write their commentaries about this unique period of time?

I want to be sure that we're on the right side of history, providing a blueprint for open platforms to protect but also empower the next generation of storytellers.

Thank you to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for your efforts, and for encouraging all of us to make the world a better place.

2017

2017 Program

The 2017 Appeal of Conscience Awards were presented to Brian Moynihan, Chairman, CEO, Bank of America; Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever and Masayoshi Son, Chair, CEO, SoftBank Group Corp. at the 2017 Annual Awards Dinner in New York. Madame Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary Relations with States from The Holy See addressed the 800 in attendance in the presence of Chairs: Bob Kraft, Stephen Schwarzman and Jerry Speyer and ACF President, Rabbi Arthur Schneier.

Speeches
Brian T. Moynihan

Rabbi Schneier and the Prime Minister, the Appeal of Conscience Dinner is always exciting. When I heard the introduction of me that Mr. Schwarzman made, I thought he would wind up with giving me credit for what had been accomplished in Singapore. (Laughter) So I think thank him for his generous introduction, and I thank Rabbi Schneier for inviting me here to introduce the prime minister of Singapore.

Singapore is, as has already been pointed out, an extraordinary country. In a world in which the relationship among various convictions and among various people. It�s such a central point, a small island existing, surrounded by very big countries. The only similar situation is that of Israel. Singapore was created by being expelled from Malaysia of which it was a part because it was too difficult to handle, and the father of the prime minister, one of the great men of this period, Lee Kuan Yew, was in a position to organize an island with no financial resources, with no natural resources, with no identity as a state, and he took on this task, and he said in effect, �The only hope I have is the quality of my people.�

But his people were divided. They were 70 percent about Chinese and the rest were Indians, Malays that had been in the period prior to independence, fighting bitter battles against each other. So, Singapore was created by an act of faith and by the education of its people. From an apparent vacuum it was an astounding achievement. When Singapore was created, the per capita income was $600 per person. The per capita income now is 60,000, and the people were given faith in themselves by developing domestic colleges in which they could prove themselves from situation to situation starting with some basic indices.

So, Singapore today is an extraordinarily modern country. When Lee Kuan Yew retired from his position, there were some intermediate prime ministers before his son, who is here with us today, took over. And in this period, he doubled the per capita income, and he created advanced institutions for science and technology because he followed the principles that Singapore always has to be the leader in its region intellectually as well as materially. It is a leader in policies of the environment and similar activities.

So it was first by giving this population a faith in itself that it developed a faith in its society, and then with a size of a medium-sized town by modern standards, it became an extraordinary influence in foreign policy, and it did that as Steve Schwarzman has explained by developing a public service of extraordinary quality with the strictest rules against corruption, and it did so by developing views of the international situation that were relevant to that of big countries.

When the Singapore ministers, especially the prime minister, arrive in Washington, they're always received by the president and not just as a courtesy but in order to get a better understanding of the issues in their part of the world. From the very beginning Lee Kuan Yew followed by his son have taught us what it is like to live as a little country in a region which is composed of very major countries, China, India and countries like Indonesia with also a very substantial size so that the ability to conduct a foreign policy of a cooperative nature.

We in this country know that Singapore is basically a friend of the United States and that it has always believed that a balance of power has to be established in theregion, but we've also known that its skill in conducting a foreign policy vis-'-vis China, India and the others of the world of that region contributed enormously to the stability. As Steve Schwarzman has pointed out, they've studied these issues carefully and well, and so it is always a pleasure to welcome the prime minister of Singapore.

I've had the good fortune of knowing the family for most of my public life, and I've always believed that their contribution to peace and stability in Asia, the efforts they make to create a modern state and their success in that can be an inspiration to their neighboring countries to create an intellectual partnership and an economic partnership so that the issue of pure military power is not at the forefront. But I may say also that Singapore has made it clear that even with its limited resources, it will fight for its independence and for its national interest.

So, in a world which is torn by limited national interest and by manipulation of the domestic process, Singapore has contributed enormously to peace and stability, and so it is my great honor and privilege to introduce the Prime Minister of Singapore and to congratulate him on receiving this World Statesman Award.

Paul Polman

Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Founder and President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation
Mr. Stephen Schwarzman
Dr. Henry Kissinger
Religious leaders
Business leaders
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Ladies and gentlemen

A very good evening to all of you.

First of all, let me first congratulate my fellow award recipients tonight, Mr. Timotheus Hottges, Mr. Stephen Ross and Ms. Susan Wojcicki. It is very good to be in your company. I am delighted to be here amongst friends old and new. First, let me thank Mr. Schwarzman and especially Dr Henry Kissinger for reading my award citation. I am immensely honored. I have known both of them for a long time - Dr Kissinger, especially, has been a great and a long-time friend of Singapore. He and I have known each other for more than 30 years and he was also a close friend of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, our founding Prime Minister. So this means a great deal to me personally, and I think it would have meant a great deal to my father too.

I also want to thank Rabbi Schneier and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for conferring on me the great honor of this award. It is especially significant to me, and to Singapore, because the values of the Foundation � tolerance, respect and harmony � are congruent with the values that bind Singapore together as a nation.

The Singapore Experience

For over half a century, Singapore has worked hard to uphold the principle of equality among our different races and religions. It was over this fundamental principle that we separated from Malaysia in 1965 to become an independent country. Indeed, on the very day that we became independent, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew declared that in Singapore �Everybody will have his place: equal; language, culture, religion�. And our National Pledge, which students recite every morning in school, declares that as citizens of Singapore, �we � pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion � to achieve happiness, prosperity, and progress for our nation�. At the time we created the pledge, this was a dream and an aspiration. But over half a century in substantial measure, we have made it come true and we continue to strive towards this ideal.

This founding philosophy has enabled us to grow into a diverse but harmonious society. We are racially and religiously diverse: 5.7 million Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians and others living together on an island slightly smaller than New York City. All the great religions are represented in Singapore - Christians, Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Baha�is, Jews, and also Zoroastrians, the Parsis. The Pew Research Centre ranks us as the most religiously diverse country in the world. And today, it is a harmonious society. We did not become so because Singaporeans are a uniquely virtuous people. In the Federalist Papers No 51, the author (probably James Madison) wrote: �If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.� Singapore�s approach to race and religion is based on a similar insight. We created structures � constitutional, political, social � that discouraged intolerance, curbed chauvinism, and nudged social behavior in positive ways, long before nudging became intellectually fashionable.

Constitutionally, our state is strictly secular, but not anti-religion. Our religious communities trust the authorities to treat all faiths completely impartially. Laws are based on national interest, and not on religious commandments. One of the first constitutional measures we passed after independence was to create a Presidential Council for Minority Rights. This Council scrutinizes all legislation to ensure that they do not discriminate against any race or religious community. We also created a Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act, which empowers the government to act against religious leaders or groups who cause feelings of enmity, hatred or hostility between religious groups, or who use religion to promote their political cause. Fortunately, we have never had occasion to use the Act in 30 years of its existence, but its very existence has been of considerable deterrent value.

We designed electoral rules to encourage multi-racial politics, instead of the politics of race and religion. In Parliamentary elections, political parties are required to present multi-racial slates to contest multi-member seats. You put up a team of four, five or six � one member of the team must belong to the minority race designated for that constituency and you compete against another team � team against team, and the better team wins. The point of this is to discourage political parties from championing particular racial or religious groups, and dividing our society along primordial fault lines. Because if you do that, you are undermining the minority members of your community and if you champion on minority rights, you alienate the majority members of your team and you alienate the majority of members in your constituency, all of which are racially mixed. This prevents us from being divided along primordial fault lines and it also guarantees that Parliament will always have a minimum number of legislators from the minority communities, so that minorities do not feel shut out.

Recently we took this further. We amended the Constitution to ensure that our President, who is a directly-elected Head of State � we ensure that he or she will come from one of the minority races, if no President from that race has been elected for some time. So it is a fail-safe position, you have a free election if after five elections you have not had a President from a particular race, the next election is a reserved one for candidates of that race. And so we have made multi-racialism not just a political aspiration, but a structural feature of our political system.

This is reinforced by our public policies. For example, in public housing estates, where houses are sold to people and after some years you can then freely transact and resell the houses - we have ensured that every township, every precinct, every residential block, we have an ethnically mixed population. Since over 80 per cent of Singaporeans live in public housing, we have no racial enclaves, we have no ghettoes. Every part of Singapore looks something like every other part � diverse and multi-racial. And every Member of Parliament looks after a multiracial constituency, he does not represent a constituency whose boundaries have been drawn to include only a particular group. Had we not done this and intervened in the housing market, our population would have become racially segregated, as has happened in many other countries, with very serious social consequences.

In our schools, students of all races and religions study together. This is also a result of having mixed constituencies because they live in in mixed residential areas and therefore, they go to schools which are also mixed without being bussed. They are all taught a secular national curriculum, even in schools affiliated to religious groups. And in our media, we do not allow blasphemous cartoons, songs or other offensive material that denigrates or disparages other races or faiths, whether this is done in the name of entertainment or freedom of speech.

Within this constitutional, legal and policy framework, Singaporeans have learnt to live peacefully together. Mosques, temples, churches, and synagogues, are often within walking distance of each other, and sometimes even hold events together. I went to a Catholic school � there is a church in the school grounds and across the road, there was a synagogue � one of two in Singapore catering to a very small Jewish community, a few hundred people, but part of the diversity and the freedom of religion and the harmony of the faiths which we have generated in Singapore. Religious groups make compromises and adjustments in their practices, mindful of the sensitivities of other faiths. For example, mosques tone down their loudspeakers that carry the prayer call, the azan, and to make up for this, we broadcast the azan on national radio. On their part, Christians exercise restraint proselytizing to people of other faiths. Because to you, it is the gospel � the good news - but to people of other faiths, if it is not done sensitively, it can be taken amiss and can cause offence. So we have made our adjustments, we have learned to live harmoniously together and we have made this accommodation of the faiths not just through our policies and edicts, but in our daily lives.

We are also fortunate that religious leaders in Singapore understand the multiracial and religious context, and guide their flocks responsibly. They have worked together to promote mutual understanding, and strengthen ties between the groups, for example through interfaith dialogues. We have an organization in Singapore called the Inter-Religious Organization and almost all the faiths are there and they have existed for 70 years � I just celebrated their 70th birthday with them, and they are probably the oldest such organization in the world. The different leaders have cooperated quietly with one another to resolve sensitive issues which inevitably arise from time to time, and prevent them from flaring up and causing wider misunderstandings.

Our Challenges

These policies and practices have served Singapore well. Over decades, Singaporeans have become more united, we have strengthened our identity as one people. But circumstances are changing, the world is changing and we have to adapt. I want to highlight four forces � four mega trends if you will � that are impacting us greatly.

First, our society is experiencing growing religiosity among all faiths, even though the non-religious form a growing minority. The people who are religious, are becoming more religious, more fervent, more formal in their beliefs. It is a worldwide phenomenon. People everywhere take their faiths more seriously and practice them more fervently. In itself this is not a bad thing at all because religion is a deeply held personal conviction � it guides one�s conscience and gives one a profound sense of the meaning and purpose of life. But as convinced as one may be of one�s own faith, we cannot get carried away, and show disrespect to other people�s faiths or other people�s gods.

In Singapore, we strongly oppose exclusionary practices that discourage people of different faiths from interacting with one another as fellow citizens. This year our religious leaders came together and made a formal collective declaration - that it is entirely proper, and indeed praiseworthy, for people of different faiths to befriend one another, to exchange felicitations on each other�s religious festivals, and eat together despite different dietary rules. All common sense � none to be taken for granted.

Second, being a small open society, Singapore is particularly susceptible to external influences. Every racial and religious group in Singapore has extensive links with larger communities abroad belonging to the same race or the same faith. All our religions have their roots elsewhere, and take guidance from superior authorities somewhere else. We are a small island, but we are not an island onto ourselves. It is not possible.

With globalization, these links have blossomed. They enrich our society and allow us to learn from others, but they can also import disputes and troubles from other lands that will undermine our social cohesion. We do our best to insulate ourselves from other people�s problems, knowing full well that complete disengagement is impossible. So, we ban or expel foreign preachers who bring their foreign quarrels to Singapore, or who seek to persuade Singaporeans to practice their religions in ways that are not appropriate to our society. At the same time, we explain to Singaporeans that different societies often practice the same religion in different ways, and we try to inculcate in ourselves confidence and pride in our own way of doing things, our own practices and norms.

Thirdly, social media has altered the way people communicate. It helps provocative views to circulate and gain currency. Charismatic, radical preachers have built followings in the tens of millions online. A single offensive or thoughtless post that goes viral can be seen by millions within a few hours and create a tense situation when all was peace and calm the night before. It has become dangerously easy for people both to cause offence and also to take umbrage.

We must not allow those who spread toxic views and poison on the Internet to get away with what may literally be murder. Policing the Internet is a Sisyphean task, but we must keep our laws updated, and devise fresh and effective countermeasures. Thus we recently passed a new law � the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) � it gives the Government and the courts powers to require the correction of misinformation and falsehoods online, to take action against those who deliberately spread such untruths, and to deal with websites that give them a platform to do so. It is a problem which many countries are grappling with, this is our approach to it. We continue to learn from others, and maybe other people will find something interesting in the way we have decided to tackle our problem.

Fourthly, violence in the name of race or religion is a real and present danger. There will always be some people who pervert and misuse religion to justify their violent ends. For example, just after the September 11 attacks in 2001, we uncovered in Singapore a jihadist group linked to al Qaeda. It was a total surprise to us. They were planning to attack multiple targets in Singapore, including the US Embassy and visiting US armed forces, and advanced in their plans. Had they succeeded; Singapore would have been Ground Zero. It would not only have caused death and destruction, but could have torn apart our social fabric. Non-Muslims in Singapore would have looked at their Muslim compatriots with suspicion and anger, while Muslim Singaporeans would have feared for their safety from non-Muslims.

Having pre-empted the physical attack and neutralized the group, we immediately strove to reinforce trust and confidence between the religions. We talked openly about the danger, so that everyone knew these were the actions of extremists who did not reflect the views of Singapore Muslims in general. Behind closed doors, we shared sensitive intelligence about the threat with religious and community leaders of all faiths. We put them together in the same room when we briefed them. So that we speak candidly and everybody knows that we are briefing everybody the same message. We are not broadcasting different messages to different groups. We have to confront this problem together as Singaporeans.

The leaders understood the problem, felt trusted, and did their part to keep Singapore united. Muslim leaders came out to condemn the terrorists, and affirm their solidarity with non-Muslims. Non-Muslims leaders in turn expressed understanding, and continued confidence in their Muslim brethren. A group of respected Islamic scholars and teachers volunteered to set up the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), to counsel and rehabilitate radicalized individuals as well as look after their families and offer support and guidance.

You can lock a terrorist away, but for how long? What do you do with their families, and how do you explain to the community? But if you can persuade him, turn him around, get him to see the light, and be able to get back into the community and integrate back and find a job, find his place and understand the error of his ways, then we have not only saved a soul; we have kept our community together. We have not succeeded in every case. There are a few who are still there since 2001, and it will take a very long time to persuade. For the majority, we have been able to rehabilitate, to release and to bring back to normal life. We have done that probably to 80 to 90 per cent of the people we have picked up; with only a couple who have relapsed and come back again. With conviction, cooperation and confidence, it is possible to get religious leaders � responsible and respected ones on your side, doing good work, helping to bring a very multi-religious society together.

Through these strenuous efforts, we have succeeded in maintaining multi-religious confidence. Since then, we have kept up our efforts. The danger of a terrorist attack continues, whether from ISIS or al Qaeda, or recently in the last few years, some misguided soul self-radicalized by extremist propaganda which he or she found online. If such an attack ever happens, Singaporeans must hold together as one nation.

Conclusion

Singapore is very fortunate that our founding generation set us in the right direction. They labored mightily to lay the foundation for the harmonious relations we enjoy today. Their successors have maintained tolerance and respect between the different faiths, and bonded more closely together despite serious challenges to our social cohesion.

I hope future generations will cherish this harmony, realize how precious it is, and strengthen it further. We must never allow religion to be weaponized, or used as a front for other conflicts. As Rabbi Schneier has put it: �A crime committed in the name of religion is the greatest crime against religion�.

Government actions alone cannot bring about this religious harmony. Responsible voices need to speak up, set the example, and spread the message of acceptance and respect. Thankfully, organizations like the Appeal of Conscience Foundation have been doing precisely that. In fact, you have been at this for as long as Singapore has, because the Foundation was founded in the same year that Singapore became independent, in 1965.

I commend your good work, and am humbled that you have decided to confer the World Statesman Award on me this year. I accept it not just on behalf of myself, but of all those who have contributed to building a harmonious society in Singapore. May this award continue to inspire us all to pursue our unchanging ideal, of people living together in peace and harmony, regardless of race, language or religion in every country in the world, and in the world as one together.

Thank you.

Masayoshi Son

So, I know everyone is just dying for another speech. That�s why I�m so happy to get up here. I�m going to talk briefly about the Prime Minister and then introduce Henry. It�s a real honor to do this. In 1986 my partner, Pete Peterson, and I were invited to Singapore because Pete was giving the Singapore lecture at the request of the then Prime Minister, and we went first to London where we had lunch with DavidScholey who was the chairman of Warburgs, perhaps the most eminent investment banking firm of its time.

At lunch we asked, �What�s new with you?� He said, �Well, we just did an underwriting for Singapore Airlines, and it�s very interesting because it�s a great airline, but after we priced the deal, there�s a secondary banking crisis in Singapore, so we don�t know whether we should deliver the funds or not,� and I had never been in a situation where there was in effect what�s called a market out. So, we said, �Well, jeez, we�re on our way to Singapore,� and he said, �Well, good luck.� So, we got to Singapore, and we had a breakfast at this Singapore monetary authority.

For those of you who are familiar with financial crises, which now is everyone after the global financial crisis, it�s a real strain on people, and I thought they were going to cancel the breakfast like I would have canceled the breakfast, and they didn�t, and we were waiting for the head of the monetary authority to come in. It was a roundtable, and I was talking to the person to my right, and I said, �What do you do?� He said, �I�m a government bond trader.�

I said, �Well ...� That�s sort of like a conversational crasher. What do you say next? So, I said something like, �Well, where did you go to school?� He said, �Cambridge,� and I said, �What degree did you get?� He said, �A PhD.� I said, �In what?� He said, �In physics.� I said, �You�ve got a PhD in physics and you�re a government bond trader?� At that point in the States you had a brown suit, and you patted somebody on the back, and you were a government bond trader.

I said, �Well, how did this happen?� He said, �Well, in Singapore they identify people who are capable, and we go, and we get educated, and then we have to give a certain number of years to the country in service.� So, I said, �Okay,� and then the person on my left was sort of like a carbon copy. He was trading something else, and he had gone to Oxford, and he had a PhD in mathematics.

Now if you were raised in the U.S. securities business, this was like incomprehensible that people who should be doing moon shots were playing around with financial instruments, and this was the introduction to the remarkable nature of Singapore. The head of the Central Bank came in. If you�ve ever seen a rabbit with those red eyes, this guy hadn�t slept for two days, and I said, �You really don�t have to do this.� He said, �No, no. We committed to have the breakfast.� I said, �Well, don�t you like have a fire to put out someplace?� He said, �Yes, but we will take care of it.�

So, we finished breakfast, and I think they didn�t know what to do with us. So, we were introduced to what I thought was young because he was younger than me, a defense minister to take us on a tour of the island, and that person is sitting two away from me right now which is the first time I met the Prime Minister. He must have been 32, and we had a guided tour around the entire island, and I have watched his career and the development of Singapore ever since. It is simply one of the most remarkable places in the world. I have never met so many smart people.

They basically benchmark government service, so unlike our country where I think senior people get 125, $150,000, they take the top three or four people for every function and benchmark it against the compensation in the private sector.

So, what do you think happens? They get remarkable people like Prime Minister Lee to do the kind of work that any great corporation would do.

Singapore � if you hadn�t been there and that was quite some time ago, I guess 33, 34 years ago � is like a little island, and it�s flat as a pancake, and you sort of wonder how is it possible that this country � which I guess now has roughly five million people � has become the most profitable GDP per capita? They started with almost nothing in I guess, what, 1960, something like that, and everything they do is strategic. Everything is thoughtful. The people are lovely, but they are so smart, so directed and Prime Minister Lee is a remarkable person who�s held almost every major job in his country, which is also normal where people in effect apprentice.

To be a country of that size with the kind of global influence is a function of a great system and great human being. They have a wonderful sovereign wealth fund called Temasek which they took different businesses and then liquidated some of them and expanded others. They have the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, which is about the mostinnovative financial institution in the world. Those of us who have the privilege of dealing with them are like constantly amazed that they have the world�s best strategic sense. They always know where to be, where to go, and Prime Minister Lee is an example.

I just want to end by saying that his wife, Ho Ching, who is sitting two over, is a similar extraordinary person. She ran the sovereign wealth fund. She is one of the most intelligent, perceptive, cognitive person with great judgment, and the two of them together are more than sort of a glamour couple. They are humble. They are modest. They are astonishing. They are a pleasure to spend time around. They are generous with their time. They are both curious, and if you need a great judgment, you can ask either one of them.

So, it is my pleasure to now introduce Henry Kissinger who apparently comes to all these things the way I do who will talk about the Prime Minister, but you are in the presence of representatives of a great society, highly, highly unusual, perhaps the most capable in the world. So, with that I give you one of the most famous people in the world, and if you can do what Henry Kissinger is doing at 95, I wish you well. Henry.

H.E. Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher

Hon. Christine Lagarde

Thank you, Maurice. And thank you, Rabbi Schneier and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

It�s an honor to be here tonight.

You�ve helped create a more peaceful world, and your work to bring diverse voices together is particularly important to me.

I have a deep appreciation for interfaith discussions, since I saw them around the kitchen table in my childhood. My mother came from a religious Jewish family and my father came from a Polish Catholic family. And as a result, I grew up learning to accept and appreciate so many different points of view.

For more than 50 years, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation has promoted tolerance and inclusion through mutual understanding.

At YouTube, we haven�t been around quite as long -- just 14 years, to be exact. But we have a similar mission. We�re enabling understanding through digital dialogue, and we�re bringing people together with shared interests in virtual communities.

I was lucky I was one of the few people in the world to see online videos when this medium started. The first video I saw was of some purple puppets singing in a foreign language. I wasn�t sure what to think. When it ended there was a long pause because none of us knew what to think. And then my kids shouted, �Play it again!�

As more videos came online there were wacky and funny videos, but also many videos of people talking directly to the camera sharing something important about their lives -- a passion, a funny moment or a hard day.

It was immediately clear to me that people wanted to share their stories with others. But what surprised me even more is that so many other people wanted to hear these stories. From the very beginning, I could see that YouTube was a place for coming together in new ways and sharing our humanity.

Today, two billion people come to YouTube every month. Their reasons are different -- some want to connect with others around a shared passion like woodworking or see the latest in fashion. Others want to watch the hottest music video, learn a foreign language, or perfect a job skill. For the first time in history, with a phone and an internet connection, anyone can access a global video library and anyone can post videos and find a global audience. We call the people who publish videos �creators.�

There are more than 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute by creators.

Collectively, creators have generated the world�s largest video library of How To content -- from how to play an instrument to how to fix an appliance. And they�ve created new mediums like vlogging, gaming and music mashups.

But we know that with this scale comes responsibility. That�s why responsibility is my number one priority.

Before I talk further about our important work on this front, I�d like to share a few examples of how online spaces foster dialogue and help build mutual understanding.

When I watched my first YouTube video, I could never have imagined that someday a teenager named Claire Wineland would start a YouTube channel out of her bedroom in California to cope with the complications of living with cystic fibrosis.

Claire saw the way we treat illness in our society, and she wanted something different. Claire passed away last year, but she leaves behind a legacy of videos to help us understand how to support someone who is struggling with serious medical issues.

When I watched my first YouTube video, I never could have imagined that someday Jenny Doan, a mother of seven in Missouri, would create a business out of quiltmaking by posting How To Quilt videos on YouTube.

Ten years after her son first encouraged her to post a tutorial, her channel has helped to transform her town into what they now call "the Disneyland of quilting" -- creating jobs and drawing thousands of tourists every month who share a passion for quilting.

Every day, there are many more stories like these unfolding on YouTube.

And that�s why I�m so focused on our responsibility. It�s critical that we get this right.

Our responsibility efforts are focused on the 4 Rs:

� Our first R -- Remove. We�re removing content that violates our policies as quickly as possible. In the last quarter alone, we removed 9 million videos, the majority of which were first flagged by machines and removed before even getting a single view.
� Second, Raise: we raise up authoritative voices in searches and recommendations for news and information,
� Third, Reduce: we�re reducing recommendations of the content that brushes up against our policies,
� And finally, Reward. We set an even higher bar for videos on YouTube that make money on our site.

We�re working hard to implement all of the four Rs in a way that�s both fair and transparent for all our users and creators.

That�s why we�re continuing to invest in cutting-edge machine learning technology and why we�ve dedicated more than 10,000 people across Google to take on problematic videos.

These are historic times. Never before have we had the opportunity for so many around the globe to connect online, express their points of view, and create virtual communities, all under the same roof.

Having a digital town square where the world can come together and discuss everything has created some challenges�but it has also created extraordinary opportunities.

It�s these opportunities that inspire me every day. As we take on these complicated and unprecedented issues of responsibility at scale, I think about the decisions of today through the lens of the future. What will the critics say when they write their commentaries about this unique period of time?

I want to be sure that we�re on the right side of history, providing a blueprint for open platforms to protect but also empower the next generation of storytellers.

Thank you to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for your efforts, and for encouraging all of us to make the world a better place.

2016

2016 Dinner

The 2016 Worlds Statesman Award was presented to President Francois Hollande of France. Appeal of Conscience Awardees Andrew N. Liveris, Chair, CEO, The Dow Company and Carlos Slim Helu, President, The Carlos Slim Helu Foundation received their awards in the presence of Chairs: Jerry Speyer, Stephen Schwarzman and Dr. Henry Kissinger and ACF President, Rabbi Arthur Schneier.

2016 Program

Speeches
Hon. Henry A. Kissinger

President Hollande, speaking at Davos last year, reminded us that France "cannot claim to be a great nation if we are not capable of giving the world what it expects from us, from France." It was a tall order; France's contributions to global culture, to the history of ideas, and to the building of European security and identity are as fundamental as they are innumerable. Today, it is no happenstance that France, as it has so often in history, stands once more at the fulcrum of events. As the international system is being assaulted by fanatics seeking to impose a dogmatic ideology, France, the embodiment of liberty, equality, and fraternity, has inevitably become at once a target of terrorism and of civilization's stalwart inspiration. At the same fraught moment, Europe is obliged to redefine its identity because of Brexit. France's role is indispensable in both evolutions. Throughout history, the political ideas of France have shaped the international system. In the 17th century, one of history's greatest statesmen, Cardinal Richelieu, put forth the concept of the modern state. While Europe was torn apart by the Thirty Years' War over which feudal empire or religious vocation should establish universal rule, France transcended the conflict with the concept of the state, replacing personal with institutional loyalty, and created an international order in which states related to each other on the basis of mutual recognition of certain rules and procedures. Systems first articulated then sovereignty, diplomacy, and international law continue to form the basis of the world's contemporary rules-based international order. But now the future of that order is under threat; upheavals are afflicting nearly every corner of the world. The Atlantic region has spawned the paradox of globalization as the source of both economic prosperity and political disaffection undermining its premises. The Asian nations are in flux, confounded by how to manage a rising China, a renewed Japan, a volatile North Korea, and a dynamic ASEAN. In the Middle East, terrorism, civil war, popular unrest, and an assertive Iran threaten to degrade the state system. And Russia, torn once again between the restraints of European statecraft and the temptation posed by neighboring power vacuums, looms over all its borders. France, for its part, has made a seminal contribution to the fight against terrorism and jihadism. Speaking before Parliament in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks, President Hollande declared: We will eradicate terrorism because we are attached to freedom and to raising France's profile around the world. We will eradicate terrorism so that the movement of people and the mixing of cultures can continue and so that human civilization is enriched. Taxed by a refugee crisis of unparalleled scope, assaulted by terrorism, and ambivalent about its political and economic future, Europe must now revisit the task it believed it had solved in the 20th century: to forge European unity while simultaneously respecting and benefiting from its historic diversity.

At the end of two debilitating World Wars, great French leaders starting with Robert Schuman advanced the idea of unity forged from diversity and pursued it together with their European counterparts, culminating in the contemporary European Union. Regrettably, much of the current public discussion about Brexit has taken the form of technical debate about how to structure Britain's withdrawal to restore as much as possible of the status quo ante. But the future of Europe is not a technical issue; it requires, above all, a determination to reinvigorate the continent's original political vision: to enable Europe to participate in creating a world order with the same vigor and resolve it displayed in forging the previous one.

The Brexit crisis was caused in part because the process of unification itself became identified with the expansion of administrative structures. It inevitably collided with the historical nation-state, which had been the core of Europe for at least the last two centuries. European administrative decisions have grown controversial in many countries. Since the strategic purposes of a united Europe have been hard to agree on, common actions have reflected less of an agreed long-range concept than compromises to avoid imminent disaster. We should therefore treat Brexit not as a gateway to another set of compromises, but as an opportunity to restore dynamism to the European process and to enable Britain to participate in its agreed strategies and purposes. We should consider the creation of a security grouping that organically contains Britain and a fiscal grouping composed of countries capable of conducting a common fiscal policy. In the midst of uncertainty, President Hollande has done his part to contribute to the fulfillment of France's historic role. In fighting the battle against ISIS, in mediating negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, and in building bridges to the formerly colonized world, President Hollande has cultivated the legacy of his nation. His example is instructive to a continent in search of vision. In all these efforts, France has been a reliable partner because it has been fulfilling its own history and meaning. In seeking to build a safer world, France has paid a high price, but it has remained resolved to live up to its greatness.

I would like to thank the organizers of this event for the opportunity to participate in giving the 2016 World Statesman Award to President Hollande. Rabbi Schneier, please to step forward to present it.

Andrew N. Liveris

Thank you so much for that kind introduction, Jerry. And thank you to Rabbi Schneier and everyone at the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for your work to promote freedom, democracy, and human rights around the world. It is a true honor to receive this award, and to share the stage this evening with President Hollande and Carlos [Slim]. In different arenas, in different ways, these two great men have been standing for a similar set of values around the world: a belief in the worth and the dignity of every human life, and our obligation all of us to advance human progress.

Tonight, I would like to begin with a question: What does it mean for a corporation to have a conscience? That, I know you will agree, is not an abstract question one for the philosophers. It is a pressing and very practical question for many of us in our daily work and indeed, for society as a whole. So what does it mean for a corporation to have a conscience? To many people, I am sure, this means a company should be committed to social responsibility and philanthropy. To others, I imagine, conscience is the wrong way of thinking about what a business is and does. But my career has led me to a different answer  one that feels to me more relevant today than ever before.

During my four decades at Dow, I have been lucky to be surrounded by many thousands of men and women of conscience, all over the world. They come to work every day and invest their values in their jobs  and go home at night with a deep sense of satisfaction that, through their work, they are doing good in the world. The truth is, a corporation begins as an empty vessel: it becomes whatever you fill it with.

And I believe that a corporation has a conscience when it is filled with and animated by a sense of obligation to humankind. At Dow, we take pride in being a corporation with a conscience. Whether we are working to provide cleaner water, safer food, or the lighter, more fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow, our entire enterprise is focused on delivering sustainable solutions to the world's greatest challenges. Last year, we also launched our Sustainability Goals for 2025, and we plan to invest more than $1 billion toward meeting them in the coming years.

Indeed, given our scientific expertise, our global scale, and our financial resources, we at Dow firmly believe that we have a responsibility to help advance human progress. Because we know that chemistry holds the potential to solve nearly every major challenge that society faces today except perhaps the political ones! Those will require a different kind of chemistry altogether Of course, corporations will always have an obligation to make a profit and to reward their shareholders  otherwise we cease to exist. But I am pleased to report that the old mindset that companies have to choose between doing well and doing good has been revealed as a false choice. More than ever, in this era of sustainability, you can do well by doing good.

That is our philosophy at Dow. It is the center of our strategy and the key driver of our company's future growth. It is, above all, what motivates us to come to work every day. And it is our way to help build a world that all of you each in your own way  are building as well: a world of opportunity for all, wherever they live, whatever their background, whatever their system of belief.

Thank you again for this award. It is truly an honor for all of us at Dow.

Carlos Slim Helu

Good Evening,
His Excellency Francois Hollande, President of France,
Mr. Andrew Liveris,
Rabbi Arthur Schneier,
Your Excellencies (foreign dignitaries),
Your Eminences (religious leaders),
Dear Friends and Family,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure and a great honor to receive this award from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.It is amotivation and commitment for me in the work we do for the welfare ofpeople through education, culture, health, environment, human rights, research and employment creating solutions of high social impact.

Founded more than 50 years ago by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation works in religious freedom, democracy, diversity, plurality, human rights, peace and mutual understanding which are fundamental values for the harmony, hope and welfare of the nations of the world. This award is also special because it is given to me in this great nation, United States of America, which got its independence 240 years ago with the principles of "Declaration of Independence".Thanks to the Founding Fathers of the 13 colonies outstanding and highly educated persons who anticipated the new paradigms of the industrial societies, which was just beginning the Declaration of Independence signed by the congress in July 4th, 1776 that was approved unanimous creating the 13 United States of America:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

This great nation is the strongest of the history because of its influence in all the regions of the globe and in most of the people of the world. In a new global world postindustrial of exponential technology development of knowledge, information, innovation thatwas leveragedby the electronic era brings us new paradigms multiplying productivity changing the way we used to learn, communicate, work and live.

We live now in a digital society of services with paradigms 180 opposed to the old agricultural society that prevailed for 10,000 years and are still present in many men minds. This new society of services is based in freedom, democracy, diversity, plurality,human rights, environment,technology,innovation, competition productivity and is sustained in the welfare of all. We moved from slavery, auto consumption and ignorance to educated and skilled people with better jobs creating stronger markets moving from auto consumption to welfare, working more years and fewer days a week. United States of America with a population of 325 million has a strong leadership thanks to the migration from everywhere with different cultures, languages, ethnics, roots, religions, people with no fear at all, full of energy and dreams. They easily adopted the American way of life, making United States of America always fresh, young, alive, full of energy, innovations, challenging, questioning and always looking to do everything better. United States is living today its best time in history with spectacular leadershipin technology, high education, economics, building the new world. Today the majority of Americans have at least one immigrant ancestor only six generations back. And it's a neighbor at the south, with an old millennial culture which was conquered five hundred years ago when it was still living in the Neolithic times but with advanced knowledge and political organizations. During three hundred years of colonization there was a lot of economic activity and racial mixing (and)two buildings of certain importance were constructed every week in those years.

Mexico got its independence 200 years ago and like many countries took inspiration from your constitution but our first 55 years of independence we were fighting each other: 66 presidential changes, 9 new constitutions, 5 international wars and we lost part of our territory 4 times. Later, after 35 years of peace and development, we had a revolution. We lost many decades, arriving late to modernity, until the 1930s when we began our development growing 6.2% a year for 50 years and our population grew 4 times. Many immigrants were welcomed during the 19th and 20th centuries that worked, invested and developed railways, mining, oil, construction industry, banking, real estate, retail and trade. We are now 125 million people, the tenth largest in the world along with Japan. Together with USA and Canada we have the size of Europe with a younger population and a bigger market than China and India together.

Since the debt crisis of the early 80s when the prime rate went up to 21% our country had a small growth around only half percent per capita.Mexican workers aresome of the best in the world: efficient and hard workers but they don't have enough opportunities in our country because of lack of investments, low income and a weak market. It is clear that we have a great potential in using the public budget more efficiently and with strong private investments in all economic activities including public-private partnerships, public serviceconcessions taking advantage of the low cost of financing. Creating economic activity we will offer our outstanding labor force more opportunities, more and better salaries, more educated and trained people and a bigger market and welfare.

I am very, very proud of being Mexican and a son of an immigrant from the mountains of Lebanon, that more of 100 years ago at the beginning of the 20th century in 1902, at 15 years old arrived to Mexico, looking for freedom, especially religious, and opportunities. He absorbed and integrated with the Mexican culture, family values, and warm friendship similar to the Lebanese culture. He was a Mexican that never forgot his roots.

Carlos Slim Septiembre, 2016.

President Francois Holland

Dear Rabbi Schneier,

I want to begin by thanking you for your kind invitation. I want to applaud your lifelong commitment to the dialogue between religions, cultures, and civilizations in other words, in support of peace. That's why it is an honor to join you here today, among friends from all around the globe from Australia, Mexico, the United States, and France.

Dr. Henry Kissinger, ever since I've been interested in politics, and that's a long time, you have stood as an example. As a teenager I followed your initiatives, known as the Paris Accords, to bring peace and a solution to Vietnam. You are well acquainted with my country and you are a friend of France. And this evening, too, you are offering us a free, or virtually free, lesson in international relations. I want to thank you for the depth of your analyses and your overarching vision. Having a person of such vast experience to point the way is an invaluable asset.

I am moved by the presence and the prizes awarded to Carlos Slim and Andrew Liveris, whose own work within their company has gone beyond business to benefit society as a whole in other words, to benefit the general interest. I am therefore very mindful of the tribute you are paying to my work during the more than four years I have been President, the decisions I've taken, the ordeals I've experienced, If I had to highlight a single one of these decisions and a single one of these challenges, I would no doubt look to last November, when France was hit by terrorist attacks in Paris and St Denis, a few days ahead of the climate conference, which seemed difficult to go ahead with, under the circumstances, and whose positive outcome was far from assured. Yet the level of international solidarity toward France was such that heads of state and government from the entire planet gathered in Paris for the Climate Conference. Mindful of their responsibility, even though they had failed a few years earlier, they signed a historic climate agreement, and it is now up to us to make sure that all nations ratify it, and even more important, implement it. This brings me to the conclusion I want to draw, here, with you that even when faced with a problem that seems overwhelming, such as the future of our planet, it is possible for statesmen and women to find a solution. Nothing is out of the international community's reach when it shoulders its responsibilities. If, on the other hand, it shirks them, if it turns its back on its duties, if it fails in its responsibilities, then we are once again faced with the threat of war and conflict.

But beyond me personally, in offering me this award you are honoring France. France, a source of inspiration, a country that champions freedom, democracy, and human rights around the world. But also a country that suffers, that has been attacked by terrorists because it embodies a way of life, a culture, an idea, an idea that belongs to France and the world: the idea of progress and freedom.

It is this idea, as we know, that we have shared with America through our revolutions, and these are the same reasons that the United States has been struck by terrorism in recent days, as you pointed out. But I am thinking in particular of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and I want to once again pay tribute to the victims of those attacks. They took place 15 years ago. On that day, we were all Americans, but today you are all French, because the threat is terrorism. But terrorism strikes so many countries, so many continents. No one is immune to it, and that is why we are so much more than American, so much more than French we are the world, and we are responsible for the planet. The award you have bestowed upon me also pays tribute to the loftiest aspect of France the equality of its citizens, regardless of the color of their skin, their walk of life, their religion and their beliefs. We are all equal; that is what is enshrined in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen: that men and women are born free and equal in rights.

That is France: a country that in the aftermath of the horrific murder of a priest in the French village of Saint-Etienne- du-Rouvray at the end of July is capable of bringing together Christians, Muslims and Jews in a church. I was proud of France that day, even though I was saddened and distressed by the murder of the priest. And as you just said, dear Rabbi Schneier, crimes supposedly committed in the name of a religion are crimes against religion.

Freedom of conscience is a fundamental liberty, and France guarantees that freedom in the name of a value we call la cite. I know this notion of la cite sometimes elicits questions beyond France's borders. So I want to be clear  la cite equals the separation of Church and State, with a countervailing neutrality  the respect of all religions. la cite means that everyone has the right to personally practice the faith of his or her choice, and it is that freedom that France guarantees.

What brings us here this evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, beyond the awards that are being handed out, is a call to conscience. Conscience implies both demanding the clear-mindedness we expect of public officials, and the principle of action required of the men and women who run the world's nations.

Conscience is nurtured by remembrance. Last summer, I was in Auschwitz for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camps. I met with survivors. An attack had just targeted the Jews of France, and I saw in their eyes the fear of a horrific repetition. I remembered, then, the words of the late Elie Wiesel who called anti-Semitism a leprosy that returns insidiously when civilizations believe they have ridden themselves of it forever. Anti-Semitism has returned today, fueled by the old prejudices of the extreme right, but also by radical Islam. That's why the French government has taken every possible measure to combat it without respite and without weakness.

Over the past year, the number of anti-Semitic acts has declined, but even just one would be one too many. That's why France's determination to combat anti-Semitism, like other forms of hatred toward all religions, is and will remain total. The 20th century taught us that democracies can triumph over every danger, provided they remain true to their values. It is always democracies who win wars. Against Nazism, against totalitarianism, against dictatorships. That law of history will endure in the 21 st century.

It is true that the world has changed considerably, and that those who predicted the end of history when the Berlin Wall fell were badly mistaken. They predicted a globalized world whose sole destiny would be the expansion of trade, the circulation of information, and the production of wealth. They believed that eternal peace had come to our planet. It was an illusion. The Cold War was followed by ferocious conflicts, borders collapsed under the pressure of nationalism, entire regions were destabilized. Of course, dictatorships fell but gave way to indescribable chaos. Religious extremism re-emerged, Islamist terrorism spread, notably in Africa and the Middle East. We are seeing things; we are seeing some terrible things again. Chemical weapons being used in Syria, millions of refugees fleeing war, religious minorities being murdered, World Heritage sites destroyed. And now, on top of these threats, these fears, these crimes, these horrors, this barbarism, populism is re-emerging. I was born in the mid-1950s. I come from a generation for whom democracy was the surest thing, something we took completely for granted. I thought that the principles of collective security that emerged from the Second World War were irrevocable. I thought that European integration was a model and a benchmark for the whole world that could never be called into question; that it was destined to expand not to shrink. That's what I thought throughout the decades that followed the mid-1950s. What I thought was indestructible has become a topic of debate. Yes, even democracy. Terrorism puts democracies to the test. Evil has taken hold at the very heart of our societies. Terrorism seeks to destroy our cohesion. It seeks to divide us. That's why we have to be absolutely determined, but without ever sacrificing our souls. In the midst of the chaos, we need a compass if we are to take action. Henry Kissinger wrote that an analyst, an expert can choose the problem that he wants to study or resolve, while reality dictates what world leaders must resolve; they can't choose the problems, but they must resolve them.

I felt this obligation to make a decision before it was too late when France intervened in Mali in January 2013 to preserve the sovereignty and integrity of this friendly country and prevent the fundamentalists from occupying a territory and destabilizing the whole of West Africa.

It was also because of this need for urgent action that France intervened in the Central African Republic in order to prevent massacres. In Syria, I note that the international community's shameful failure to take action has led to a disaster: 400,000 people have died. When France realized that chemical weapons had been used, it decided to assume its responsibilities. And again today at the UN, I will call for efforts to establish the conditions for a truce, to ensure humanitarian access and to implement a political transition. One day, we will be accused of not doing enough in Syria, of not stopping the Aleppo tragedy. Aleppo is a symbolic city, a martyred city, like other cities have been, in Bosnia and elsewhere.

In the face of other crises, we must take action. That's what we did in Iran in order to reach a nuclear deal. France imposed conditions on Iran to the extent that we were able to, without ever giving up.

By the same token, I am not resigned to the idea that we cannot find a solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Here too, a path to peace is possible. It was Shimon Peres, who has been on my mind lately, who told me he always had this hope. The worst thing is to give up, to believe there are always worse crises elsewhere, that now is not the time to act. But if we don't solve problems today, they come back to haunt us tomorrow, in even more difficult and intractable forms. This is also why Chancellor Merkel and I wanted to make sure that Ukraine is protected from attack and can determine its own destiny. On the 70 th anniversary of D-Day, the Normandy format made it possible for us to sign the Minsk agreements. We are sparing no effort to ensure that those agreements are implemented.

That, Ladies and Gentlemen, was what I came to tell you today. The world, in the 21st century, is threatened by wars, conflicts, terrorism, climate disruption, poverty, migration, and refugees. This is the state of our world, although many areas are experiencing a level of prosperity, thanks to globalization, of which they could previously only dream. That is the contrast between a world of imbalances and a world of growth. Given these realities, the single most important thing for the international community is to stand united; for continents and nations to stand united.

If we give in to our divisions and our fears, that is when we will be most vulnerable to conflict. That risk is there. It will be a choice for all societies to make to decide how they want to live, how they want to be together, whether to accept the contributions of all the various diverse parties in order to form a nation, a continent, a world. You have assumed your responsibilities in a different way; you are seeking unity in another manner. Your foundation is interfaith in nature; it promotes dialogue among all religions and you are highly committed to it. You yourself, dear Arthur Schneier, extended an invitation to the Pope. I went to see him. You brought the Pope to pray in your synagogue. He prayed for France when it was the victim of a barbarous crime in a church, and he also called for interfaith dialogue. A few days ago, the King of Morocco also called on Muslims, Jews, and Christians to form a common front against fanaticism and parochialism. France, as I said, is a secular country, but we believe that religions have their place and can play a role, as long as they don't get involved in government decisions.

Our victory over hate will be political and military, but it will also be moral and spiritual. That is why I myself am so committed to the dialogue between cultures and civilizations  not to erase their differences but to unite them, to engage in the battle for human progress. If you are wondering what it is that constitutes a statesman or woman, it is the ability, in the end, to take decisions that are beneficial to his or her country and to the planet. If one day I am to be judged and I will most certainly be judged  beyond us here and even beyond our time, the important thing will be whether I made decisions that were beneficial to my country and to the world, i.e., that not only helped preserve the present but also helped prepare us for the future.

Thank you for your award.

2015

2015 Program

Speeches
Prime Minister David Cameron

It is a great honor to receive this award from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, especially in a year when you're celebrating such an important milestone. Your cause is more important than ever. We live in danger and uncertainty, with dictators waging war on their own people, states invading their neighbors with impunity, more safe havens opening up for terrorists, more people joining the extremist death-cult, standing opposed to everything we believe in.

With that global picture, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, the rights of minorities, things that have been vital to the success of our countries and the happiness of our people  these are not inevitable. They need to be protected, nurtured, fought for  every single day.

And that means doing three big things: first, it means having the ability to defend ourselves, and that is why we are ensuring Britain has the military capacity it needs. Second, it means maintaining our place on the world stage. Yes, that means opening new embassies and promoting our values, trying to help solve problems, settle conflict, but it also means keeping our commitment to the poorest in our world with our aid program.

We made that promise of aid at a difficult time, but it was a promise made and a promise kept, and that meant children vaccinated who would have died, children educated who would have been cast aside, and refugees cared for who would have been left with nothing.

And I'm so proud that Britain is the only major advanced country on the planet meeting both its NATO target on defense and its UN target on aid. And third, it means being more positive in promoting our values. And that's where the work of this foundation comes in, drawing together like-minded people, showing how a desire for peace and tolerance transcends religions and regions. That's what you do, and that's what's so important at this time.
For me, the new front is the fight against corruption, the cancer at the heart of so many of the world's problems today. And that's why Britain is leading the way in creating a partnership of nations to promote transparency and openness, the key to many nations' success.

Over half a century, one person has done more to uphold these values than most. Rabbi Schneier, let me thank you for what you've done and continue to do. You are an inspiration. And congratulations to Laurence Fink and Alex Gorsky on your awards, too. I hope we can make this an occasion to renew our commitment to promote tolerance and protect the freedoms we hold so dear. Thank you once again.

H.E Matthew Rycroft

Thank you so much, Rabbi. Thank you. Rabbi Schneier, Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. It's a great honor and a privilege to be representing my Prime Minister David Cameron this evening. And I want to begin by joining the Prime Minister in thanking Rabbi Schneier and also in congratulating Larry Fink and Alex Gorsky on their awards this evening.

Now in previous roles, I've written many speeches for Prime Ministers, but today is the first time that I have delivered one on his behalf. I don't know if it'll be the last time, I guess that depends on how this goes. But to stand before you this evening as the new British Ambassador to the United Nations and to accept this world statesman award on David Cameron's behalf, that is a very proud moment for me indeed.

And in accepting the award, I want to pay tribute to you, Rabbi Schneier, and to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation on your 50th anniversary. As the Prime Minister has just said, you are an inspiration. For half a century you have led the world in promoting human rights and religious freedom, in inspiring hope in the most hopeless and in showing the triumph of tolerance over hatred. These are values that my Prime Minister shares, that I share and that my country shares.
Ladies and gentlemen, a Pope, a Rabbi and an Imam walk into a building. That sounds like the first line of a really terrible joke, but in fact it's a snapshot of activity at the United Nations in this most historic of weeks. As the world comes to New York, some of you will grumble about the traffic, but I want to say a few words about the Pope, the Rabbi and the Imam.

The first visit to the United States of His Holiness Pope Francis is a defining moment for Christians, especially Catholics across the United States and indeed around the world. His speech to the U.S. Congress was a very powerful appeal and I look forward to what he has to say in the UN tomorrow. The Rabbi in the UN was you, Rabbi Schneier, as you marked Yom Kippur with the traditional Tashlich ceremony in the UN's rose garden this week, the first one ever held in the UN. And I was pleased to be there myself.

And the Imam in the UN was one of several religious leaders from the Middle East who met the UN Secretary General in the run-up to today's celebration of Eid. Sadly, today this celebration is overshadowed by the tragic events in Mecca earlier where over 700 pilgrims lost their lives. And we mourn their passing.

The Pope, the Rabbi and the Imam represent the three major monotheistic religions of the world. And my point is this. This week, they come together and have significant moments, each of them for each of those faiths in this very place, and they do so in peace and in co-existence. It is this spirit of co-existence, this convergence of faith and humanity that I want to focus on. In New York this week, the three major religions come together in time.

In Sarajevo, Bosnia, my last overseas posting, those three religions come together in space. Within just a hundred yards of cobbled streets you come across the main synagogue, the main mosque, the Catholic cathedral and the Orthodox cathedral. Twenty years ago, that city of Sarajevo, so symbolic of co-existence, was under threat from the most vicious fighting seen in Europe since the Second World War. Those scars are still healing and I want to pay tribute to the important work that you have undertaken, Rabbi, to foster reconciliation among the communities of Bosnia. It's only through embracing co-existence and rejecting ethnic nationalism that there will be real peace there.

And that principle, the principle that applied in Bosnia applies around the world. If you look at all the main conflicts on the agenda of the UN Security Council where I now spend so much of my time, their root causes are found in extremist nationalism, in the separation of us from them. Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, many others, each of them has a sustainable solution, but only if it is based on genuine co-existence. There will never be overwhelming military victory in any one of those conflicts for any one side against the others. A solution will never be sustainable for one nationality or one religion or one tribe or one ethnicity if it comes at the expense of the others. The peaceful solution that we seek in each of those cases is the one based on all sides accepting the sharing of power with the principle of co-existence.

That has been true in my country, if you think about Northern Ireland, it was true 20 years ago in Bosnia and I'm convinced that it's true in Syria and all those other places today. Those who reject that co-existence fuel the rise of extremists and zealots. These groups bear no relation to the religions they claim to represent. Instead they make the motto of this foundation ring true today, just as it did 50 years ago. A crime committed in the name of religion really is the greatest crime against religion.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fear painted on the faces of migrants fleeing across the Mediterranean tells us all we need to know about the consequences of the rejection of co-existence. Isil and Assad are driving the worst catastrophe we face today. And just as we did over 70 years ago when the world supported refugees fleeing fascism, so we need to be doing everything that we can today to support those escaping this terror. My country is proud to be playing our part now just as we did then. It's through compassion, tolerance, understanding that we will in the end defeat those who preach hate and division. And it's through organizations such as the Appeal of Conscience Foundation that we can bring people together to advance the cause of co-existence. The Appeal of Conscience Foundation is as needed and as relevant today as it was in 1965 when you, Rabbi, led the first inter-faith delegation to the Soviet Union. So to speak before you tonight has been a great honor and as you celebrate your first 50 years, may I wish you every success for the next 50 to come. Thank you.

Laurence D. Fink

Muhtar, thank you very much. I don't believe I deserve that kind introduction. And thank you for everything you do on behalf of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation. It is a privilege to be here and to celebrate the important work of the foundation and to be honored alongside Alex and Prime Minister Cameron. Heads of state and diplomats have gathered in New York this week for the UN General Assembly. Pope Francis is leading prayer at St. Patrick's Cathedral this very evening.

These world leaders visit New York at a time of great upheaval and significant conflicts around the globe including war, economic hardship and a refugee crisis that has shaken the world. Their time here, their discussions, their prayers, speeches and deliberations will be colored by these events. Their work will aim to promote self-determination, freedom to worship and the responsibility of our fellow man and the very goals that animate Rabbi Schneier and the Appeals of Conscience Foundation. The key lessons to be learned from the foundation's work is that each of us carry with us a great and deep responsibility, a responsibility not just to our immediate family or community but to a much broader group. We need to be thinking harder and more creatively about how we do things to affect more people broadly, Rabbi Schneier mentioned that earlier, and what ripples around the world and how it will affect the world.

And that matters not just in our personal life, that matters in our professional lives as much as it does for anything we do. And it also represents how our company is perceived worldwide. We cannot bifurcate our human and personal behavior with our professional behaviors. That is impossible to be a citizen of the world and bifurcating those two responsibilities.

As the financial crisis demonstrated, the business community, most of all the financial industry has too often forgotten their sense of responsibility. We forgot the tacit responsibilities and agreements that a responsible goes beyond the immediate group of shareholders and executives but extends to all our employees, obviously our clients and our customers, and the economy and society as a whole. In many ways, we forgot our responsibilities to build a sustainable financial system, one that can grow economies over 50 years, not growing economies over five years or even for that matter over one year.

In the years since the crisis the global economy has improved but the reputation of the financial industry for the most part has not. In part this is because we have often outsourced responsibility for fixing the system to our regulators and to policy makers, instead of being part of a constructive process. But outsourcing responsibility, saying this is your problem; that just doesn't work.

That doesn't work in marriage, it doesn't work at the office, it doesn't work in governing, diplomacy or today in our refugee crisis. It doesn't work for business. We cannot build a financial system that reliably serves people, a system that fosters growth, minimizes crises, unless we take that responsibility individually and throughout the organizations we represent.

An essential part of the process is building the right kind of culture in financial services and businesses as a whole, a culture that sees past the immediate profits and looks for the long-term. People don't live their lives quarter by quarter; businesses should not either. The excessive focus on the short-term, whether it is the mania around quarterly reporting or the increasing velocity of capital, hurts our ability to build a more meaningful lasting growth and a more meaningful and more inclusive society. It's damaging to our companies who are so preoccupied with what the market said about themselves or about their stock price, and they cannot invest in the long-term initiatives to build stronger, better services for their clients but more importantly a stronger ability to serve society.

It's damaging to the employees who are under such constant pressure to deliver short-term results, and they don't have the time for real innovation or for that matter for their families. It is damaging for the economy because it incents short-termism and it incents faster famine cycles of investment. There's no silver bullet for this problem but it has to begin with building a culture that sees long-term sustainable growth as both economic and a moral responsibility. That culture has to be built at the top by every leader of every company and reinforced at every level. It begins by acting as a partner. That means giving people the tools they need to have a more productive financial life.

It means working to solve economic challenges from the dearth of infrastructure investing and spending to the role of income inequality. It means working alongside regulators, policy makers to build a better, stronger and more sustainable financial system. Compliance cannot be seen as a nuance. Is there something so terribly wrong with following the rules? Nor can new regulations be seen only as something to fight or oppose to improve?

This is not to say that the system is perfect. I certainly have my disagreements with many of the regulatory policies and the current policies of enforcement. Where company fines stands for punishment of bad actors has proven to be ineffective instead of affecting the bad actors with their bad behavior. We can begin to change this adversarial relationship and we can build a financial system that serves everybody. We can build a financial system that builds a better future for all individuals so they can live fairly and decently in retirement.

As part of my job, I'm fortunate to travel around the world and meet all sorts of people, people of every race, every religion, political belief, nationality. I see everything. No matter where I travel, no matter who I meet, what I'm reminded every time I leave this country or leave this city, that we all want the same things out of life. We all have the same worries. We all want better futures for our families and a better life for our children.

We can achieve these things but it takes commitment. It will require us to accept that responsibility to each other; a responsibility to live up to the ideals that have brought us together tonight and to build a better financial future for everybody and everyone in the world. Thank you very much.

Alex Gorsky

Well, thank you very much. Although I must admit when Rabbi Schneier and I first started talking a couple years ago and he mentioned tonight, that he didn't let me know that the Pope was going to be in town that I was going to have to follow Muhtar, Larry and Steve with all these other very dignified guests. That's a pretty high bar, Rabbi, with you as well.

But I'll tell you, I just could not be more honored to be here on the 50th anniversary of the foundation. I mean to be here when so much is going on in our world, to be standing for principles like freedom of religion, like tolerance, like a lack of violence is pretty remarkable. And frankly, I don't know many other cities in the world other than New York City, how fortunate we are to be here on a night like tonight with the Pope a few blocks away and to be doing something like this. I think it's a great statement about this city.

I want to start off with just a couple of things. First, thanks to all of you for being here. It wasn't a small feat getting here through all the security and everything else, and for you to make the effort to be here, to come out says a lot. I really want to thank all of our partners, people from Deloitte, from IBM and others who also are definitely making a commitment being here. Cathy, one of the coolest new CEOs out there does a great job. Thank you so much, Cathy Engelbert.

And also a big thanks to my friend Lew Pell because without him I would not be here tonight. An innovator, one of the best there is, thank you very much, Lew. I'd be remiss if I didn't say one quick story because it's so humbling to be here and recognized with so many great people. But I'd be remiss if I didn't tell a quick story.

As you noticed, I had the good fate and opportunity to sit between Steve Schwarzman and Madam President of Croatia. And just about a hundred years ago, a 16-year-old named Millie, my grandmother, emigrated from Croatia and came over on a boat with about $25 in her pocket. Met other family members, not close family members but I'm talking second and third cousins in Kansas City, Kansas. She worked in a sausage factory, raised five daughters, and for her to think that her grandson would be here tonight is pretty remarkable. So Madam President, it's wonderful to share that great heritage of your country. Thank you.

I'm incredibly fortunate to be associated with a company like Johnson and Johnson. As Steve said, most of you probably know us for baby shampoo and baby powder. In fact, you probably smell it right now when I said that. And while we love those products, the fact is that we're involved in just about every aspect of healthcare. Like Larry was saying earlier, we get a chance to travel around the world and whether I'm in China, whether I'm in Japan, whether I'm in Chile, whether I'm in Minneapolis, business leaders, healthcare leaders, everyone right now is concerned about this issue where it's a little bit of the best of times and the worst of times.

On one hand, when you think about aging populations, when you think about increasing middle classes, when you think about the demands for increased healthcare, for access, for better care to live longer and healthier, happier lives, it's putting incredible strain on governments and healthcare systems around the world. On the other hand I must tell you that one of the greatest parts of my job is being able to travel around with scientists like Dr. Paul Stoffels sitting in front of you who in the early 1980s worked in the Belgian Congo with HIV, when if you were diagnosed with HIV, your life expectancy was perhaps expected to be two more years. Today much due to the work of Paul and other great scientists around the world developing tremendous medications, it takes two years off the average life if you're treated in the right way.

And to be exposed to those kinds of breakthroughs in technology, and I can tell you, we're seeing so many of those right now taking place, we couldn't be in a more exciting time. And so that's the kind of thing that I know that motivates the 130,000 employees of Johnson and Johnson each and every day to get up and do their very best.

Now the other reason I'm so proud to work for the company is because right before we went public, Steve mentioned the date about 71 years ago, our founder Dr. Robert Wood Johnson, he was actually a little bit paranoid. And he was paranoid because it had been a family company up until that point in time and it was going public. He was concerned it might lose its way. And he wrote a simple document, about 143 words called the Johnson and Johnson Credo. And in it he talked about our responsibility and I think this, Larry, is very consistent with some of the things that you were talking about.

He said our first obligations are the patients, the mothers and fathers, the doctors and nurses who use our products. The second obligation that we have is to our employees, to make sure that they have a good place to work, that they could be treated decently. And remember, this was in the '40s when the labor relations between management and others wasn't necessarily what it is today.

And third, he said we have an obligation and responsibility to conduct our business to give back to the communities in which we live. And again, this was long before corporate social responsibility was a buzzword. And last he placed the shareholder. And by the way, he owned the largest number of shares of our stock at the time. But he said if you do those first three things, the shareholders should get a fair return.
And we'll be the first one to say we don't always get it right, but we work very hard to do our best to live up to the aspiration, the inspiration that that credo is. And so with that, let me end and just say thank you. As all of you know who are fortunate enough to receive an award like this, it's really not about us at all, it's about the great companies, the great organizations that we have a chance to work for. And I could not be prouder of those employees, many of them right here tonight, of Johnson and Johnson. And we're honored to be with you here, Rabbi, as part of this very important event. Thank you so much, everyone.

2014

2014 Program

Speeches
President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

Upon receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1990, Mexican writer Octavio Paz noted that "all of our actions, all that we do and dream, are bridges to break gaps and unite us to the world and to other fellow human beings".
These words remind us that humanity's strength lies in its unity, in the bonds that are created among human beings and among nations.
I therefore celebrate our meeting tonight with religious and corporate leaders committed to universal principles such as human rights, peace among all peoples, tolerance, and camaraderie.
Just as in Octavio Pazes remarks, you are the men and women who build bridges of understanding and integration among peoples and individuals. I take this opportunity to express my acknowledgment to all the members of this Foundation. I thank you for the honor that you have graciously bestowed upon me. I accept it on behalf of my entire country, Mexico, because the very achievements that you have recognized tonight are NOT the work of only one man, not even of one government; they are the achievements of an entire nation. I have the good fortune and responsibility of leading the efforts of a dynamic, democratic society, increasingly active and proactive, and willing to change. My country had been unable to take advantage of its great strengths for decades.
In fact, Mexico is one of the few true bio-diverse countries; 10% of our planet's species are found there.
Our population is the world's 11th largest and 50% of it is younger than 27 years Mexico is a stable democracy, which for eight decades has experienced peaceful and orderly transitions of governments in 6-year intervals.

We are a country that embraces solidarity and fraternity with the whole world. In several moments in history we opened our doors and offered shelter to those persecuted or expelled from their countries; to individuals and communities in search of a better future.
Today, we are the fourth largest economy in our continent and the 14th largest in the world.
We have an extensive network of Free Trade Agreements with 45 countries, a potential market of over 1.1 billion people. We are the third leading trading partner of the United States, only after Canada and China, with an exchange of goods and services that surpasses $507 billion per year, or a million dollars per minute.
In 2013, Mexico purchased $226 billion from the United States, more than all the BRIC countries -Brazil, Russia, India and China- combined.
In addition, Mexico is a leader in the manufacturing of advanced technology. We are also the number one exporter of flat screens and refrigerators; the number four exporter of computers; and the number six aerospace provider to the United States.
Recent second-quarter accumulated data in the auto industry places Mexico as the world's seventh producer and fourth largest exporter of vehicles.
But even with these strengths, Mexico has had more than three decades of low economic growth, barely 2.6% per year on average during the past 30 years.

Therefore, when I assumed the great responsibility of becoming President of the Republic, in my first Address to the Nation, I pointed out that the time had come for a profound transformation, so that Mexico could start a new era of growth and development.
We knew that the road would NOT be easy, that we would need to overcome resistance to change and the special interests of different groups.
However, we also knew we had many factors in favor of change: an active citizenry, democratic institutions and political powers with the necessary maturity and civility to reach consensus and build agreements.
Under these conditions, on the second day of my Administration, the main political parties and the Government signed the Pact for Mexico (Pacto por Mexico). This unprecedented agreement captured essential commitments to launch, together, a wide-ranging agenda of reforms in different areas of our nation's daily life.
Through this innovative political instrument it was possible to propose several structural reform initiatives to Congress. Each reform was specifically designed to eliminate obstacles that had limited the country's economic growth and social development.
All of the reforms were enriched with the vision and experience of experts, academics, opinion leaders and common citizens, and, most notably, legislators.
As a result, a dialogue among political stakeholders was established, which allowed us to reach consensus and the needed majority to approve each reform.
This exercise, which might seem easy, represented a paradigmatic shift for our country because since 1997 no political party has had the majority needed in the Legislative Branch to push reforms on its own.

I have expressed my utmost respect and recognition to all legislators, regardless of how they voted, because by engaging and enriching the process, they demonstrated that Mexico's democracy has the institutional strength to achieve transformational reforms in favor of its people.
Thanks to the support of political parties from the right, center, and left and to their legislators, in 20 months we materialized 11 reforms.
These reforms are the foundation upon which we will continue building a more modern and more competitive Mexico.
With these reforms, Mexicans have dared to change the quality of education, to make our labor market more flexible, as well as to combat monopolies and non-competitive practices.
We had the courage to modernize the telecommunications sector, expand available credit and reduce its cost, strengthen public finances, and jumpstart a new model of energy development in and for the country.
Through dialogue, the Mexican people agreed to renew our political and electoral institutions, as well as our justice and transparency systems. We, the people of Mexico, decided to change.

LADIES AND GENTLEMAN:
We are now focused on implementing each and every one of these reforms, so that their benefits can reach all homes and businesses in the country.
Each reform has an implementation plan with a timetable of specific actions.

The positive outcomes from these transformational changes are being recognized by experts in several fields. The main credit rating agencies have already upgraded Mexico's sovereign debt rating, which, as you know, helps reduce financing costs in international markets.
The world has a renewed confidence in Mexico because it sees that our country is moving forward and in the right direction.
The transformation of our legal and institutional frameworks is enhanced by the simultaneous transformation of our physical infrastructure.
This Administration will build over 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) of highways and is also developing projects to duplicate the capacity of our ports.

We are also giving a renewed push to modernizing the country's passenger trains, including the development of the first high-speed railway in the American continent, which will connect our capital with one of the nation's main centers of innovation.

Moreover, we recently announced the construction of a new International Airport in Mexico City, which, when finalized, will accommodate 120 million passengers per year through its 6 runways.
These numbers are twice the volume of operations in Hong Kong or Dallas airports.

With cutting-edge infrastructure projects such as these, we will benefit better from our privileged geographic position and will secure Mexico as a platform from where international companies can operate globally.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
Throughout its history, Mexico has faced and conquered many challenges, thanks to the integrity, hard work and unity of its people.
We are now working together, NOT to respond to a crisis or an emergency, but to push for substantive and long-term change. In conclusion, Mexico is a country that has dared to change, that is steadily moving forward towards greater inclusion and prosperity.
Working resolutely and with a clear path, Mexicans now look at the future with optimism.
We are working to make our country a place of opportunities and personal fulfillment for all of our people.
We want Mexico to be a nation of tolerance and harmony, a nation in which all Mexicans can fully enjoy their Human Rights, make their dreams come true and be happy.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Mr. Robert A. Iger

Thank you.

I'm proud to share this evening with my fellow honorees, Ms. Barra and President Pena Nieto; and it's a privilege to be among so many people who are committed to a more just and peaceful world.

I'm also honored to share the stage with Rabbi Schneier. We first met at a State Department event a few years ago, and it's hard not to be impressed by the sheer magnitude of his mission, or to be inspired by his unwavering optimism.

As CEO of The Walt Disney Company, I happen to know a little something about optimism. It's an essential part of our company's DNA that emanates directly from our founder, Walt Disney, who always looked beyond today to the possibilities of tomorrow, absolutely convinced that our future could be brighter than our past.

This optimism is present in every Disney story. It's why we still love them today. They reflect our shared ideals of love and friendship courage and empowerment. And of course, acceptance and inclusiveness.

We connect with these stories on a deep emotional level because, despite our many differences, most people share these basic human values. We want good to conquer evil, peace instead of conflict and, who doesn't want to live "happily ever after"?

Unfortunately, it's never that easy in real life; especially in today's tumultuous times, marked by rulers targeting their own people, cowards waging war behind human shields, and radical militants spreading terror.

Even people who believe in the same God are killing each other over the proper way to worship, and we are losing more young people every day to hateful rhetoric masquerading as faith and ideology.

And yet, we are living in one of the most innovative and creative periods in human history. The fact that so much hopelessness and hate can even exist in this era of endless possibility is a tragic irony of the modern world.

Our future will be determined by our ability to resolve this disturbing dichotomy and it will take more than military might and diplomacy.

It will take leaders willing to put aside politics and platitudes.

It will take the return of civil discourse. None of us have all the answers, so we have to be willing to open our minds and engage with people we disagree with.

And it will take a shared commitment from the global community to create real, tangible opportunities where few exist today. For the world to become a place of peace, it must first be a place of hope where people can dream of more than survival and parents can envision a better life for their children.

The task is enormous, but there are also plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

Our children represent an emerging generation of change agents who don't automatically define people by race, faith, orientation, or anything else.
They are far more focused on what we all have in common than what makes us different and the technological forces that bind them together can, and hopefully will, create a stronger sense of community and empowerment.

Today we live in an era where the miraculous is becoming commonplace, with an unprecedented ability to connect with people around the world.

We're just beginning to realize the full potential of this global connectivity, but we're already seeing remarkable change. Millions of voices once silenced by oppression can now be heard, and information can now flow into the dark corners of the world where ignorance has fueled intolerance for far too long.

Unfortunately, the global forces of hate and violence are also using this technology to recruit and radicalize a new generation - uploading their rhetoric and brutality to a worldwide audience with the push of a button.

The same technology that brings this darkness into our lives also gives us the means to find and defeat the people behind it. The global community has the powerand the obligation to use these new tools to help undermine and eradicate these forces.

We must never become anesthetized to these atrocities. We must not numb ourselves to the horror, or allow it to become the world's "new normal."

Fortunately, for every horrific image that defies human decency, there are literally billions of people around the world sharing uplifting personal experiences, weaving a social fabric that can tie us together.

Our future will be determined by the strength of those ties -- our shared commitment to overlook our differences and work together to give people everywhere a reason to believe things can improve.

We're all here tonight because we're optimists. We believe humanity can do better.and we're willing to be part of that effort.

I applaud you all for your commitment to this critical cause, and for your support of this important organization.
The Walt Disney Company is proud to stand with The Appeal of Conscience Foundation tonight and always. I thank you for this incredible honor.and I proudly accept it on behalf of the 175,000 men and women from 40 countries who make The Walt Disney Company what it is today.

Thank you.

Ms. Mary T. Barra

Thank you Jerry Speyer for that kind introduction, and thank you Rabbi Schneier for this extraordinary award.

Rabbi, your visionary leadership and the Foundation's efforts to promote human rights and individual respect are timeless ideals for all of us to follow. So thank you for all that you do.

I would like to begin this evening by congratulating the other honorees, Mr. Bob Iger, chairman of the Walt Disney Company, and The Honorable Enrique Pena Nieto , the president of Mexico.

It is an honor to share the stage with them, as General Motors has strong ties with both.

GM was Disney's first corporate partner at EPCOT in 1979 and we've been with the Disney team ever since. More recently, more than 90 percent of our dealers have participated in the Disney Institute's world-renowned customer experience training.

And just last month, I had the pleasure of meeting with President Nieto and his team in Mexico. Next year will mark the 80th anniversary of GM operations in Mexico.

Again, congratulations to both of you.

An award like this is certainly a great personal honor, but more importantly, it is a great tribute to the tens of thousands of GM employees, dealers and suppliers around the world who have made GM a leader in social responsibility.

One of the dangers in receiving an award like this is the temptation to believe you have achieved your goal. And yet one look at the headlines this past month, or any month reminds us that the struggle for tolerance, freedom and inclusion is far from over.

But thanks to Rabbi Schneier and the efforts of so many others, significant progress has been made. In fact, I am a beneficiary of this progress, as are millions of others around the world.

The life I lead today was not remotely possible just a generation ago.

My father was a die maker at GM's Pontiac Motor Division for 39 years. He retired from GM in 1980  the same year I started.

In the last 10 years of my father's career, he saw GM elect its first African-American board member, the Rev. Leon Sullivan. He saw GM elect its first woman board member. He saw GM establish the industry's first minority supplier and minority dealer programs.

My Dad saw a lot of change and a lot of work to foster diversity and inclusion within GM. And yet he probably never imagined a day when GM would employ more than 32,000 women around the globe.

When one-fifth of our executives would be women.
When one-fourth of our officers and one-third of our board members would be women.
And I doubt he ever imagined that GM would have a woman CEO.
So, yes,  we have made great progress, but there is more work to do and more progress to achieve.

One of the best things about my job is the opportunity to meet or talk with customers and employees from every one of the more than 120 nations where GM does business.

The more people I meet, the more clear it becomes to me that people everywhere are much more alike than they are different.

We all want to be treated with equality and respect. We all want the chance to contribute to our full potential.

That's why we have made diversity a priority for today's GM. And that's why we are working to strengthen our diversity practices around the world.

At GM, we believe that world-class companies require world-class communities. So, our approach has always been to become part of the communities in which we operate, to serve and improve those communities, all around the world.

We put so much work into diversity, inclusion and community development because we need the industry's best minds to address the historic opportunities we face.

We believe the best way to improve and grow is to tap the diversity that exists all around us, and to ensure that everyone has a chance to contribute to his or her full potential.

This strategy has worked well for GM. I believe it has equal merit for society at large.

And that is why we so admire the work of Rabbi Schneier and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and why we, the GM team, are so humbled and honored to receive this award.

Thank you.

Hon. Henry A. Kissinger

Mr. President, Rabbi Schneier, Archbishop Demetrios, Your Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen:

I am deeply honored to join our friend Rabbi Schneier in presenting this year's World Statesman Award to the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto.

I think we all would agree that the concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis. Tensions among the great powers are rising; fundamentalist armies are building a self-declared caliphate across Syria and Iraq; Libya is in civil war; parts of Africa are under siege from terrorists and disease. Every day we seem to awake to a new headline that reflects a global system that has slipped its moorings.

DISINTEGRATION OF STATE

A core part of the problem is that the economic system has become global, while the political structure of the world remains based on the nation- state. Economic globalization, in its essence, ignores national frontiers. Foreign policy affirms them, even as it seeks to reconcile conflicting national aims or ideals of world order.

LACK OF COMMUNICATION

North America, and, to an extent, much of Latin America as well, is an exception to this dilemma. This reflects a unique degree of homogeneity in political and economic models as well as in values. We are all deeply committed to liberal democracy, market-oriented economies, free trade, open investment flows, and the rule of law. We have a more or less common understanding of what we are trying to accomplish for our peoples, and of the best ways to create wealth and welfare for our citizens.

This reflects not only shared history, but also the shared vision and imagination of leaders who have recognized that we have more to gain than to lose when we think, not only on national lines, but also on regional ones. That was the genius of NAFTA.

If anything, I think that this regional impulse is potentially even more valuable today than it was 20 years ago as we navigate increasingly dangerous global waters.

In that spirit I believe we need to actively renew our commitment to North America, as a concept and as a reality. We should continue to reduce trade barriers, look for opportunities to build North American scale infrastructure, make our borders smarter and enhance our common security through increased collaboration and closer coordination. In practice, much of that must be done by our countries, private sectors, many of whose leaders are with us tonight. But governments need to take the lead by creating a framework that encourages regional, instead of purely national solutions.

I have had the honor of knowing and working with the President's eight predecessors. During the half century that stretches from President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz to President Pena, I have watched Mexico grow in almost every dimension, and to take its place among the most important countries of the world.

During these years, Mexico has transformed itself into a dynamic, vibrant, modern democracy. The economy has grown from an also-ran into one of the dozen largest in the world, and almost certainly will continue to move up the rankings in coming years.

That evolution has been critical to the economic health and security not just of Mexico, but also of the United States. Having strong and growing countries on both our southern as well as our northern borders has created enormous opportunities for us, and liberated us from the burden of the regional tensions that plague other great powers.

Indeed, the reality of a dynamic, coherent North America, based on the platform of NAFTA, but extending well beyond the realm of free trade,  gives us a unique advantage in the world as it is evolving in the early 21st century.

In that spirit, I would like to see the United States begin to think about trade, climate and other economic negotiations with a North American and not simply U.S. mind set. NAFTA not only exists, but the U.S. industrial, energy and transport sectors are increasingly North American in scale and scope. Our approach to trade negotiations like those between the U.S. and Europe and between the U.S. and parts of Asia, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans Pacific Partnership, respectively, ought to reflect those realities.

Of course, that would be a significant break with how things have always been done, but thinking differently about our challenges is exactly what is needed today.

This brings us back to President Pena.

Although he has been in Los Pinos less than two years, his vision and political skills have opened up a new and even better future for Mexico.

The President came to office with the conviction that his country was in danger of exhausting the energy that had been unleashed by the economic reforms of the 90s, and by the political opening that coincided with the millennium. He recognized that the economy and politics needed more competition; that the role of government needed to shift from control to regulation; and, most courageously, that Mexico needed to find a new path to develop its vast oil and gas reserves, almost 8 decades after they were nationalized.

I have known many Mexican leaders who understood that the most important key to their country's future was to open the energy sector to private capital, despite the guaranteed antipathy of the reactionaries. But only one was willing to do so.

I have always believed that a leader does not deserve the name unless he is willing occasionally to stand alone. And, by that measure, President Pena has proven himself a leader.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I think we can learn much from our southern neighbor.

Mexico could have continued on the path of the past several decades. It could have tinkered with changes at the margins of its model, hoping that the growing contradictions would somehow resolve themselves. Instead, President Pena chose the more difficult road. He recognized that only by transforming fundamentals, could he transform outcomes.

I think the same applies to our own national challenges, as well as to our common global challenges. Only by transforming how we fundamentally think about the problems can we move forward and produce the kind of dramatic new opportunities that President Pena Nieto has created for Mexico.

Mr. President, for all of what you have already accomplished as well as for all that lies ahead, I am delighted to join with Rabbi Schneier to present this World Statesman Award.

Thank you.

2013

Speeches
2013 Appeauis R.l Of Conscience Award - Louis R. Chenevert

Thank you, Marty [Lipton], for that wonderful introduction. It's truly an honor to be introduced by someone as distinguished as Marty. Thank you for your kind words and for the great counsel you've provided United Technologies for several decades. Let me begin by saying I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of United Technologies and our 220,000 employees around the world. It's a privilege for me to be here tonight with Rabbi Schneier, a man who has dedicated his life to overcoming hatred and intolerance and to making the world a better place. Rabbi, it truly is an honor to share the stage with you. I'd also like to offer my congratulations to President Yudhoyono for receiving the World Statesman Award. This award is well deserved. President Yudhoyono has been an unwavering advocate for human rights, for promoting the rule of law and for improving prosperity for the people of Indonesia. Mr. President, congratulations. I'm looking forward to your remarks later this evening.

Tonight, we gather as a diverse group, representing more than 25 countries with different governments, diverse backgrounds and a variety of perspectives. Yet, we all share a common purpose: A commitment to freedom, human rights, rule of law and advancing peace and prosperity around the world.

I know the global environment for business is more competitive and challenging than ever. At the same time, in certain parts of the world, individuals face an uncertain future, are denied access to the most basic human rights and often encounter a dangerous, sometimes even life-threatening environment.

In the face of these challenges, it is essential that we all come together and fully engage one another  as countries, as businesses and as individuals to strengthen the common bonds between us. And, tonight, I'd like to spend a few minutes talking about how fostering this greater collaboration can drive innovation and provide solutions to our greatest challenges.

If you think about it for a moment, business-led innovation, particularly during the last century, has done an amazing job overcoming some very powerful challenges, such as gravity, weather, long-distance travel and communications.

At UTC, we're proud of our long history of driving innovation. Many of our businesses were started by individuals who transformed their industries with game-changing products and technologies:

Willis Carrier, for example, invented modern air conditioning; Igor Sikorsky almost single-handedly perfected the modern helicopter; and Elisha Graves Otis invented the first safe elevator.

It's important to note that Otis didn't invent the first elevator. In fact, elevators, in some form, have been in existence since construction of the Egyptian pyramids. What Otis did through the use of a safety brake was to make them safe, which made it practical to construct buildings higher than a few stories.

Many people don't know that, 160 years ago, the first Otis safety elevator was sold to a furniture factory just a couple miles from here on Hudson Street. And since then, Otis elevators have enabled the construction of many landmark skyscrapers in this great city, including the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.

Today, the world's tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, has 163 floors. It also has 57 Otis elevators. The highest one reaches more than 1,650 feet into the sky. And the fastest one moves passengers almost 22 miles per hour, a rate of almost 30 feet per second. And every year, we move the world's population more than 100 times.

I share this information with you to illustrate a larger point: That business-led innovation has and will continue to make a profound difference on the world and vastly improve living conditions around us.

Looking ahead, the one constant will be the continued rapid pace of change. For example, every year for the next two decades 20-plus million people will move to urban centers, pursuing better lives for themselves and their families.Looking ahead, the one constant will be the continued rapid pace of change. For example, every year for the next two decades 20-plus million people will move to urban centers, pursuing better lives for themselves and their families.

This rapid urbanization presents many challenges  increased demand for energy and water; increased need for quality health care and education; and increased need for meaningful employment and advancement opportunities. Overcoming these challenges will require new solutions, drawing on our most limitless resource the capacity of the human mind to innovate.

At UTC, we believe so strongly in the capacity of the human mind and the value of life-long learning we've invested more than $1 billion in our Employee Scholar Program. This program enables all of our employees to pursue any degree of their choosing no strings attached. As of today, our investment has resulted in nearly 35,000 degrees earned by our employees around the world. But more important than the degrees is the education that enables our employees to engage with the rest of the world with new skills, more confidence and the vision to tackle even greater challenges.

We all love stories of individuals who invent something that changes the world like Elisha Otis or Willis Carrier or Igor Sikorsky. But, I believe the future of innovation and our ability to develop the best solutions for our most complex challenges will not come from individuals.

Rather, our biggest opportunity comes from bringing together people from diverse backgrounds  dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people working together and sharing their knowledge, experience and passion to solve complex problems. This level of global collaboration yields the greatest innovations. For example, in the case of my company, it resulted in our game-changing and truly revolutionary new engine technology, the Geared Turbo Fan.

This scale of collaboration requires the ability to quickly and efficiently communicate among large groups of people around the world. While the technology to do this exists today, we've not fully unlocked this opportunity. There are still too many barriers in some parts of the world blocking the free and open exchange of ideas.

We need to overcome this. We need people to feel free  and be free,  to fully engage with each other. This can only happen when the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, rule of law and human rights are well established around the world. Freedom, democracy and the respect for the rights of all individuals unlock the opportunity for, and value of, collaborative innovation.

Many of you here tonight have been champions for these values. We work hard every day to live these values at United Technologies. As our company enters new markets around the world, we bring with us a belief that financial performance and corporate responsibility go hand in hand. This is our approach; and we're proud of the way our employees across the globe embrace it and engage one another to drive the next generation of innovation.

But we know that's not enough. True success requires strong moral leadership. As leaders in business, government and faith we all share this responsibility.

Rabbi Schneier, you and your Foundation have accomplished so much in this area and we are proud to support your work, the mission of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and this extraordinary evening.

Thank you.

These comments contain statements which, to the extent they are not statements of historical or present fact, constitute forward-looking statements under the securities laws. From time to time, oral or written forward-looking statements may also be included in other materials released to the public. These forward-looking statements are intended to provide management's current expectations or plans for our future operating and financial performance, based on assumptions currently believed to be valid. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as believe, expect, plans, strategy, prospects, estimate, project, target, anticipate, will, should, see, guidance and other words of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. These include, among others, statements relating to: future sales, earnings, cash flow, results of operations, uses of cash and other measures of financial performance; the effect of economic conditions in the markets in which we operate and in the United States and globally and any changes therein, including financial market conditions, fluctuation in commodity prices, interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates; levels of end market demand in construction and in both the commercial and defense segments of the aerospace industry; levels of air travel, financial difficulties (including bankruptcy) of commercial airlines; the impact of weather conditions and the financial condition of our customers and suppliers; delays and disruption in delivery of materials and services from suppliers; new business opportunities; cost reduction efforts and restructuring costs and savings and other consequences thereof; the scope, nature or impact of acquisition and divestiture activity, including integration of acquired businesses into our existing businesses; the development, production and support of advanced technologies and new products and services; the anticipated benefits of diversification and balance of operations across product lines, regions and industries; the impact of the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, and labor disputes; the outcome of legal proceedings and other contingencies; future repurchases of common stock; future levels of indebtedness and capital and research and development spending; future availability of credit; pension plan assumptions and future contributions; and the effect of changes in tax, environmental and other laws and regulations in the United States and other countries in which we operate. All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. For additional information identifying factors that may cause actual results to vary materially from those stated in the forward-looking statements, see our reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K filed with the SEC from time to time, including, but not limited to, the information included in UTC's Forms 10-K and 10-Q under the headings Business, Risk Factors,Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Legal Proceedings and in the notes to the financial statements included in UTC's Forms 10-K and 10-Q.

H.E. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono President Of The Republic Of Indonesia

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,
Assalamua'laikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,
Shalom,
Good evening.
Peace and Prosperity be upon us all.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier
Mr. Louis Chenevert
Distinguished Guests,
My Colleagues and Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you Rabbi Arthur Schneier, thank you Dr. Henry Kissinger, for your very kind and generous introduction.

I commend the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for its remarkable dedication in building bridges of peace and understanding for humanity. I am humbled by the recognition that the ACF is giving to Indonesia through me tonight.

My wife Ani and I also wish to thank all our guests here for joining us and for your friendship for Indonesia.

But before I go on, please accept our deepest condolences for the terrible loss of life and suffering caused by the Oklahoma tornado; and also for the horrific bombing of Boston marathon before that. I have no doubt that America will again show her resilience and bounce back even stronger.

also saddened by the brutal killing of a British soldier in London recently.Upon hearing the news, I spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron to express my condolences -- such act of barbaric violence has no place in any peace-loving religion.

These events reinforce the common challenges that bind us together. The challenge of peace. The challenge of justice, including economic justice. The challenge of freedom, democracy and human rights. The challenge of attaining harmony among civilizations. The challenge of eradicating global poverty through sustainable development.

The good news is that there is a new globalism among nations and civil societies that hopefully would elevate international efforts to meet these challenges. As part of that new globalism, I have been privileged to co-chair a UN Panel that today submitted its final report to the UN Secretary-General on the vision and shape of global development agenda after 2015.

But global efforts will not go very far unless national and local leaders do their part.

And it is at the national and local levels where things can become much more complex.

Indonesia is one such example. We are one of the most ethnically diverse nations in the world, home of a quarter billion people who profess to the world's 5 major religions, living across our 17,000 islands.

And from day one of our independence, we have always aspired to be a nation united in diversity. A nation where citizens of various race, faith and creed live together in harmony. A nation based on the rule of law.

All these core principles are enshrined in our Constitution, and in our state ideology: Pancasila. And our ability to live by these ideals would determine not just our progress but also our survival as a nation.

Today, we have come a long way in realizing such a vision. But it did not come easy. We did it by hard work, courage and determination.

Just 15 years ago, at the start of our democratic transition, we faced multidimensional crises. Economic collapse. Political turmoil. Social unrest. Separatism. Communal conflicts. Ethnic violence. Terrorism. The situation was so severe that some predicted that Indonesia would be the next Balkan. broken to pieces.

But the people of Indonesia resolutely defied that doomsday scenario. One by one, we fixed our problems. We resolved the separatist conflict in Aceh which had gone on for 30 years. We repaired our broken relations with Timor-Leste. We restored political stability. We strengthened our democratic institutions. We introduced a law to end discriminations in Indonesia. Our once-sick economy recovered to become the largest economy in Southeast Asia, and the second fastest growing in the G-20 today after China. And a thriving civil society anchors our democracy. As a result, Indonesia is often said to be one of the most successful transformational stories of the 21st century.

And our democratic success has brought strategic benefits to the region and beyond.

So, Alhamdulillah, things are on the upswing for us.

But our democracy is still a work in progress. And our nationhood is constantly tested. Maintaining peace, order, and harmony is something that can never be taken for granted.

We are still facing a number of problems on the ground. Pockets of intolerance persist. Communal conflicts occasionally flare up. Religious sensitivities sometimes give rise to disputes, with groups taking matters into their own hands. Radicalism still exists on the fringe. This, I believe, is a problem that is not exclusive to Indonesia alone, and may in fact be a global phenomenon.

To be sure, we have more work to do. We shall continue to advance Indonesia's transformation, while tackling these problems.

As we move forward, we will not tolerate any act of senseless violence committed by any group in the name of religion. We will not allow any desecration of places of worship of any religion for whatever reason. We will always protect our minorities and ensure that no one suffers from discrimination. We will make sure that those who violate the rights of others will face the arms of justice.

We will do all we can to preserve a nation where hundreds of ethnic groups, and all God's children - Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Confucianists and other faiths - live as one in freedom and brotherhood.

And Indonesia will always be a country where places of worships are in abundance. Presently we have over 255.000 mosques. We also have over 13.000 Hindu temples, some 2.000 Buddhist temples, and over 1.300 Confucian temples. And this may surprise you've have over 61.000 churches in Indonesia, more so than in Great Britain or Germany. And many of these places of worships are often found on the same street.

Externally, Indonesia will continue to be a force for peace and progress.

As a nation invested in world peace, Indonesia will continue to send peacekeeping missions to conflict areas all over the world.

As the country with the world's largest muslim population, we will do our best to build more bridges between the Islamic and western worlds.

As a nation with a long history of tolerance, Indonesia will always be a strong voice for moderation, which we believe is the best antidote for extremism.

As the world's third largest democracy, we are setting a good example that democracy, Islam and modernity can go together in positive symbiosis.

As a nation built on the foundation of religious harmony, Indonesia will be at the forefront of inter-faith cooperation. Next year, Indonesia will host the Alliance of Civilizations conference in Bali. And we are actively promoting Abrahamic unity so that all the offspring of Abraham can finally live together in total peace in the 21st century.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me leave you with a final thought.

Building a tolerant society is a matter of good statecraft. It requires a good mix of persuasion and law enforcement. When violence occurs, justice must prevail. However, based on our experiences in Indonesia, enforcing the law alone is not enough. Hearts and minds have to be won. Old stereotypes have to be broken. A culture of tolerance and an inclusive approach have to be constantly promoted.

And this is something that no leader can do alone. This is something that requires the collective work of a large pool of leaders, of all persuasion, and in all fields doing their statecraft to lead and inspire those who follow them.

After all, good leaders are those who stand courageously at the front line, and shine a light of hope to the future.

Let us then work together in this pursuit of a better world.

Aameen.

2012

Speeches
Virginia M. Rometty

Virginia M. Rometty

President and CEO, IBM

 

2012 Annual Awards Dinner

September 27, 2012

 

Thank you.  (Applause)  Thank you both for that double introduction.  And I really ... Pete, based on your comments, and based on your wonderful accomplishments and what you have done for both this country and the world ... I think I should go back and get a retailing degree.  He has really, truly, wonderful contribution.  So one more time, thank you.  (Applause).

                                      And I must say, just as Vikram said, it is quite an honor to share this dais with not only the Right Honorable Steven Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, but also a great client, Vikram Pandit, from Citigroup.  And so I must add.  And let me just say that on behalf of all of my colleagues at IBM, I must say that not only I, we are very humbled by this award.  And truly, this idea of recognition of our vision about global integration.

                                      And I must say, Rabbi Schneier, coming from you, who is absolutely a role model about practicing something he believes in a truly global scope, for us it's been almost a century at the heart of our mission.  And so we very much have that in common with each other.  And I must say, long before IBM was ever really global, it was actually, oh, my goodness, almost 1924 that our founder, Thomas Watson, had the foresight to rename our company at that time, International Business Machines.  And then it was the first half of the 20th century that we were just that, an international company.

                                      But then, as times changed, like everyone else, world trade and the like all took a new face ... we became a very multinational company, like many companies out there today.  And then times changed again.  And here we are now with the force of globalization that you see, as a globally integrated organization.  And I'd like to leave you with just a couple thoughts.  Because this idea of being truly global and being a global company does change the value you bring, how you operate, but maybe more important, it changes your relationship with society.

                                      And for one ... become very incumbent upon us to really recognize that the employees we have to this global mission, that the Rabbi has ... that it's our duty to help them become global citizens in this world.  In a world that at one time was radically shaped by states is now radically democratizing based on things like social media.  So it is our role. 

                                      And I must tell you, just as Vikram shared a story ... a few years ago we started something called the Global Services Corps.  And it was actually modeled Peace Corps of the 1960s.  And we have employees volunteer and they go to developing countries around the world to work on any set of things a city might need.  And to this day, I must tell you, while many could say we started this for philanthropic reasons, I would tell you, no.  A program like this, in the end, has impacted not only IBM, but IBMers and the soul of what is our culture.  And in fact, I think this is probably one of the most meaningful things most IBMers now do in their career and around the world.

                                      And then I would just add two other points.  This idea of being global in everything that you look at ... coinciding at the same time that this world is going through such great urbanization ... already 50 percent of the world lives in a city, and by 2050, 70 percent will live in a city ... it is a time, and to our words, that we all get a chance to make these cities smarter in the way that we work and live in them.  And that is our great honor to help many companies and countries and cities around the world to become that way.

                                      And for us it has introduced us to a whole new set of companies and a whole new set of clients that are out there ... be that police chiefs, be that mayors, be that anyone that is helping make a city work better.  And in the end, then, the last thing about being a global enterprise is that it has led us to have a very different view, as I said when I started, between ourselves, a business, and society. 

                                      And perhaps that's the most important point ... because as many of you may have heard us speak of things about a smarter planet, and we talk about anything from transportation and the work that we do ... I would read a list of energy, climate, water, education, public safety ... and you know, there was a time for most of our companies, that would have been a list of corporate social responsibility.  But no longer.  Today that's a list of our markets.  And I think we have learned that economic growth and social progress are now inextricably linked; one and the same.

                                      So, let me just close with that.  And certainly, thank you one more time, Rabbi, Pete, Louis, and all up here ... it's really a great honor, on behalf of the 400,000 IBMers, more important, the leaders of the world we get to work with every day for this award.  Thank you.  (Applause)

 

Vikram Pandit

Appeal of Conscience

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Final Remarks, Vikram Pandit

 

It’s an honor to receive this award … to share it with Ginny Rometty … and to share the stage with Stephen Harper.  To be included among so many distinguished past honorees—including a who’s who of Presidents, Prime Ministers, and great business leaders—is truly humbling.

 

I’m also grateful to share the stage not just with two great leaders, but with two valued clients of my firm.  Citi’s relationships with the government of Canada and with IBM are deep and lasting.  Theirs is a trust we strive to earn every day.

 

Rather than begin with a prayer, let me tell you about a prayer.  Nearly two years ago I visited Jerusalem.  Like many visitors, I wrote my prayer on a piece of paper and placed it between two of the stones of the Western Wall.  Now, I can’t tell you what it said.  But the next day, the US government sold its remaining stake in Citi.

 

In all seriousness, freedom of religion is one of the most basic human rights.  Growing up in India and later moving to the United States, that principle is something I’ve always taken for granted.  I’ve never lived in a society where this core right was not honored.

 

But the truth is, in many places around the world, this right is threatened.  We’ve seen it too often in the history of the world—from the holocaust that drove Rabbi Schneier to seek refuge in the United States, to the many conflicts that embroil the globe to this day.  We’ve seen in recent weeks how the power of intolerance is still strong and can take innocent lives.

 

That’s what makes the work of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation so important.  You bring this discussion out into the open, standing up for tolerance and free expression when many would prefer to talk about something else.  Rabbi Schneier goes places others don’t want to go and says things people often don’t want to hear.  But they are necessary for us to hear.

 

There are many ways to promote tolerance.  As a businessman, I firmly believe that spreading growth, promoting prosperity, and lifting people out of poverty is one—very effective—way.  I know because I’ve seen it work in India and in the more than 160 countries where the company I am so proud to lead does business today.

 

But the world continues to need more engagement and dialogue.  So I am grateful to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and for Rabbi Schneier’s enduring commitment.  He would be the first to wish that his mission were no longer necessary.  But it is … and we are all the beneficiaries of his tireless work.

 

I thank you again for this award.

Remarks by The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper

APPEAL OF CONSCIENCE FOUNDATION WORLD STATESMAN AWARD

September 27, 2012 New York

 

The Right Honorable Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada

 

Commissioner Campbell; Consul General Prato; my fellow award winners, Vikram Pandit and Virginia Rometty; all the honored guests of our head table; and distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.

 

First, I want to begin by thanking Henry Kissinger for that very generous introduction. I have to say, Dr. Kissinger, I'm, of course, aware not only of your immense contributions to your country and international relations, but I have long been an admirer. I have to tell you, l've been an admirer, indeed, since before I was old enough to vote. So being able to share the stage with you and be introduced really does mean a great deal to me.

 

l'm also, of course, honored and want to thank Rabbi Schneier for the fact that we're all here tonight. I don't just refer to this large and impressive gathering, but more particularly to the cause for which you've brought it together and brought it together for so many years. ln a globe of conflicting and complex and competing interests, it is far too easy to set aside the silent and subtle appeals of the conscience. But if we do, the world is lost. You've made it your life work to take the horrors of your own experience and to use them to remind us of something truly hopeful, the freedom and human dignity of every person. And so you have our admiration and our appreciation.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, it's upon this foundation of freedom and human dignity that Canada seeks in an uncertain world to articulate a foreign policy built on certain principles. These principles are rooted in our own country's ancient heritage and long practice of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. But it is more than that.

On foreign affairs there is a widely shared consensus among Canadians, a generosity of spirit that one might describe as a simple desire for fair play. We Canadians, for example, are very conscious of our own sovereignty, and we expect our governments to make pragmatic decisions in Canada's national interest. But we also want those governments to be good world citizens, to try

 

to understand other points of view, and to act in concert with our partners for the wider interests of humanity.

That is, of course, not the same things, friends, and trying to court every dictator with a vote at the United Nations or just going along with every emerging international consensus no matter how self-evidently wrong headed.

 

When confronted with evil in the world, we do take a stand. We take strong principled positions in our dealings whether popular or not. And that is what the world has counted on from Canada, and received, in two world wars, in Korea, in a generation of peace keeping operations, Gulf War l, and, of course, most recently, as Dr. Kissinger noted, in Afghanistan and also in Libya.

 

Finally, I should tell you that Canadians are proud, fiercely proud of the reputation that we have established for both a competitive economy and a compassionate society. And for the unparalleled combination of cultural diversity and harmony which draws to us people of all nations.

 

ln short, ladies and gentlemen, I come here tonight to accept your award not for any qualities of my own, but behalf of the unique and magnificent country that I have the privilege of leading. Among the many assets of Canada is its neighborhood. That is to say, that Canada has only one real neighbor, and it is the best neighbor any nation could possibly have.

 

Now Rabbi, we do remember that 200 years ago this year began the last war between our two countries ... the war that effectively established our independence ... in a our comparatively small country has since lived in secure peace and growing prosperity for almost two centuries is a testament to the enduring strength and the essential benevolence of the United States of America. So thank you for a great partnership and for your unwavering friendship.

 

And friends, allow me in this vein to offer you, not (continues in French)

Let me offer you our unequivocal condemnation and outrage over the recent anti-American riots around your embassies and the deadly attack upon your consulate in Libya. And the deep sympathies of the Canadian people for all who lost friends and loved ones in that violent event.

 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings me to what I want to do tonight, which is a brief reflection on the state of the world in which we live, and the state of our values in the world in which we live. I referred a few minutes ago to our uncertain world. What are the uncertainties and what are their consequences. The years through which we are now passing seem to be times of extraordinary change as if some great hand is spinning the wheel of history.

 

Nations with a history of shared values, like many of our friends in Europe, are weighed down by debts they cannot seem to control, by entitlements they can no long era ford, and by sluggish economies that show few signs of growth.

Meanwhile, new powers are rising whose commitments to our deals are often neither firm nor clear. What appears to some a hopeful spring for democracy quickly becomes an angry summer of populism, old resentments seem to come back to life energizing groups who advocate terror and dangerous rogue states seek nuclear weapons.

 

Of course, these great global changes often present us global opportunities. The world is probably a freer and more democratic place today when I look at it, than at any point in my lifetime, yet paradoxically, rarely has the future of the free and democratic world been less secure. As I said, some new powers

are neither sure friends more implacable foes because these are perhaps the most difficult, the hardest to evaluate, I'm not going to elaborate on them here other than to say it is ever important in interacting with them that we clearly understand and always remember what we are dealing with.

 

Other countries, however, constitute unambiguously a clear and present danger, and thus demand a sober, a very sober assessment. First among these is the government of lran. I speak not merely, friends, of its appalling record of human rights abuse or its active assistance to the brutal regime in Syria or its undeniable support for terrorist entities or its continual denial of diplomatic rights or rather its pursuit of nuclear weapons ... rather, it is the combination of all of these things with a truly malevolent ideology that should concern us.

 

I believe that the appeal of our conscience requires us to speak out against what the lranian regime stands for. Likewise, it requires us to speak in

 

support of the country that its hatred most immediately threatens, the State of

lsrael.

 

Now,   friends,   in   supporting   lsrael,   we   don't   sanction            every      policy                 its government pursues. When, however, it is the one country of the global community whose very existence is threatened, our government does refuse to use international fora to single out lsrael for criticism. And it is important to state that whatever lsrael's shortcomings, neither its existence nor its policies are responsible for the pathologies present in that part of the world.

And we are also mindful of an important lesson of history ... that those who single out the Jewish people as a target of racial and religious bigotry will inevitably be a threat to all of us. lndeed, those who so target lsrael today are by their own words and deeds also a threat to all free and democratic societies.

 

Now, friends, I say these things not to counsel any particular course of action, not to wish any addition hardship on the long-suffering lranian people, certainly not to advocate war ... but rather so that we not shrink from recognizing evil in the world for what it is. Our government simply contends that the international community must do more, must do all it can to further pressure and to isolate this regime.

 

Now ladies and gentlemen, let me just conclude with this. We should never consider others evil merely because they disagree with us or because they compete with us. But where evil dominates, you will invariably find irreconcilable disagreement with the ideals that animate Canada, America, and like-minded nations.

 

The ideals this assert that all people possess human dignity and should be accorded equal rights. Lt’s not for Canada to lecture others, but it is responsibility of our government to make the choices that circumstances forced upon us. And these are the choices we shall make. First, we shall choose our friends well. And our true friends are those who to their core both respect the will of their majority and the rights of their minorities. Second, we shall deal openly and fairly with those who may not be our friends but we will not deceive ourselves about those relationships. And we shall not sacrifice our guiding principles in the interests of some transient advantage. Third, we

 

shall endeavor to recognize clear and unequivocal threats and we shall speak out against them whenever they stand before us.

 

And finally this, for ourselves, we shall strive to manage our own house, our economy and our finances in such a way that our own freedom of action is not compromised.

 

Because we must remember that the ideals for which we stand may be invaluable, but they are not invincible. They require our countries to be vigilant and well governed. And they require us to forever impress their privileged nature upon our successive generations. We therefore, must hold on to them ourselves and teach them to our children. We must speak of democracy in our schools, we must praise freedom as we go on out and justice as we come in. We must value our institutions and their endurance, and we must cherish the individual rights for which our ancestors bled and inscribe upon our hearts the vision of citizens who knows what it is to live without fear. For in the end, that is the true mark of liberty.

 

My friends, if we do these things, our nations shall endure and shall continue to inspire others. And those of us to whom leadership has been entrusted will have done all that can be expected of them.

Thank you very much for having me, for the honor you've extended, for your

invitation this evening. Merci beaucoup.

2011

Speeches
Address By H.E. Francois Delattre Of France

Rabbi Arthur Schneier,
Mrs Elisabeth Schneier,
H.E. Archbishop Timothy Dolan,
H.E. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian,
UN Undersecretary general Kiyotaka Akasaka,
Commissioner Ray Kelly,
Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the UN,
Consul General, with a special word of thanks to French Consul General Philippe Lalliot for being our host tonight, M. le Conseiller - l'Assemblée des Français de l'Étranger, Cher Guy Wildenstein, President of the American Society of the French Legion of Honor,
Rabbis, Reverends and Fathers, Distinguished guests,

Sophie and I are humbled and deeply moved to be with you this evening at the French Consulate to honor our friend, Rabbi Arthur Schneier. Humbled, because there are occasions when the one bestowing the award is more honored than the one receiving it. That is the situation tonight.

Deeply moved, too, because Arthur and Elisabeth Schneier have been part of our lives for several years now, back to the time when I was the French Consul General in New York.

I presented my credentials to President Obama only ten weeks ago, and I feel very privileged that one of my first public appearances here in New York as the new French Ambassador is for this ceremony honoring Rabbi Arthur Schneier.

I would like to welcome your family and friends who have joined us here tonight to express their support and admiration.

May I say a particular word of welcome to your wife Elisabeth, who has always stood by you and who shares your love story with France. My tribute to you Arthur extends to Elisabeth, to whom I would also like to express France's gratitude.

Today my country honors a spiritual leader, a man of peace and an exceptional individual who dedicated his entire life to bringing people of every faith closer together.

Let me spare you the endless listing of each and every one of your accomplishments, awards and honorary degrees. They are so numerous that I couldn't do justice to them all.

Instead, I would like to make sense of Arthur Schneier's extraordinary journey from a war-torn Europe to the shores of New York City where he set foot more than sixty years ago.

Trying to capture the essence of your commitment, Cher Arthur, I am immediately reminded of the beginning of "If this is a man", Primo Levi's seminal masterpiece about the unfathomable evil of the Holocaust.

It begins with a poem that so closely parallels Arthur's lifelong engagement that I can't resist quoting a few lines:

- quote -

Never forget that this has happened.
Remember these words.
Engrave them in your hearts,
When at home or in the street,
When lying down, when rising up.
Repeat them to your children.

-endquote-

As you all know, Rabbi Schneier is an holocaust survivor; he and his mother fled from Austria to Hungary in 1938, soon-to-be imprisoned and persecuted in the Jewish ghetto of Budapest. Almost miraculously, with the help of Carl Lutz, a Swiss diplomat, he survived the atrocities that decimated nearly 600,000 Hungarian Jews during that period. Many members of his family did not and were deported to the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Terezin.

Arthur was only 15 years old when Europe was liberated. At seventeen, he came to America on the shores of New York.

Since 1965, as the founder of the "Appeal of Conscience Foundation", you have worked tirelessly to cultivate and promote interfaith initiatives throughout the world. And when I say the world, this is by no means a figure of speech.

Arthur's unfailing commitment to counter the forces of extremism and hatred is global. Let me give you a few examples.

In the former Soviet Union you established yourself as a prominent figure of the movement for the rights of Soviet Jews in the sixties. Later, in Russia, you became an international observer to the June 1996 Presidential elections and engaged with key party leaders on issues of democratization, religious freedom and tolerance.

Another example: in Vienna, you organized the historic Kosovo Conference on Peace and Tolerance, which brought together for the very first time the leadership of the Catholic, Islamic and Serbian Orthodox communities in Kosovo.

In Eastern Europe you sent delegations of Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim and Protestant leaders to hold meetings with government and religious leaders.

In China, you were invited by President Jiang Zemin to examine the life of religious communities as a member of the Delegation of American Religious Leaders appointed by President Clinton.

On the world stage, your driving commitment to defend freedom of religion and belief is without limits and you are internationally known for your leadership on behalf of religious freedom, human rights and tolerance. And I believe your personally know every single head of state on the planet.

As a spiritual leader, you successfully initiated a United Nations General Assembly resolution for the protection of religious sites and religious minorities that was adopted by an overwhelming margin in 2001.

More recently, in 2008, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon asked you to serve as a goodwill ambassador of "Alliance of Civilizations". Its ambition epitomizes your lifelong commitment to prevent extremism through the forging of international, intercultural and interr-eligious dialogue and cooperation.

And of course, there is New York.

The city where you nurtured your dreams and where they came to fruition. The city where you attended Yeshiva University and were ordained as an Orthodox rabbi, the seventeenth consecutive member of your family to do so.

As Senior Rabbi, you have brought local, national and international recognition to Park East Synagogue, your synagogue. This is now an historic New York City landmark house of worship but also a vibrant center for Jewish life.

In April 2008, you hosted the Pope Benedict XVI during his historic visit to Park East Synagogue, marking the very first time a Pope visited a Synagogue in the United States. This crowning achievement was followed in 2009 by the visit of Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew the First of Constantinople.

And a few months later, you offered me the tremendous honor of welcoming me to your synagogue where I had the opportunity to address your congregation. This remains one of the most moving moments of my life.

As an educator, you created in 1981 the East Park Day School. At Park East, generations of children have been taught the values of unity and diversity, coexistence and mutual understanding. And I could go on and on. What a journey, Cher Arthur.

And all along this journey, you have maintained and developed a long and deep friendship with France. You have a special relationship with my country, a relationship of heart and mind deeply rooted in our shared values, the Judeo-Christian values that gave birth to the concept of Human Rights. And the French declaration of Human Rights that was adopted in the midst of our Revolution in 1789 is one of your strongest references.

The Universal Declaration on Human Rights that French Professor Rene Cassin and Eleonor Roosevelt wrote together in the aftermath of World War II is another of your references.

As I said earlier, Elisabeth is part of your love story with France and it should come as no surprise that you chose Paris a few years ago to celebrate your 20th wedding anniversary.

In September 2008 you stood up for granting President Sarkozy the prestigious Appeal of Conscience World Statesman Award. And the following year, it was Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, to whom you handed the Appeal of Conscience Corporate Leader Award. I am glad to greet Renaud Dutreil, the head of LVMH in the United States, who is with us tonight.

Cher Arthur, as a true friend, you have always reminded us of our duty to fight xenophobia and antisemitism and hatred whenever they rear their ugly head.

You know that under President Sarkozy's leadership, France is and will remain in the forefront of this existential fight for all of us.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me now say a word about the award : the French Legion of Honor was established to reward outstanding services rendered to France on the basis of personal merit.

Since its foundation by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Legion of Honor has been France's highest distinction and one of the most coveted in the world. And I'd like to point out that the rank of officer is only awarded to exceptional individuals for extraordinary achievements.

This is precisely why President Sarkozy, who knows you well and appreciates you so much, has decided to bestow upon you this distinction.

So it is my privilege, on behalf of President Sarkozy, to present you with the Legion of Honor in recognition of your tireless efforts to promote and support religious freedom, human rights and interfaith tolerance all over the world.

Arthur Schneier, au nom du President de la republique, je vous fais Officier de la Legion de Honneur.

H.E. President Lee Myung-Bak Of The Republic Of Korea, Recipient Of The 2009 World Statesman Award.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to share with you my personal story. Back in 1945 when my country gained independence after decades of colonization, our biggest challenge was poverty. It was the kind of material poverty that stripped a man of his dignity. When I was a young boy, my country used to be one of the poorest countries in the world. And my family was much poorer than the rest.

So, every since I was a little boy I worked hard. I had to. And there were many days when I had to satisfy my hunger by filling myself with nothing but water. We lived in shanties where the poorest came to live. Here, all day long, we heard people fighting, children crying and saw the sick dying. Poverty was all around me. I experienced poverty and realized that it can crush a human being. I knew at an early age that poverty is the worst form of violence. I know that it can even kill a human soul. This was Korea sixty years ago.

After graduating from junior high school, I worked during the day and attended night school to continue my studies. After graduating from night school, I became a day-laborer, scrapping by one day at a time. I remember my dream at that time was to get a job so that I would have a place to go when I got up every morning. I didn't care how much I got paid. All I wanted was a regular job. I knew then how important it is to be able to work, to have a job. I knew then that the best welfare of all is providing a job. Every day was a struggle so attending college was out of the question. Nonetheless, I held onto that dream and one day I was given a chance. Many people, many of them whom I barely knew, helped me realize my dream. A shop owner lent me used books and kind-hearted shop keepers at the morning market gave me a job as a garbage collector. Were it not for these people's generosity, I wouldn't have been able to go to college, let alone graduate.

Despite being poor, I received good education. And education helped me escape poverty. Education is the only way and the best way to prevent that vicious cycle of poverty from being handed down generation after generation. My life is a testament. Throughout all the pain and let-downs, I never let go of my belief in the importance of receiving good education. Neither did my parents. To them, being poor was never an excuse to deny their children their right to quality education. They did all that they could to provide education for their children. It wasn't just my parents though. Almost all parents in Korea who lived through wars and poverty thought likewise. And this is what made Korea. To this day, parents in Korea do not hesitate when investing in their children's education.

While college life was never easy, I also began to learn about and become aware of values that would shape the rest of my life. I began to look beyond my present circumstances. I started to seriously think about problems that weren't just about me or my family. Ideals such as democracy, freedom and human dignity started to bud within me.

These stirrings in my mind propelled me into action. During the mid-1960s I became a student leader leading demonstrations calling for democracy and the end to dictatorship. I was caught and imprisoned for my activities. Through my participation in the democracy movement, I became aware of the importance of democracy, human dignity and freedom. For a young man whose life was solely about survival up until then, this was an awakening, a leap into an entirely new world.

Reality remained harsh for ordinary Koreans. Korea's per capita GDP was approximately 80 US dollars at the time. Unemployed men and women roamed the streets all day looking for work. Unable to take care of themselves or their families, they had little hope for the future. I knew what poverty could do to a man; I feared that without economic prosperity none of us would have any hope for the future.

So, as soon as I was released from prison, I decided to get a job at a small private construction company. This company had less than one hundred employees when I first joined. However, it later evolved into a global conglomerate with subsidiaries in auto, shipbuilding and construction, among others. As its youngest-ever CEO, I traveled far and wide, through scorching deserts, freezing tundra and thick jungles building bridges, plants and factories. It was a learning experience where I developed a global mind.

Of course, I was able to finally escape poverty. But more importantly, I was able to help my country escape poverty. It was a privilege to be able to take part in this epic journey. I consider my life as a blessing and I am deeply proud of my people and what they managed to achieve. I have always been grateful to my country for giving me this opportunity and to my fellow Koreans for making all this happen. I love my people and I know I owe them a great deal.

This is why I founded the "Lee & Kim Foundation" named after myself and my wife. I promised myself that I would pay back what I owed my people. I donated almost my entire wealth to this foundation which is focused, among other things, on providing scholarships to children who are going through hard times like I did more than fifty years ago. I hope this foundation will give people hope and a chance to realize their dreams. No child should have to give up getting a good education simply because they have no money.

Ladies and gentlemen,

However intense it may have been, our walk towards eradicating poverty was not just about attaining material wealth or being well-off. It was also a struggle to attain something else : human dignity.

Last year, Korea was host to the G-20 Summit. It was an occasion to remind ourselves that the miracle that happened in Korea can and must be repeated elsewhere. We believe it is our responsibility to share with our developing partners around the world what we learned. In 2009 when the global economy was on the brink and all countries were trying desperately to overcome the crisis, Korea joined the OECD development assistance committee. By doing so, out of all the countries that gained independence following the Second World War, Korea became the only country to become a donor country from that of a recipient country. A boy who once received aid from others is standing before you as the president of a country that is now able to give to others.

From Africa to Asia, we have thousands of Korean volunteers overseas helping those in need. As I've said, I know from personal experience what it's like to receive from others. I understand what one has to go through. This is why I always insist that Korea must become a donor country with a heart. This is why I always remind our people that whenever we give, we must do so with sincerity and humility. We must respect the culture and custom of the one who is receiving our help. I know this matters; I was once on the other end.

The theme of last year's G-20 Summit was "Shared growth beyond the Crisis". Under this theme, one of the agenda items was development which we proposed. We will provide financial assistance but we will also help our developing partners attain self-sustainability so that they themselves can develop their growth potentials.

Last July I visited Ethiopia. While I was there, I did volunteer work for two days in villages that were considered the poorest in the country. Poverty was raw and severe. The reason why I decided to volunteer was so that I could experience first-hand what they were going through and learn how we can help them.

Today, we are facing a new kind of poverty. Globalization and information technology has brought us closer together and made life more enjoyable to millions. However, it has also worsened polarization within a country. Too many of our young men and women are denied the opportunity to pursue their dreams because they can't get a decent job. Too many families are worried if more bad news is in store. Korea is faced with the same problems.

For these reasons, I proposed a solution to this new problem which we call "eco-systemic development." It is a new vision for the future where we all strive towards a "win-win" society. It is a society where every member contributes and cooperates with one another. From a narrow perspective, certain relationships within our society may seem like a "zero-sum" relationship. However, when looked at from a wider perspective, the same relationship may very well be mutually complimentary. It's like in the natural world where there exists fierce competition also cooperation that benefits all parties. Such diversity is what achieves equilibrium and co-prosperity. I strongly believe that we must all take part. The government alone can only do so much. Every actor must take part, contribute and work together. This is the essence of an evolving market economy, an evolving social norm that suits the needs of our time.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Korea remains the only divided country in the world and the last remnant of the Cold War. The two Koreas share the same history, language and customs.

My dream is to have the 70 million Koreans living on the peninsula enjoy real freedom and real happiness. A unified Korea is a Korea that will be a friend to its neighbors and a friend to the world. Such a Korea will promote peace and prosperity to the region and beyond.

And ladies and gentlemen, this is my mission, my calling as president and I intend to fulfill that role of laying the foundation for a peaceful peninsula.

Distinguished guests,

The United States has played a pivotal role in making Korea become what it is today. It helped us keep the peace and our way of life, our freedom and our prosperity. Korea's alliance with the United States has allowed us to attain prosperity and we have also become a truly democratic state. I am proud of this fact.

Today, Korea has grown strong enough to enter into a free trade agreement with the United States, thereby contributing to mutual prosperity. I am proud of this too.

The relationship between Korea and the United States is excellent. Our relationship is one based on shared visions and common values. We are global partners, working shoulder to shoulder in global affairs that affect us all. I am proud of this. I hope you will be proud to have a friend like Korea.

Korea will remain a friend to all peace-loving nations around the world. Tonight's award will only encourage me to do my part in this endeavor.

I wish the very best to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and I thank you all once again. Thank you.

2010

Speeches
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh 2010 ACF World Statesman Awardee

Rabbi Arthur Schneier,
Dr. Henry Kissinger,
Distinguished Guests,

I deem it a great honor to receive the prestigious Appeal of Conscience Award. I regret that I am not able to be with you, this distinguished gathering, in New York tonight. Please do, however, accept my warm greetings and appreciation for your work and for the honor you have bestowed upon me.

I believe there is no ideal more worthy of our pursuit than a willingness to live and let live, to coexist on this beautiful planet, living with each other irrespective of race, nationality, language, religion, gender, and any one of our individual identities. We live in a world that is more integrated and interdependent than ever before. The age of information and instant connectivity is on us. World is more connected, but also more vulnerable.

Rabbi Schneier, yours is an extraordinary mission that seeks to make a real difference to our collective prosperity and security. And therefore, I wish you and your colleagues all success. I accept this award on behalf of a people who have lived in this sacred land for a million year, and have lived together. India has been guided since ancient times by different mental belief that, while spiritual expression takes many forms, and the journey for universal truth takes many parts, we are all united by our highest values, ideals, and our inherent humanism.

Our view of the world is guided by two ancient Sanskrit sayings. Vasudhaiv Kutumbikam. The whole world is one family, an Indian saying. All faiths are equal. These ideas and ideals come not just from our holy text, but from our lived experience. They have become the tenets of our republic and our constitution.

India has attracted people of diverse persuasions in search of land, fortune, refuge or knowledge. They have enriched the composite nature of the Indian civilization, and its cultural diversity. Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism were born on Indian soil. Judaism, Christianity and Islam came to India very soon after their revelation. Today, 160 million Muslims are contributing to India's nation-building effort.

The founding fathers of our country built upon these pluralist traditions. When India attained freedom, we were fortunate to have men and women of vision who drafted a constitution that guarantees fundamental rights, accommodates diversity, and contains special provision for minority and vulnerable groups.

India's democracy since then has grown from strength to strength, enabling all sections of society to participate in the process of government. In the last two decades, rapid economic growth has opened new opportunities for us to widen our development options. I am convinced that the socioeconomic transformation of a population as large as India's, within the framework of a democratic polity, will have profound implications on which way the world will head in the future.

India and America are two societies that celebrate diversity and value pluralism. It is because we practice these values that we also know how hard it is to preserve them. They are under constant challenge from forces that seek to divide us on the basis of religion, language or color. It is vitally important that we defeat these forces. We cannot and must not allow a narrow fringe to make societies hostage to the ideologies of extreme intolerance.

The events of September 11 in New York and November 26 in Mumbai have changed the way we look upon each other, and even at ourselves. Should the battle against terrorism blind us to other core values? The answer has to be in the negative, because what is equally true is that terrorism in the name of religion is an affront to all religions. We simply cannot afford to define communities, societies and regions based on the action of a small group of individual.

At the same time, the state has to provide an atmosphere in which men and women are treated equal, where there is equal opportunity and there is respect for human rights. This battle for the hearts and minds of people continues to be fought across the world. We should seek solutions to some of the problems that have divided other communities, that redress meaningfully the grievances of people while giving them dignity, honor and self-respect.

As I have often said, terrorism anywhere threatens peace everywhere. Poverty anywhere undermines prosperity everywhere. It is, therefore, in all of our interests to seek a world free of terror, free of poverty, free of tyranny. At the global level, we must seek a more just and equitable world by accelerating global economic growth, turning of attention to the poorest and the most vulnerable sections of our societies, and advancing health care, education and food, security, and conserving our environment.

These ideals are not new. They are by no means easy to pursue. We must continue to strive to make our world a better place. The ecosystem is defined by diversity, rather than uniformity. Yet, its fundamental traits are balance and harmony. There is no reason for human society to be any different.

I once again thank Rabbi Schneier and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for bringing together such a distinguished gathering, and for giving me the privilege of speaking to you tonight.

Thank you.

Mr. Steven A. Schwarzman Chairman, CEO And Co-Founder, The Blackstone Group

It's a pleasure to be here this evening, and before I give some brief remarks, I'd like to say how pleased I am to be on the dais tonight with so many of my friends. In particular, I want to recognize my other honoree, John Elkann. I met John when he was probably a teenager, when Blackstone did some work for his family. Their chief financial officer, John Luicci Gabetti, who's sitting at the table over there.

Brought John over to meet me, and I was impressed by his curiosity and quiet dignity. I'm so proud to see how he's developed over the last few years. Although he's still a young person, particularly for the level of responsibility he has as chairman of Fiat, he's brought the company through a very difficult period with sensitivity, grace and strength.

I've met Prime Minister Singh many times, and in fact had a fascinating lunch with him during UN week in 2008, several weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed. He predicted that India would grow over five percent in 2009, which was a very bold prediction at the time. If you check, you'll find out, he was correct.

Our firm is very active in India, where we own 12 companies, have invested over $1.2 billion in their country, with a lot more coming. In fact, I'm going to India in two weeks to chair a jury to pick the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence in India, along with seven prominent India business and political figures. Prime Minister Singh will be presenting the award later in the month to the winner.

I'd like to also thank Muhtar Kent for participating tonight. I got to know Muhtar when he chaired our Corporate Committee at the Kennedy Center with great distinction, enthusiasm and great results, when I was chairman there. And he does so many good works in the philanthropic area. We're glad to have him.

Finally, I'd like to acknowledge my friend Bernard Arnault, who traveled all the way from France just to be here for tonight's event. Many of you will be familiar with Bernard's remarkable achievements, from buying a small, complex company in France, where he started, selling most of the parts, and then building on its fashion business to create the most remarkable luxury brand company in the world. I play tennis with Bernard in France from time to time. And what you don't know is that he has one of the best cross-court forehands around. As you might imagine, he doesn't like losing, and I can assure you that he doesn't lose very often, often at my expense.

It's a great honor to receive this award tonight. The values put forth by this organization ... tolerance of religion, of ideals, of value systems ... are at the basis of humanity and are an integral part of my belief system. When this organization was created in the 1960s by Rabbi Schneier, this country was in the middle of a great struggle for tolerance of human rights, religious rights, and freedom of expression. These were formative years for me, as my own attitudes towards tolerance and understanding were forged.

The year President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which began the long process of racial integration in the United States, I was on the track team in my suburban Philadelphia high school. I thought nothing of it at the time, but when we got to the state championships, ours was one of the few teams that was racially integrated. For the time, it was unusual, but I'm glad to be in a world where such a thing is now standard.

I remember a few years later, at college, I was fortunate enough to be a finalist with two other undergraduates for a scholarship for post-graduate study overseas. We had all traveled for several hours by train ... that's when people did travel by train ... to be interviewed by one of the senior partners of a prominent law firm. We got to know each other well, talking about what we'd achieved at college. And as a result, I had a fairly good idea of who was the most qualified and deserving candidate. Unfortunately not me, by the way. But I was happy to get as far as I did.

The most qualified candidate had earned simultaneous bachelor's and masters degrees in physics, was a male cheerleader, which was okay because it was a male college, (Laughter), and was number four in the United States in the sidehorse in the NCAA gymnastics championships, and our college didn't even have a gymnastics team. He learned it all himself. He was Jewish, like me.

A few days later, the results were posted, and the winner, the third candidate, with the worst grades and the weakest student leadership positions, was somehow from the same prep school and background as the law firm partner. And he wasn't Jewish like the other two of us. I was stunned that the process didn't select who was unquestionably the qualified candidate, the Jewish gymnast. I was shocked then, and I remain shocked today, that such an event could actually occur. And I am committed personally to a meritocracy culture, which is one of our core principles at Blackstone.

Compared to the injustices that millions today experience as a result of discrimination and persecution, this is a minor matter. But I think everyone in the room will understand that, over 40 years later, I can still feel its impact. Thomas Jefferson wrote, in the Declaration of Independence, that a decent respect for the opinions of mankind was a principle of our then-new democracy. Today, that ideal is at the heart of this group's work. Tolerance of the ideas of others, even when they do not agree with one's own, whether it's political, economic policy, or the practice of one's religion and values, still eludes many. With the advent of greater access to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, intolerance has cataclysmic possibilities for society and human life.

How do we make people more tolerant? Intolerance has been with us since the beginning of time. History is replete with examples of atrocities and cruelties over the centuries, resulting from one group in society's hatred of another.

Organizations such as the Appeal of Conscience Foundation have made progress, but we have more to do.

As we know, there's no single solution. But I believe that an investment in education, particularly for those currently denied an adequate education, leads to greater understanding, and provides a first step in breaking stereotypes that cause so many to lump people into rigid categories. Education lifts the downtrodden, inspires one to see perspectives beyond their own, provides the tools with which to make one's own sound judgments. When deprived of these tools, either due to poverty or living in societies where proper education is nonexistent, or is denied, bigotry breeds more freely.

I imagine many of the attendees at this evening are of Irish, Polish or Italian ancestry, whose forbearers arrived in this country, and who got their foot on the first rung of the American Dream in the Catholic school system. This system set out to give a first-rate education to the children of immigrants, many of whose parents were barely literate. Thanks to the education provided by the nuns and brothers of the Catholic teaching orders, so many children and grandchildren of working men and women have gone on to university and professional lives, and have taken their place as leaders in all walks of American life.

When you read the history of the United States, in the 19th century, and the anti-Catholic prejudice that suffused much of our society that confronted these new immigrants, that prejudice seems almost incomprehensible now, as we are in the opening decade of the 21st century. Education played a pivotal role in changing people's attitudes. Our public institutions also have a role to play, creating a more tolerant society, and our business, civic and religious leaders need to support these institutions.

Our public libraries in New York City, which are housed across all five boroughs, in rich neighborhoods and poor, are accessible to anyone who chooses to enter. Thanks to technology, the circle of access is even wider. Books and catalogs of learning are now available in homes, free to the public. The rich promise of knowledge, the means to discover things, and the perspectives you didn't know, is a healing balm to hatred and resentment.

A society free of intolerance is probably a utopia. But a society more tolerant than the one we have now is not. Our history and the history of the world is one of slow, often painfully interrupted, progress to a better, more tolerant world. Would any student of European history, looking at the wreckage of that continent in 1945, and thinking back on its thousands of years of bloody history, have predicted the European Union, and the integration of the nations of Europe into a peaceful whole?

I'm proud of the work the Appeal of Conscience Foundation does. It has a vital mission in this world. Things are getting better, and will get better. I know we have much to do, and I am committed to staying involved, and to encouraging my peers to get involved. Thank you very much.

John Elkann Chairman, FIAT Group

John Elkann
Chairman, FIAT Group
2010 Appeal of Conscience Award

 

Rabbi Schneier, ladies and gentlemen, thank you.  I want to thank Bernard Arnault for what he said tonight.  I'm very happy to be here.  There are many family and personal friends.  My family, my wife.  Rabbi Schneier, who's been close to us for many years.

                                     

I was born in New York 34 years ago, and thinking about the values of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation's, which are to enable interreligious dialogue, and to know more about different cultures.  I was very fortunate to have that experience, having been brought up in a family where, from my father's side, I come from a Jewish family and was brought up with those values, and at the same time, with my mother's side, in a Catholic family.  My mother than remarried, a Russian Orthodox.  (Laughter).  So a new world opened up.  And having a very large and extended family, there are many different religions.  So I was very fortunate to learn about where I came from, but also be aware of others.

                                     

That was also due to the fact that I traveled a lot as a kid.  After New York, I went to the UK.  I then spent five years in Brazil, from seven to 12.  I then went back to Europe, in France and in Italy, where I graduated from engineering.

                                     

And then I started my professional career, which is not very long.  It's a little over a decade.  It started in General Electric, where I was part of the corporate audit staff.  And that was the most important experience I had.  I was with a group of 250 people, 15 different nationalities, backgrounds, religions.  And that was where truly I saw how powerful it can be to have a very diverse group of people working for the same goal.

And that experience has helped me along my professional life.  And today, here in the U.S., we have a very big challenge with Chrysler.  And Fiat and Chrysler are two very big cultures, with a big past, and are engaging in the future.  And there's no ethnic stripe about them. 

                                     

In Fiat and in Chrysler, people live through very simple cardinal rules, five cardinal rules.  We believe in merit above mere knowledge or rank.  We believe in leadership of change and of people above position.  We engage in competition above insularity.  We aspire for excellence above mediocrity.  And we believe in accountability above idle(?) promises.

                                     

Reflecting on tonight, and reading the speeches who were given here in the past, and thinking about my grandfather, who was honored 25 years ago, and thinking about what he taught me about how business can impact society.  I remember when I was a teenager, going to an exhibition with him in Venice of an Italian painter called Canaletto.  And, you had, in a painting, a view of a marketplace.  And you'd see people coming from everywhere, trading. 

                                     

And he was telling me how Venice was a very important trade place, especially from 1200 to 1400, where basically it was the largest hub between the West and the East.  And one of the main reasons why Venice was such an important marketplace, it's because it believed in tolerance.  And people from many religions could live there, work there.  And if you weren't tolerant, you'd be punished.

                                     

And one of the things he taught me then is that, if one thinks where trade passes, generally wars don't pass.  And if we look at Europe, one of the premises for a continent that, for centuries and centuries fought, was the following one in 1957 with the Treaty of Rome that was the constitution of the European economic community.  Which now, from the six original members, has 27 members.  And I know Europe, especially this year with Greece, has been under severe criticism.  But if you think about this project, we're still living for more than half a century in a very peaceful continent.

                                     

And clearly, things do change, and if we look at Venice, it did decline.  And so, thinking about the Appeal of Conscience Foundation's value.  And also, as my own objectives, especially with my wife, Lavinia, as a father, on how you can teach to our children, to my children, to be in a world where they can be free, where they can respect one each other, what is very important is education.  And the only way we can think about our future and try to eliminate intolerance and extremists is through education.  Just understanding one and each other, understanding different religions and different cultures.

                                     

So, just as an example of that, not far from here, at FAO Schwartz, we bought this big map of the world we have in the room of our children.  And with that map, we starting ... they're only four and three ... to show them how big the world is, how diverse the world is, and what a great place it is.  And also as a family, through our foundation, we very much believe in how education is important, which is exactly to be able to live, and especially to transmit to others the values of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation's.  Thank you very much.

                                     

 

2009

Speeches
Address By Muhtar Kent

Thank you, Rabbi Arthur Schneier,
Majesty,
Excellencies,
Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Tonight, I'm merely a proxy for the one million associates of the Coca-Cola Company, and our partners around the world who are deeply, deeply committed to our mission of refreshing the world. Inspiring moments of optimism and happiness, and making a positive difference in the communities, we are so, so proud to serve in more than 200 countries around the world.

Thank you. That beautiful award is their award, and I'm humbled, and I'm privileged to represent them tonight. For all of us in the Coca-Cola family receiving this award, from a person, from a gentleman and an organization, that has played such a profound role in promoting interfaith dialogue, as well as cross cultural understanding is truly an honor, and we will never forget that.

Rabbi Arthur Schneier, just as you recognize us tonight, we salute you and all the important programs that have been advanced by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for almost half a century. Last year, I was in attendance when President Sarkozy, Mayor Bloomberg, and Jeff Immelt were honored with these wonderful awards. Tonight, I'm proud to be here with an icon, not only of French business, but also a global business, Mr. Bernard Arnault.

The great work that LVMH, Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is doing across the sustainability platform is an inspiration to all of us in the consumer goods business. Our two companies share a common heritage, a common heritage of fiercely protecting and enhancing world class brands. Indeed, today, like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dom Perignon, and so many other LVMH brands, are among the most recognized, and among the most respected in the world. And speaking of Dom Perignon, the last time I was in Paris, I ordered a nice cold Coca-Cola at a cafe, and the waiter just smiled and said, "Ah, American champagne".

But Bernard, your bubbles or my bubbles, bubbles are good.
,br>At Coca-Cola, we also admire the sustainability leadership of our great retail partner, Carrefour, which is also one of the companies that you guide, whom we are proud to work with to bring value and quality to consumers around the world. And I think the CEO of that wonderful retailer, one of the largest retailing businesses in the world is here with us. Lars Olofsson, I couldn't see you, but if you are here, wonderful to have you here.

Congratulations again, Bernard, and everyone, everyone at LVMH. We've also had the great, great fortune of working closely with Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the United Kingdom, as well as around the world. This morning, I participated in the opening plenary of the Clinton Global Initiative. We talked at length about the Prime Minister's business call to action, and the imperative to bring new innovations and economic development to the emerging world.

Last year, Coca-Cola made a commitment to the business call to action to help create around 2,000 new independent distribution businesses across the whole continent of Africa by the end of 2010. This commitment will create almost 10,000 new jobs and generate revenue of almost half a billion dollars, and that will come on top of the 2,500 such entrepreneurial ventures that we have across Africa, apart from our normal business. These small businesses are owned and operated by local entrepreneurs whom we help train, many of whom are getting their first ever taste of economic empowerment. And I'm proud to report that we are ahead of track to fulfill that commitment.

Thank you. Another important issue that was discussed this morning, and which has been mentioned tonight, is the global financial crisis and its impact on businesses' sustainability efforts. Without question, the financial crisis has touched everyone. No one has been immune. While some nations, primarily China, India, Brazil, have been more resilient than others, no one nation, no one business, no one individual has been immune from this crisis. We're in this together, and the only, only way out of this crisis is together. This is also, in essence, the theme of the G20 Summit convening in Pittsburgh tomorrow.

In a world that requires, above all else, much, much greater collaboration and understanding, we can all learn from the example of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation. Rabbi, the challenges we face today, the economic ones, social ones, environmental challenges, can only, only be solved by building those strong bridges, bridges of cooperation, bridges of empathy, trust, dignity, among businesses, governments, civil society.

This is not the time to scale back on sustainability investments and sustainability innovations. As we endure this global financial crisis, brought upon us largely as a result of broken promises, the virtues of trust, the virtues of social responsibility beam brighter than the lights of Times Square. Indeed, today, trust is more valuable than actually gold. Consider just a few alarming statistics:

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, nearly 70 percent of informed citizens trust corporations a lot less than they did only 12 months ago. And when respondents were asked about the trust in business in general, only 38 percent said they trust business to do what is right, a huge 20 percent drop over the prior year.

I must say, I'm troubled, not surprised, but troubled by these findings, and the implications for business, for our companies, our brands, even our respective nations are actually pretty profound. On this last point, we would all do well to remember that in foreign affairs, corporate diplomacy is actually more important these days, as important at least as political diplomacy.

As you all are aware, anti-Americanism abroad was for some time quite a significant concern. Over the past year, President Obama has done an incredible job in improving these attitudes. But we still have a long road ahead.

The world needs a strong brand America, and a strong brand America needs not just strong political leadership, but also strong business leadership overseas. Like all of you, we at Coca-Cola believe in creating a better world through cross cultural understanding. We think it is a noble as well as crucial calling.

On this final note, I'd like to once again thank all of our Appeal of Conscience Foundation supporters. Your support, your passion for peace and tolerance inspires all of us and sends a powerful message in this time of great need. Thank you again, very much, for being with us. Thank you.

Address By Bernard J. Arnault

Prime Minister,
Your Excellencies, Your Eminences,
Mr. Mayor,
Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends, good evening.

When Rabbi Arthur Schneier called me several weeks ago to announce that the Appeal of Conscience Foundation wished to honor me, I was obviously moved and happy to be the recipient of this award-- given for the first time in 1965-- because I know and respect the work you, the trustees, do.

My friend, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, and I, throughout our lives, have met a number of personalities, government leaders, figures in the field of economics, players in the world of NGOs. He, the man of spirituality, of religion, of meditation, and I, more oriented towards the development of the economy and industry, have traveled across the world's continents. That has forged our view of things. What does he see? A world that can only thrive if it is sustained by the spirit of progress and the thirst for peace; a universe which will not be able to survive without the spread of liberty, the willingness to talk, or the spirit of tolerance. In the course of our journeys, in Asia, in America, or in Europe, we have known both ordinary people and exceptional beings.

We have traveled separate paths, but have shared the same conclusion. What should bring men together is far stronger than the perception they may have, which is an illusion that separates them. We didn't know each other before. But, this conviction has brought us closer. Progressively, these discussions, these experiences, have provided subject matter for our own conversations and we have become regular correspondents. We have gotten into the habit of confronting our impressions, our judgments, our worries, but also our hopes.

In Paris, in my office on Avenue Montaigne, or in this extraordinary, audacious and vertical city where we meet this evening and which has been led at City Hall by Mayor Bloomberg who, today, is the heir to Thomas Willet, elected in 1665 and David Matthews, elected in 1776, stealing an hour or two from the daily hustle and bustle, we have taken the time to exchange views, to talk, to be objective. This has probably given me greater serenity. I don't know, dear Arthur Schneier, if I have succeeded in getting you to share my passion for creation. Be that as it may, I have appreciated our long discussions:

on the future of China; yesterday the Middle Kingdom was cut off from the outside world; today it is a center of growth and civilization, tomorrow, facing the United States, one of the Pacific Ocean's shores made into a sort of Mediterranean sea from which Europe does not want to be kept away;

on the psychology of Vladimir Putin and his very particular relationship with Dimitry Medvedev, which will be one of the keys, after the Cold War, to the essential harmony and understanding between the West and the East which is rebuilding;

on the evolution of Christianity, from a Polish Pope to a German Pontiff, whose native language you share;

on the absolute necessity for peace in the Near East so that after centuries of wandering and suffering, the children of Israel, the people of the Book, towards whom mankind, blackened by the shame of the Holocaust, maintains a debt, which will never be extinguished, live in a state with secure, recognized and durably-guaranteed borders, without leaving by the wayside the Palestinian issue on which all need to work toward finding a solution.

on the future of Iran, of Iraq, of Afghanistan and the mountain valleys where our soldiers, like the British soldiers, fight alongside yours and pay the price of blood so that the fanatics do not find a pretext for another more devastating and even more deadly war.

You experienced September 11 in the flesh. It is a wound that those who are true friends of the United States, this immense democracy, still feel. Yet, my friend Hubert Vedrine, who for a long time was France's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and who, like Felix Rohatyn, a talented representative of your country in Paris, is a member of the board of LVMH, often reminds me that it is, alas, with hawks that one must find compromises more than with doves. Maybe that's the solution. That's certainly a challenge.

Last year I was here, among you, at the invitation of President Nicolas Sarkozy, recipient of the 2008 Appeal of Conscience World Statesman Award. I don't need to tell you how pleasurable it is for a French citizen to follow in such a lineage. Today I find myself honored alongside Prime Minister Gordon Brown who is confronted with managing a particularly formidable crisis. He will allow me to recall, in thanking him, that as Chancellor of the Exchequer he proposed, and I accepted with pleasure, to be a member of the International Business Council that he set up to advise him.

So too it is Muhtar Kent whose father, Necdet Kent, was, I recall, Vice-Consul for Turkey in Marseilles during the war, a just man among the just who saved so many innocent lives from Nazi barbarism, who tonight receives the award for an American entrepreneur. Between Coca-Cola and our luxury brands, there are many differences, apart from the champagne bubbles. Nevertheless, our businesses, one like the other, each in its place, show the exposure a brand brings when it becomes universal, when all mankind knows it and wants it.

Beyond me as an individual, you, dear Arthur Schneier, with your board have decided to pay homage to LVMH, which is the world leader in the luxury goods sector. Its distinction is that in Europe, in terms of revenue and balance of trade, it is equivalent to other more frequently cited industries such as chemicals, arms, aeronautics, and nuclear energy. It is a sector that cannot be relocated, which creates employment in the heart of capital cities, and sometimes in depressed labor markets and which, as a paradox of globalization, produces in Europe and in euros to sell notably in Asia, in yen or in renminbi.

Luxury is the opposite of anonymity and standardization. Behind each brand, behind each of the tens of thousands of new references that we put at the disposal of our clients each year, there is always that alchemy, synonym of success and which makes a legend: a place, a date, a man. Avenue Montaigne, 1947, Christian Dior, the three are linked and nothing in this trilogy can be neglected. It is in this way that luxury forged its history. Present in Athens when political ideas were born, in Rome contemporary to the concept of civilization, blooming from the Italian Renaissance to the industrial revolution, springing up in all great cultures: in Beijing, in Jaipur, in Saint Petersburg, in Tokyo, on the corner of 5th Avenue! It is an art de vivre, a way of existing, a refinement. It is at the source of a particular atmosphere which contributes to the development of our towns, our major cities and helps to liven up our urban districts and enchants Omotesando, Bond Street, the Champs Elysees, or Madison Avenue.

Our brands, which were very often born in Europe, testify to the richness and the ancientness of arts and crafts, which developed under the shelter of the European courts. Inspirers and patrons without really knowing it, laid down the foundations of a taste, which would become universal.

What, today, is commonly called luxury, an expression of an immemorial and intangible art de vivre, can be even more. For, in a certain way, between the Appeal of Conscience's objectives and the values of the LVMH Group, there are many bridges. Our employees, our shareholders, our clients are of all origins, nationalities and faiths. The LVMH Group's 80,000 employees present in more than a hundred countries around the globe from Ulan Bator to Soho, going through Istanbul and London, are indeed the representatives of a corporate citizen, which asserts its total neutrality in the face of the diversity of origins and identities, which advocates parity of responsibilities between men and women, which practices the French form of non-secularism, which is respectful of the opinions and beliefs of all. Raymond Aron, that great French intellectual who appreciated the spirit of liberty and individual responsibility which are the backbone of your country's guiding principles, predicted in his time that trade relations, the development of economies, the aspirations of consumers, more than fighting and clashes, would lead to the dissemination of ideas, and that it would bring about a better comprehension between men, to the dissolution of iron curtains. In this way citadels collapsed. The truth came from your great democracy. I know that because I've lived in your country-- several years ago-- and my daughter and my eldest son, who are with me tonight, were educated in your schools.

Three points to conclude: The first concerns the economic crisis. In my opinion, it is a crisis of finance and trust. It is not a crisis of competence and intelligence. If industry and finance come back to these fundamentals, which I believe are at the source of LVMH's success, we'll pull through it. The second concerns the client. Out of this earthquake, which has shaken employment and growth, will inevitably come another type of consumption, which will be more demanding, caring about authenticity and creativity, desiring the best and the most gratifying, wanting to reach the highest level, leaving each person as master of his or her sensations, free to choose one's fancies. This analysis model, which will determine our purchases, will be particularly exclusive. It will work as a filter. In the luxury sector only those companies which have integrity and authenticity, who develop products which blend art and craftsmanship, and which offer the sublime or the unique, will endure. Anything that is average, anything that is mediocre, anything that is artificial will disappear. LVMH, which puts creative passion at its heart, will undoubtedly be strengthened.

A third point to conclude: the climate. Whatever the cause of the problems that affect the planet: global warming, water scarcity, the end of biodiversity, their impact must change our behavior. Wines and spirits, fashion and leather goods, perfumes and cosmetics, watches and jewelry, selective retailing; each of our business groups has made it imperative for us to respond to the demands of sustainable development, through our techniques and our processes, through our choice of raw materials and transportation, through our role of corporate sponsor and our code of ethics. When the United Nations General Assembly turns its attention tomorrow, to addressing the global issues of the 21st century, whether they concern the economy, ecology or democracy, I hope they follow, as I do, the motto of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the insightful French author and pilot who died at the controls of his airplane during the Second World War, "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."

In expressing my gratitude once more, I thank you for your attention.

Address By Ivan Lewis On Behalf Of PM Gordon Brown

Your Majesty,
Prime Minister,
Rabbi Arthur Schneier,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is with a great sense of humility and pride that I speak to you tonight on this very special occasion. As many in this audience will know, we politicians are capable of delusion at the best of times, and at all times. So for a young politician, to get to play the part of Prime Minister, address such a distinguished audience of a thousand guests, and follow Henry Kissinger, tonight, is either a dream or a nightmare. I can't quite make my mind up. The moment a career ends tragically, and prematurely, or polite applause from the audience, allows one to fight another day. You get my drift.

I'm also acutely aware of rumors circulating in London of an imminent government reshuffle. So I hope you'll understand, while my praise for my boss, the Prime Minister, will be of such magnitude, it is likely to register on the Richter scale. And Mr. Murdoch, I hope to get the chance for a private chat with you later, because your newspapers are usually better informed about the fate of ministers than members of the government themselves.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to begin by paying tribute to Rabbi Arthur Schneier and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for their outstanding contribution to promoting religious freedom and human rights, over the past remarkable 44 years. Each and every day they work to ensure that hope triumphs over fear, optimism overcomes cynicism, and inspirational leadership is elevated above the mediocrity of ordinariness. Whether it be a business, a school, a hospital or a nation, effective and dynamic leadership is always the essential route to transformation, the key to unlock innovation and the characteristic which most differentiates success from failure. That is why these awards are so important, in highlighting the importance of leadership.

The Foundation's motto, and many people maybe will not be aware of this, is "a crime committed in the name of religion is the greatest crime against religion", a motto which has never been more relevant or poignant as we face the challenges of today and tomorrow, a motto which should prevail in every faith community, and a motto which has particular resonance in this great city of New York. I will never forget watching live on TV in London the unfolding horror of the September 11th terrorist attacks. I will never forget the courage of the New York firefighters, cops, and ordinary citizens, as they coped with the tragedy and the trauma of unimaginable carnage. And I will never forget, and always be proud of the fact that Britain stood shoulder to shoulder with the American people at their darkest hour and at the time of their greatest need.

But ladies and gentlemen, the motto, "a crime committed in the name of religion is the greatest crime against religion", should also cause us to reflect on the lessons we must learn following the events of September 11th. Those, whether they be politicians, intellectuals, or opinion formers, who claim the West foreign policy is the primary cause of terrorism, not only gives such ammunition to the terrorists, they legitimize the misappropriation and abuse of one of the world's great religions by a small extremist minority.

Those who preach hate or equivocate about the use of violence in the pursuit of political ends are not worthy of the title, religious leader. And those who maliciously and falsely seek to define Islam through the narrow prism of the fundamentalists, or cross the line between legitimate criticism of the Israeli government and pernicious resurgent anti-Semitism, seek to divide, not unite, our societies.

Let me also take this opportunity to express British support for President Obama's efforts to kick start the Middle East peace process. At this important time of Eid, and period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is important to be clear that there is no credible alternative to a two-state solution: a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state, accompanied by the mainstream Arab world, finally normalizing relations with the state of Israel.

For those of you who are doubtful, let me remind you of the impossible dreams. I have witnessed, and many in this room have witnessed, during the course of their lifetime, the Berlin Wall came down, and the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and elected president in South Africa, freed from the scourge of apartheid. As the Rabbi said, peace came to Northern Ireland, with Ian Paisley and Marty McGinnis sharing power in government. And ladies and gentlemen, an African American named Barack Hussein Obama became the 44th president of the United States of America.

Let nobody tell us that peace in the Middle East is an impossible dream. We should hope and pray that next year in New York, we will be gathered on this occasion, at this dinner, to witness Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas receive the joint award of International Statesman, 2010.

And if so, ladies and gentlemen, they will have demonstrated the courageous and visionary leadership which is imperative, if we are to secure a peace so far elusive, but by no means impossible. Let us embark on a journey to a Jerusalem which is not simply a capital city, but a beacon of hope, as the embodiment of respect and understanding between the world's great faiths.

Ladies and gentlemen, I now want to turn my attention to our Prime Minister, and your award recipient tonight, Gordon Brown. As Gordon said earlier on at the reception, this award is a great honor, which he accepts with pride and sincere gratitude. He's also delighted to be recognized alongside Bernard Arnault, and Muhtar Kent. And ladies and gentlemen, didn't they make magnificent speeches here this evening?

I find it ironic that I stand here tonight to collect this award. Back home, day by day, history is being rewritten about Gordon Brown's leadership. It is right, therefore, to use this occasion to set the record straight. Not as a sycophant. Those who follow British politics know I've not been afraid to speak out from time to time, when I've been concerned about the direction of the government in which I serve. But as somebody who believes that fairness, civility and objectivity should be applied, even to politicians, who in democracies are rightly held rigorously to account, through parliament, public scrutiny, and the prism of 24-hour media.

Ladies and gentlemen, when the world's economy faced meltdown last year, it was Gordon Brown who was the architect of a global response which sought to learn the lessons of previous recessions. Fiscal stimuli adopted by governments of all persuasions, and in synergetic way, not only to prevent the collapse of financial institutions, but to preserve the jobs and savings of millions across the world. Recession of course, is causing pain and hardship to many. But depression would have wrecked the life chances of a generation, hit the poorest the hardest, and fueled instability and conflict.

We know, because we are realists, that the UK and many countries face a long, hard road to recovery, and yes, painful decisions about public spending and taxation. But history will judge that Gordon Brown made the right calls at a time when others were hesitating or urging a very different course.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's nothing short of a disgrace that at the beginning of the 21st century, we continue to tolerate so much inequality in our world. In Africa and throughout the developing world, millions of kids don't have the chance to go to school. Hundreds of thousands are HIV and AIDS orphans. Thousands of mothers die unnecessarily in childbirth. And too many women are the victims of systematic violence and rape on a daily basis. It took the passion and the humanity of millions of ordinary people, who marched to make poverty history, to force the world's leaders to sit up and take notice. And we are honored tonight that Bono, who did so much to lead that campaign, is with us, amongst us.

But he would also accept, it required political will to create the historic millennium goals, to write off debt, to increase aid, and seek fairer global trade. Once again, that political will, initially working alongside Tony Blair, was demonstrated by Gordon Brown. Today, it is he, even in the teeth of this global economic crisis, who is focusing the world's leaders on their responsibility to delivery on their millennium development goal commitments, on universal access to healthcare on education, on maternal and infant mortality, on investment and infrastructure to stimulate growth, time and time again, it is Gordon Brown who is providing global leadership.

This week, the United Nations General Assembly is rightly focusing on the greatest challenge now facing the world, that of climate change. As we approach Copenhagen, it's once again fallen to Gordon Brown to make the case for radical global action in the name of our children and our grandchildren, to navigate the choppy waters, and the unavoidable tensions between national self interest and the future of our planet, to roll up his sleeves, and once again take on the mantle of true leadership, facing up to the big issues. Or as Gordon frequently says, adopting the great causes.

So tonight, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for giving me the opportunity to put the record straight. As we come to terms with both the insecurity and opportunities presented by an increasingly interdependent world, political leaders, more than ever before, will have to explain to their people why national interests will require global cooperation and global action as the great Dr. Kissinger said. Jobs, social mobility, personal and national security, and environmental protection, will all depend on a combination of national and global leadership.

As the economic crisis has demonstrated, conventional orthodoxies are being challenged. Vibrant market economies remain the only route to prosperity, but they cannot, ladies and gentlemen, function without limits or without ethics. Financial services require the right combination of national and global regulation. Individual and collective state action is the only means by which market failure can be addressed and corrected.

On all of the big challenges facing today's world, Gordon Brown has repeatedly demonstrated authentic leadership, championing the inextricable link between economic prosperity and social justice, making the elimination of poverty in the United Kingdom and throughout the world a moral imperative; striving for universal access to education and health, as basic rights of citizenship in a modern world, and stacking up to the mark; when the world stared depression in the face, as financial institutions stood on the brink of total collapse; challenging the world, as he is now, to come together in Copenhagen, and adopt the radical action necessary to tackle the climate change emergency.

Ladies and gentlemen, as a relatively young politician, I simply refuse to allow the cynics and the skeptics to win the argument. I chose politics as a vocation, not as a career. Politics matters because they affect every aspect of our lives, from the dreams and the aspirations we have for ourselves and our kids, to the fears and the anxieties which fuel our doubts and our insecurities. Tonight, you were chosen to honor a man who, through all the person and professional challenges he has faced, has never forgot what politics is all about.

He doesn't simply seek to explain the world as it is, or to preside over an imperfect and unjust status quo. His mission is to change the world. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why he's such a fitting recipient of your award, and why tonight I am so proud to be here to receive it on his behalf. Thank you very, very much.

2008

Speeches
Address By Jeffrey R. Immelt, President & CEO, GE

Thank you. Good Evening.

It's an honor to be with you here tonight.

As the Rabbi said earlier, we have 1,200 attendees in the room tonight; we've raised almost $3 million. Thank you to everyone here for such a great cause. It's really, really fantastic.

It's an honor for me to accept this award on behalf of GE and our 320,000 people. It's really an award that's about their role in the world and the great work that they do. It's an honor to be on the same dais with Mike Bloomberg.

Mike is one of the great civic leaders in the world. He has done a great job leading New York City. He is a real innovator in the environment and healthcare. And I'd like to say, thanks to Mike. I recognize Mike. I consider Mike a friend and I think he really has done a great job.

In the political cycle, in the United States right now, we talk a lot about reform and reformer, but I think we've seen it in President Sarkozy what it really means.

France is very much a second home to GE. We have 10,000 employees in France. We do about $7 billion in revenue. The jet engines and the gas turbines and the medical products that we make in France get exported to the rest of the world. We really see France as a competitive source. President Sarkozy has done a great job of driving that innovation. And because of him, our employees can now work 40 hours a week instead of 30. We view that as real innovation on a global stage and I want to say thanks to President Sarkozy for that. I would like to thank publicly both Mike and President Sarkozy for their great support of GE.

The fact is that everyone in this room and the great leaders that have left here earlier tonight, better get back to work tomorrow and better get back to work fast. We have some real challenges ahead of us. And they are challenges that need leadership. They are challenges that need courage. And they are challenges that really need everyone in this room and your colleagues around the world to go to work. And in many ways, the fundamentals of the Appeal of Conscience, I think, can really be exemplified and are really important as we approach some of the challenges globally today.

Three words that I would like to just mention briefly because they are a big part of GE and I think they are a big part of the future. The first one is innovation. If we had spent as much time on technical innovation over the last ten or twenty years as we had spent on other forms of innovation, there would be more prosperity, there would be more competitiveness, and I think in many ways, we have to get back to those roots.

Some of the social issues that the Appeal of Conscience talks about which is access to healthcare, access to water, access to energy, these are all things that the economics of scarcity and technical innovation can really solve. And in many ways, GE is a technical company investing billions of dollars in R&D whether it comes to clean water for the masses in India, access to healthcare in places like Africa, or investment in clean energy.

The second thing I would like to talk about is the importance of globalization. In the good days, there was a real disagreement about globalization. Businesspeople liked it; the citizens tended not to like it. I think what we see in the world today that the world is unbelievably interwoven. That the economic system, the solutions to these problems, are global in nature and deserve global solutions. And I believe that we can take this moment in time as a way to push forward in globalization, to forge new transatlantic alliances that can help solve some of the problems in the financial system, energy, healthcare, and other parts that we believe are so important.

And the last thing I would like to talk about is optimism. This is a time when people need to be concerned, but need to be focused on the future. Rabbi Arthur Schneier has been a great example of that in his lifetime. The problems we have are serious but they are all solvable. They require leaders in this room and around the world to know that the future is going to be better than the past. There are many parts of the global economy that are still working in infrastructure technology; we need to stay focused on the things that are working and go forward.

At GE, we talk about being both a great and a good company. Great in the sense that we are committed to deliver strong results and execute for our investors. Good in the sense that we believe in giving back to the countries that we invest in and giving back to society.

And those are the principles on which I accept this award tonight. Again, I would like to thank all of you for attending. I would like to thank Rabbi Arthur Schneier for the great award. And it's my honor to be here tonight.

Address By Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

It is an honor to share the dais with a great business leader and philanthropist, Jeff Immelt. I've known Jeff for a long time. He really is when you say Mr. Good Citizen, Jeff Immelt comes right to mind. He is a statesman who America can count on for today and for America's future. He has brought fresh leadership to the corporate world as has President Sarkozy to the diplomatic world and the political world. And my admiration for both of these gentlemen knows no bounds, although actually it probably does, but nevertheless.

Mr. President, I just wanted to say thank you on behalf of all, not just the New Yorkers, who are reminded of our close relationship to France every time they come through our harbor. But also I have never forgotten that back in about the year 1776, when we were trying to win our independence, let the record show, it was France that came to our aid, so thank you very much.

Now, it's often been said that New York's mayor is the only local, elected official with his own foreign policy. The state department doesn't find that funny because it's probably more true than not. But nevertheless, we are, what I would argue, the world's international city and it's partly because we are home to the United Nations, whose General Assembly is meeting this week and who caused chaos on the streets such that the President was late in arriving. Actually, we like traffic, Mr. President, it says things are going well, the alternative is not good.

Anyways, we are a city that people have come to from around the world. I've always been phenomenally proud of what America stands for. And I always wish my father had lived long enough to see the success, not just of my sister and I, but of his grandchildren who have come to this city. This city has been great to all of us and it really is something we should be proud of.

We had a terrible event occur in 9/11. We pulled together as I always knew we would. And we have, rather than look back, tried to look forward, teach the world what happened then, why there was intolerance and what we have to do to make sure that something like that does not happen in America or in France or in any part of this world.

Mr. President, I just want to say thank you so much for coming. The values of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation really are the values that I think all of us share. And it is great to have a real ally as France is and as you are for this county. We deeply appreciate it. We are honored that you and Madame Sarkozy are here. We want you to come back and we particularly want you to spend a lot of money while you are here. We need the sales tax revenues.

I have to go to the next event, but on behalf of 8.3 million people, to both of you, welcome.

Thank you!
Thank you everyone!

Remarks By Deputy Secretary John D. Negroponte

I am delighted to join you tonight in celebrating this foundation's good work and the individuals who exemplify its mission. Rabbi Arthur Schneier founded the Appeal of Conscience Foundation 43 years ago to bring together leaders from all walks of life to promote religious freedom and human rights. Arthur, I am so grateful for your friendship and your life's work.

Tonight, I appreciate the opportunity to recognize the achievements of our guests of honor: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chairman and CEO of GE, Jeffrey Immelt and the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy. Let me say a few brief words about each of our honorees.

Mayor Bloomberg, I remember well what New York was like when you were inaugurated in 2001. I was serving as our ambassador to the United Nations at the time, and it was just two months after the dark day of September 11. This great city was still reeling and grieving. Many feared how long it would take New York to recover - economically, civically and psychologically.

In large part because of your leadership, Mr. Mayor, New York rebounded faster than anyone expected. And today, thanks to the policies you have put in place over the past seven years, crime has dropped significantly, housing is more affordable for more New Yorkers, small businesses are empowered, government is more efficient, public education is making tremendous strides, and New York is on a path to a cleaner, greener future. All of this, and more, is a testament to the wisdom of creative, independent, pragmatic policy-making. And I want to thank you, Mr. Mayor, especially as a fellow New Yorker, for all that you are accomplishing.

Jeff Immelt, there are a few people in this country, and increasingly in the world, who are not touched on a daily basis by the work that you do as the leader of one of the truly great American businesses. What fewer people realize, though, is how active you are in making GE not just a great company, but a good, global citizen as well. I have seen GE's forward looking involvement in the world over many decades, and your leadership, Mr. Immelt, is taking it to new heights today.

GE is a partner to American diplomacy in advancing the goals we share -- a world of growing security, opportunity and freedom for all. Under Mr. Immelt's leadership, GE is working with our government on such critical and wide-ranging tasks as combating nuclear terrorism, delivering clean energy to developing countries, and deepening the U.S.-China relationship, among many other things. I want to thank you, Mr. Immelt, for all that GE is doing for America's workers in these challenging times -- and for all that you do globally on behalf of our nation.

Finally, President Sarkozy, the alliance between France and the United States has been a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy literally since our birth as an independent nation. Now, I have not been an American diplomat for all of those years -- but I have been for a lot of them. And it gives me great pleasure to say, Mr. President, that it is hard for me to remember a time when the French-U.S. alliance was as strong, constructive and active as it is today. This was the vision that you laid out a year ago, in what was one of the best addresses in recent memory by a foreign leader to our Congress. And together, we are realizing that vision, Mr. President, in large part thanks to your wise and prudent leadership.

You are helping to rally our transatlantic alliance to stand united in our support for Georgia and in our call for more responsible Russian behavior. You are supporting dedicated developing nations in building healthier, stronger and more prosperous societies. You are working tirelessly to support Palestinians and Israelis in building an enduring peace. You are showing that a strong European Union can and should be a great global partner to the United States. And in the tough fight that we, NATO, and our Afghan friends are now facing in Afghanistan, you, sir -- along with your noble French citizens in uniform -- are with us, shoulder to shoulder. Thanks to you, Mr. President, France is now more engaged than ever in the fight in Afghanistan. And together we will see this effort through to success.

President Sarkozy, both in France and worldwide, you have been a a valiant champion for the principles of this foundation -- tolerance, respect for differences, human dignity, and individual liberty. And I know I speak for everyone here, and for Americans across this country, when I say thank you very, very much.

Along with a dedication to their respective communities, the three men we honor tonight have also reached out to work with communities around the world in supporting peace, prosperity and freedom. They show what is possible when national governments, local governments and the private sector work together to build a better future for all. I thank each of you for the work you have done.

Thank you once again, Rabbi Arthur Schneier. I am honored to join you in advancing the Appeal of Conscience Foundation's work. And I am grateful to everyone here today for your commitment to freedom and human rights.

Thank you.

Address By His Excellency Nicolas Sarkozy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First, may I say to the Mayor of New York that we are in September. Seven years ago, when the Twin Towers of New York collapsed, every French person without exception was aghast. You are a city that won the admiration of the world. With thousands of New Yorkers dead, all the French felt close to you because what happened to you a few years ago might have happened to us in the same circumstances. It was not only New York that was targeted, it was democracy and freedom which were targeted by barbarians who are common enemies.

New York had the world's admiration because New York remained united, because you continued to live and you refused to give up your ideas. France will always stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States in this fight against terrorism and barbarism.

When we needed you, you answered "here." I wanted to tell you today, in New York, that no one has forgotten your suffering, your dignity and your courage.

I would like, Rabbi, to say a few words about France. There has been a lot of talk about anti-Semitism in France. I want you to know that when a Jew is insulted in France, when a Jew is ill-treated because he is Jewish, it is not the affair of French Jews, it is the affair of all France, without exception. Because anti-Semitism is a stain on the French flag, on the Tricolor.

Rabbi, as you know, I have embarked on a merciless fight against anti-Semites and against racists. Anti-Semitism is not explained, it is fought and punished. When anyone tries to explain the inexplicable, he's getting ready to excuse the inexcusable. This is France's fight. I shall wage it relentlessly.

I would also like to tell you something else, Rabbi. I am greatly interested in religions. It is a personal area even if each time at the end of a speech I like to be told, "May God protect you." Honestly, I believe I need it.

But I want to be clearly understood. In France, there are compatriots who are Jewish, others who are Christian and others Muslim. In France, I want everyone to have the same rights. In France, there is no one religion which is superior to the other. Everyone has the right to pray and believe, or not believe and not pray. We want everyone to be on an equal footing.

If you come to my beautiful country, not necessarily to spend money there, to go to the theater, listen to music, or take in exhibitions, you will see that there are churches, temples and synagogues and that there are also mosques. We are proud that everyone can live his faith with respect for all the others.

I wanted a different government with men and women from all walks of life. I wanted to tell you in the United States, the country of liberty, that a humiliated identity is a radicalized identity. We must respect everyone.

In France, the country of liberty, the country of human rights, we do not fight the terrorists with terrorist methods, we fight the terrorists with our method: respect for the rule of law, respect for human rights, respect for procedure.

I tell Rabbi Arthur Schneier that when he invites the Pope to pray in his synagogue, he sets a magnificent example. Just as when the King of Saudi Arabia, guardian of the holy places of Islam, goes to see the Holy Father to talk with him, he sets the right example.

Killing in the name of the religions of the Book is absurd, it is scandalous.

We do not want a war of religions. We do not want a war of civilizations. We respect Islam. Islam is not the enemy, it is the fanatics who are our enemies. Muslims are not to blame, it is those who make use of them in the name of a cause--the cause of war and hate. It is important not to lump all men together. But I want to say to them equally, forcefully that we let each person on our territory live his religion but we ask for reciprocity for Christians of the Orient. Diversity can not be good only in our country and banned in theirs.

I want to conclude with that. People have often tried to mount a crusade in the service of democracy. It is a good intention. But at times, people who have another tradition tell us: "Democracy is your system which you want to impose on us."

We must fight for diversity because people have always known diversity in the Orient. And the Orient is rich if it remains diverse. That is why France is fighting for Lebanon's independence and the reason why France is fighting for Israel's security because they are both countries where diversity is still found in the Middle East.

My dear friends, contrary to appearances, I have to return to France because I do not just have matters to attend to in New York. But I want to say one thing: it is that I am trying with the prime minister and the government ministers around me to modernize my country. I am trying in the present crisis we are all familiar with, to take my inspiration from what has made the United States of America strong: work, freedom, upward mobility. Everything is possible in your country. And I would like everything to become possible in our ours, too.

Before leaving, I would like to say two last things. You live in the most powerful country on earth. You have achieved an extraordinary success here. But the world is looking at you; take a look yourself at the world too, and the world will help you more.

And the second thing I would like to say. When things are going well, it is normal for a lot of people to earn a lot of money, but when things go badly, it is normal for those who were so seriously mistaken to assume the consequences and responsibilities. It is perhaps a weakness, but in my case, Carla, I have never been on the left. But I love justice, and it is not just that those who led us where they did should fail to assume their responsibilities. Freedom is not the law of charity. Freedom goes only with responsibility, and believe me, I realize it myself every day.

When things do not go well in my country, my country knows whom to criticize. And that's normal, if I do not want responsibility, I do not have to bid to be president of my country. And when one is the president of a company or a bank or an association, or the representative of a faith, you cannot say: "Things aren't going well, it's not my fault." It is necessarily the fault of the person at the helm when failure happens because he who refuses to pay would have been the first to ask for the reward for success had there been success.

My dear friends, there is a country called France which has 64 million people and which likes you, likes Americans, very much. When our children consider where they want to go, they often say first, the United States, and especially, New York. When you have such power of attraction, it is absolutely essential you contribute to being, through your reality, equal to the dream we have projected on the United States.

Thank you.

Address By Dr. Henry A. Kissinger

"The mark of a statesman is the determination to change the course of events, not just to describe them, and not simply to explain them."

President Nicolas Sarkozy has surely lived up to his own depiction of the qualities of a statesman, put forward in August 2007. He has not only explained events but changed their course. In the process, he has reinvigorated the European Union, strengthened the Atlantic Alliance and revitalized relations with the United States.

President Sarkozy has made an invaluable contribution to shaping a new world order at a moment when major transformations are taking place simultaneously on all continents. Some of them are unprecedented: the Atlantic region, in its internal relations, has overcome the historic bane of war and is dealing with the complexities of a globalization too oblivious to social and political risk; Europe finds itself in transition between a past based on the nation state and its future in a European Union that has yet to acquire the loyalties of the nation state; at the same time, a rising Asia, whose internal order is more like the balance of power of nineteenth-century Europe; and an Islamic world, posing a challenge most akin to the religious wars of seventeenth-century Europe. Touching all these regions is Russia, historically torn between the restraints of Europe and the temptations of the vacuums of power around its borders in Asia and the Middle East. Despite the different impetus of each region, all are facing common challenges that require global solutions, such as proliferation, energy and climate change.

President Sarkozy has summed up these challenges in an eloquent paragraph: "How do we reconcile order with progress, the identity we have to defend with the modernity we have to embrace? How do we help the new world come into being and get itself organized when the old one is still disintegrating? How do we make society human again? How do we enable man to regain control?"

In these circumstances, I would add two attributes to the qualities of a statesman put forward by the President: They are courage and timing. Courage is the willingness to assume risks without a guarantee of success. And timing is vital because statesmanship differs from intellectual effort in that the intellectual is not constrained by time while, for the statesman, there usually exists only a fleeting moment of opportunity during which, as in the case of an athlete, everything can be either seized or irretrievably lost. It is not enough to know what to do; it is crucial to know when to act.

This is why President Sarkozy's actions in the early moments of the crisis over Georgia were so important. President Sarkozy understood that the crisis needed to be moved towards diplomacy quickly before a conflict that had originated in the ancient passions of the Caucasus congealed into insoluble complexity. Maintaining the independence and territorial integrity of Georgia is crucial for the self-confidence of the new Europe and especially for the countries which have only recently escaped Soviet subjugation. But Russia, striving for a new identity after losing three hundred years of its imperial history, will remain an indispensable element of an emerging world order, and the solution of many of the world's problems, from energy and climate change to non-proliferation, requires its involvement and cooperation. President Sarkozy distilled from these complexities an overall design tied to his notion of world order: a confident Europe, allied with the United States, respectful of Russia and concerned with the independence of small countries. In pursuit of that goal, on the third day of the crisis, he undertook a mission for peace. The challenge was to make Moscow part of the solution rather than the target of recrimination. His first move was to visit Moscow rather than to put it on the dock.

This psychological sensitivity enabled President Sarkozy, during his subsequent visit to Tbilisi and working with the leadership of the European Union, to put forward the six-point framework likely to form the basis for the ultimate solution. Style has proved as important as the substance. His program, accepted by the parties and endorsed by the U.S. and the E.U., will maintain the independence of Georgia and territorial integrity of its undisputed terrain, while the disputed territories are returned as close to the status quo ante as possible through negotiations. In fulfilling these points, Russia will preserve its dignity while it reaffirms the principles of a global order of which it remains an integral and welcome part.

So let me thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity to reflect on the nature of statesmanship and to participate in giving the 2008 ACF World Statesman Award to President Sarkozy, and may I ask Rabbi Arthur Schneier to step forward to present it.

2007

Speeches
The Lord Browne Of Madingley Group Chief Executive, BP P. L. C.

Rabbi Schneier, Charlie, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great privilege to be here and to be honoured in this way.

The work of this foundation over forty years is remarkable, and a great tribute to your vision and your determination in pursuing that vision, and in drawing together so many people from different walks of life in support of your objectives.

Some of those people are here. There are too many to name them all but it is a tremendous tribute to you that we have in the room tonight some of the most important international leaders of our times - Ambassador Negroponte from the State Department, Paul Wolfowitz from the World Bank and Lloyd Blankfein from Goldman Sachs.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as a chief executive, you are usually invited to talk about topics of economics and engineering, about the price of oil, the technology of a new development, the financial performance of the business you run.

That's necessary and it is what people want to hear about, facts and numbers. I think it is important though to remember that behind all those facts and data points are individuals and families, human beings.

And that's what I'd like to focus on this evening.

Because your commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights as the fundamental values that give nations their best hope for peace, security and shared prosperity is also grounded in a belief in people. The belief that people matter, that they are not just pieces on an economic chessboard, or pawns in an ideological struggle, and the belief that the potential for progress lies in the decisions and choices which individual human beings make.

I believe that at the heart of much conflict is the entirely false belief that people can be labelled with a single identity, and that everything they do is mechanistically determined by that identity.

So a Jew behaves in one way - a Muslim in another.

An American male has one set of beliefs and values, simply because he is an American; A Chinese woman a different set simply because she is Chinese.

So much conflict and distrust flows from that simple, easy, mistaken assumption, because from the assumption comes an expectation of behaviour, and an exaggeration of difference.

People do not have single identities.

Everyone in this room has a multiple identity.

This issue has been raised most recently by Amartya Sen. His argument, which I apologise for over simplifying, is that the attachment to singular identity fosters conflict by emphasising difference.

Let me give you both a business and a personal perspective.

One of the features of the world of global markets is the changing relationship between individual, corporations and the nation state.

Previous generations of companies, certainly in our sector were effectively extensions of national power. They were American or British or French.

That created a clarity of identity.

But all that's changing.
It is possible to be a British based company which employs almost four times more Americans than Britons and twice as many Russians as Americans. A company listed in London but predominantly owned here in the US and around the world, which is the largest investor in more than 20 major economies, including Russia, Egypt, Scotland, Algeria, Alaska.

It is possible to be a global financial institution, formally headquartered in America which is also one of the largest banks in China, and Britain and Latin America. A bank whose staff come from almost every country in the world.

The people who work for such companies are, of course, American, or British or Chinese or Egyptian. But that isn't the limit of their identity. They are also professionals in their fields of expertise. They are part of entities which think and work on a worldwide basis and which being meritocratic are blind to nationality.

And, of course, they are many other things as well. They have families, religious views, passions and political opinions.

They have a multiple identity.
How can companies cope with this multiplicity of identity?
I believe they only cope and thrive by embracing the multiple identities.
can only really speak about my direct experience.
A decade ago we took an initiative to invest in Russia.

We invested as a foreign company and we learnt the hard way that doing that wouldn't work. We learnt that people, however skilled and professional, didn't want to cease being Russian. They were proud of their identity.

We learnt that to be successful we had to apply the principle of multiple identity. We couldn't ask our Russian staff to become something which they are not. We learnt that there need be no incompatibility, no trade off - between being Russian and being the employee of an international company. We learnt to give people an extra identity rather than taking one away.

And the result has been a great business success.
But multiple identity isn't just about global companies.
It is an issue for everyone, for every individual.
I can only really explain what I mean by multiple identity in very personal terms.
have multiple identities.
I'm a businessman with a British passport.
But the greatest influence on my life was my mother.
She was a young girl in what is now Eastern Europe before the war.
As a young woman she lived through the war and survived Auschwitz.
And then as a wife and mother married to a British soldier, she lived in Germany and England and later in other places round the world.

She instilled in me some important values, in personal trust, hard won but then enduring; in optimism, expressed as a belief in looking forward rather than back; in freedom of individual choice, so long as it does no harm to others; and in the rights of minorities and underdogs in the face of the bullies and those who seek to make people conform to their view of the world.

That is one set of multiple identities which I carry.
Over time I've added a few more.
Being educated first in the UK and then here in the United States.
Becoming a graduate in physics and then in engineering and then in business.
Being associated with universities including Stanford and Cambridge.
Being interested in music and photography and, to be less politically correct, in cigars.

My greatest pleasure is to move between these different identities and to see the links and the contrasts.

Everyone in this room has multiple identities. People can't be boxed under a single heading. We all have a background, a family or friends, skills and experience, interests and beliefs.

My awareness of my own multiple identity influences both how I work and how I try to run the company.The oil industry used to be rather uniform, monochrome, though with much more white than black.

One of my ambitions has been to break out of the standard social, cultural, racial base which used to be the requirement for employment.

That ambition is influenced by my identities.

Another ambition is to use my abilities such as they are to help people whose identities are constrained by circumstances beyond their control.

one and a half billion people who live on less than a dollar a day.

The refugees and the asylum seekers.

The Jews and the homosexuals who at different times in history have been marked out, physically marked out, to make sure that everyone knew who they were, everyone knew their identity.

As I read about such people I can't get out of my head the thought of my mother. At one point in her life she was a refugee and an asylum seeker. I can't escape the influence of that identity and I don't.

And that's why it is such a privilege to be here tonight.

This organisation is dedicated to the belief that through dialogue we can break down the barriers which divide people, often quite unnecessarily, and which lead to conflict.

It is built on the belief that whatever the differences of background or faith there is more which unites two human beings, more which gives them a sense of common interest than can ever divide them.

In a complex, divided world that is an inspiring cause. And that is what makes this evening such a privilege for me.
Thank you very much.

The Honorable Richard C. Holbrooke

Paul (Volcker), thank you. I can't thank you enough to have an introduction like that from you, and to be honored like this way by my cherished and dear friends and associates in so many ventures. I am even successful, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, to be here with Lloyd and my friend John Browne, who is an absolutely dedicated member of our effort against HIV/AIDS; a member of our global business coalition, as is Lloyd, I should mention, this means so much to me.

I am really not sure why I was given this award, or what I did to deserve it, but I'm here because Arthur asked me to be here, and as John already indicated, you don't say no to Arthur. So I accept it but I will explain in a minute under what circumstances I accept it, because in a sense, given the ambitious goals of this award, none of us really accept in a world so filled with problems. But I think we accept these things in order to re-energize ourselves and to deal with the problems. Now, John Negroponte. I want to say a word about John. Every word he said about our relationship is factually true, but I need to add a couple of points. When we lived together, the coffee and the orange juice, that is true, but the really essential thing about the year we spent sharing the house together in Saigon, is that he was Felix to my Oscar. And for us to share a house together was somewhat complicated. He is so damn neat. Also, somebody said earlier that John had lost some hair over the years, but the truth is he hasn't lost any hair over these years. He never had that much.

When John was twenty-eight years old I looked up to him, you know, as an incredibly wise senior statesman. Our age difference is about three years. John was one of the real leaders of the young group in Saigon. It was a remarkable group: Frank Wisner, Tony Lake, Peter Tarnoff, Les Aspin, even Dan Ellsberg. We grew up together, and Vietnam shaped our understanding of world affairs, although we all drew different lessons. John was our Vietnamese language desk officer, indispensable to Henry Kissinger in the negotiations with Hanoi. But in 1972, Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho reached an agreement in Paris, with John in the room every inch of the way. Then John and Henry and a few others got on the plane for Saigon. Kissinger's plan was to present the agreement to South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to sign. John, a very junior officer, said to Henry Kissinger, at the absolute height of his fame, the South Vietnamese are not going to accept this. Henry did not understand that. John said they're going to consider it their death warrant. Henry got very angry at John. Of course, John's prediction is exactly what happened. So an angry Henry Kissinger exiled John to Salonica as a consular officer.

When Jimmy Carter became president, I became Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia. John was one of the first people I called, and he came back and took over the Southeast Asia part of the East Asian Bureau.

One other thing-John's statements about AIDS and PEPFAR. I want to say this clearly, because my views of criticism towards other aspects of administration policy are fairly well known: I believe that the PEPFAR Program, The President's Emergency Program for AIDS Relief is the best program that this administration has had internationally. I saw this first hand recently, on World AIDS Day, last December, in Western Kenya, near Lake Victoria, (in fact the area where Senator Obama's father is from). We were in an AIDS clinic, about forty of us on a mission involving some of the companies that are part of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, T.B. and malaria. We saw people whose lives are being prolonged with anti- retrovirals that came directly from the United States. When President Bush proposed this in his 2003 State of the Union message, it immediately preceded his discussion of Iraq. And because that was the State of the Union that led directly into the war, people did not realize what an extraordinary proposal on AIDS he was making. Our Coalition did, and we immediately supported the Administration, on a bi-partisan basis, all our companies. But peoples' lives are being saved. This is not the multi-lateral program of the global fund. A lot of the Democrats wanted this to go through international, multi-lateral funding, and about a third of it does, but I will tell you the bi-lateral program of the United States is more efficient, more limited, than the international multi-lateral programs.

And so we have joined up with the White House now on the Malaria Initiative, which Mrs. Bush is leading for the Administration.

I want to talk tonight about the conscience and responsibilities of people who come into the government. Most of the time government service is pretty routine; but every once in awhile you confront very difficult situations. I want to base what I'm going to say on a remarkable book that exists due to Rabbi Schneier's personal efforts. It is called "Diplomatic Heroes of the Holocaust" and it is written by Mordecai Paldiel, who is the head of The Commission to Investigate the Righteous, at Yad Vashem. And they determine who belongs to be in the Righteous, people who risk their lives, or even gave their lives, to save Jews during the dark days of the Third Reich.

I want you to imagine, each of you, for a minute that you are a consular officer in the middle years of a diplomatic career that you hope will lead to an ambassadorship. There are two rubber stamps on your desk, one says "Approved"; it will allow the desperate person sitting in front of you to travel to your country legally. The other stamp says "Rejected"; use it and the person in front of you might die or go to prison. This sounds simple, doesn't it? But there is a very big catch. The person in front of you is Jewish. Your government doesn't want you to use the stamp that says "Approved". Your boss, indeed your government, does not want these people, these people waiting outside your office, milling around in the streets, hiding in their houses, in your country. Stamp too many Visas "Approved" and your life will be in danger. Follow instructions and people die.

What would you have done, in 1940 in Marseille or Bordeaux or The Hague or Bremen or Hamburg, faced with this situation? What would you do if you faced the modern version of this situation with a different cast of characters? In a movie, the hero stares out the window, the music swells, and the hero does the right thing. Humphrey Bogart, in the letters of transit in Casablanca, is in fact the story I am describing.

But in the real world it is not so easy. There are few heroes in such a situation. Government services, based on the well founded principle that career officials should follow their instructions, otherwise government would turn into anarchy. What happens if their instructions had horrible, literally fatal consequences and your boss is watching you, and your career is on the line?

Everyone mocked the nonsensical defense of the Germans after World War II, "in we were just following orders, we didn't know about the death camps." But similar rationale was used by the overwhelming majority of non-German diplomats in Europe, during the 1930's, 1940 and 1941. For every Raoul Wallenberg, there were hundreds of consular officers who played it safe. Using their power to keep Jews out of the country, out of their country. As a result, hundred of thousands of Jews, whose lives could have been saved, were left to fend for themselves. Most later died in the camps. Rabbi Schneier, thank God, is one of the people who was able to get out, thanks to one of the people who this book honors. In his introduction, Arthur describes why he is here tonight. Because of one man, a Swiss consular officer; a famous one. This wasn't just officials passively following their instructions; many were enthusiastic in their rejection of Jewish visa applications. Take for example the Brazilian consul in Lyon, France in 1940, who proudly wrote his foreign minister. The people swirling around his office were, and I quote: "Almost all Jewish or of Semitic origin. I therefore believe that by my categorical refusal to grant the visas they request, I will have done Brazil a great service."

Yet, a few risked everything to save the lives of people, mostly Jews whom they did not know, simply because they knew their instructions were wrong, even immoral. Tens of thousands of lives were saved by these small number of heroes. But, if it weren't for the careful investigations carried out by the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous at Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem, we would probably not even know the names of most of them.

It wasn't the Germans, I stress this, who punished these brave men and a very few number of women, it was their own governments. Yet in the face of such risks a few ordinary people suddenly showed great moral courage, knowing full well that they could pay with their careers or their lives. A handful of Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Swiss, Brazilian, Dutch, Turkish, Italian, Yugoslav, Vatican, and even Japanese and German diplomats, risked everything--their careers, their reputation, their lives, to save Jews.

The most famous, of course, was Raoul Wallenberg. His fearlessness and creativity approached nearly insane levels and he did, indeed, pay with his life at the hands, not of the Nazis, but of the Soviets who thought he was an American spy. Because, from an aristocratic family in Sweden, Wallenberg had been sent to Budapest on a special humanitarian mission by Franklin Roosevelt. He expanded, without Roosevelt's instructions, into this unauthorized crusade to save Jews at the very last moment, in a duel with a German bureaucrat, whom Hitler had sent to Budapest to deal with the problem. His name, of course, was Adolph Eichmann.

Most of the other people in this extraordinary book, however, had been given routine consular diplomatic assignments only to find themselves in an unexpected moral dilemma of historic dimensions. Take, for example, the astonishing story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul General in Bordeaux. After the Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar prohibited the issuance of transit visas to stranded Jewish refugees. Mendes, a devout Catholic with twelve children, visited the stranded Jewish refugees on the streets, then retreated to his house tossing and turning on his bed for three days, and according to his son, moaning and sweating profusely. Then he emerged, and I quote from his son's memories, he opened the doors to the Chancellery and announced in a loud voice: "From now on in I'm giving everyone visas." Mendes later told his sons that he had heard a voice, that of his conscience or of God. For a few weeks in June 1940, Mendes was in a frenzy of activity, issuing visas as fast as possible, even going to the Spanish border to make sure they would be honored by skeptical border police. He knew he was racing against his own government in Lisbon. In July, he was removed and put under a nasty investigation, personally supervised by Salazar. He was unrepentant, and he said: "I desire to be with God against man, rather than with man against God." His superiors thought he had gone crazy. He was dismissed from government service, and although supported to his death by the Jewish community in Lisbon, died in poverty. Not until after the fall of the Salazar regime, did the Portuguese restore his good name and honor to him. Today there are schools and streets named after him in Portugal. There is even a society that does research on him.

So far, Yad Vashem has not honored any American officials. They have honored Varian Fry and two or three other prominent non-official Americans. Breckenridge Long was then Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and he out maneuvered Eleanor when she tried to get more visas issued to Jews. He instructed his consuls and replaced them with officers who enthusiastically carried out Long's anti-Semitic policies.

Given the risks and costs of those who defy their governments, it is not surprising there are so few people like Mendes and Wallenberg, but every age will present such difficult choices.

You may think it cannot happen again. Well, you would be wrong! In fact, it is happening right now.

Rabbi Schneier said in his early remarks that he decided years ago that he could not remain silent. I applaud you for this Arthur! In this spirit, and as Paul Volcker said in introducing me, let me speak bluntly about a very important, neglected aspect of the situation in Iraq, one with eerie similarities to the 1930's.

I refer of course to the fact that in the last two years the United States has taken, of the two million Iraqis fleeing the country, we have taken four- hundred and four. Four-hundred and four! This morning, if you watched C-Span, you may have seen a replay of testimony yesterday in which the Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey, attempted to explain this as based on Homeland Security's new security requirements.

You may have seen the 60 Minutes piece two weeks ago in which she made the same claims and said they were going to increase the number to seven thousand, still a piddling number, considering the situation.

I hope you read George Packer's article in the New Yorker, last week, called "Betrayed", on this very subject. He was followed by a three star General, retired General Paul Eton, who called this situation a moral disgrace. This is not about Ellen Sauerbrey, she is not a racist as Breckenridge Long was, but she is the senior American official responsible solely for refugees, and she should be held accountable.

John Negroponte and I worked on this problem together in 1978-1979. President Ford had famously brought one-hundred and thirty-five thousand Vietnamese out of Vietnam at the end in 1975, saying we had to do it. The Security problem existed at a lower level than it does today, but there was one, but we addressed they went into camps where they were held, examined and looked at then vetted. Sauerbrey never mentioned this. No one challenged her on why holding camps can't be created again, as they were in the late 1970's.

And then when John and I worked together in the Carter administration, Jimmy Carter added about five-hundred thousand refugees. We went to the Philippines and Malaysia and Thailand, and we worked on creating camps where you could put people and process them. So that you could vet them. They didn't all get in, but most of them did. And today the Vietnamese, the Cambodians and other people from Southeast Asia are a very important and vibrant and growing part of our great country. I am dismayed that this has not been dealt with.

The person who has done great credit on this is Senator Kennedy. He has been on this issue for over forty years, since John and I first met him on his first trip to Vietnam in 1966. John was, in fact, Ted Kennedy's Control Officer on that trip. He and Kennedy made this his issue, but it needs to be dealt with.

So, I ask all of you, what would you do if you were confronted with these situations? We stand here year after year, after year, at dinner after dinner like this one, and we say it can't happen again, and yet it is happening again in Darfur, in Iraq. Some of these people worked for us. They were given clearances to accompany our military, where they could have betrayed them and led them onto ambushes. And now I hear this morning on C-Span people can't get in because they have to have special vetting and special clearances, and that will take years. And meanwhile their lives are the ones that are at greatest risk.

So I hope that young, aspiring people interested in public service will remember that once in a while in their careers, as I have, you will confront issues where the rule book needs to be looked at and re-examined, and you have to talk about the human consequences of what you do.

I offer these stories, not as ancient history or to provoke domestic political controversy, but as examples of things people may confront in their own careers as private citizens, as well as, government officials. So we must all ask ourselves: "what would we do? So that we can be better prepared to face the challenge"?

Thank you so much for this award and this evening.

Hon. Paul Wolfowitz President, The World Bank Group

Katie, thank you for the introduction; Rabbi Schneier, thank you for inviting me. I am not completely sure why you felt, after all the eloquence we had tonight, these people needed one more speech. It is a chance for me to talk about my present mission, which is fighting poverty, particularly in Africa.

But before I do, first of all, I would like to say a tribute to Rabbi Schneier. He mentioned that it is difficult to know what title to use when introducing Richard Holbrooke. I had a slightly similar dilemma when I was the American Ambassador to Indonesia twenty years ago. The Dean of the Diplomatic Corp, at the time, was a wonderful Philippine Ambassador, named Emanuel Young, who actually had been exiled to Indonesia, because as a general in the Philippine army, he too had a conscience, and too much of a conscience for Marcos to tolerate. So he was shipped out of town and I asked him: "Would you prefer that call you Ambassador or General", and he said: "Well, you can just call me Manny, but if you want to use a title, I kind of like General. He said, I know a lot of generals who become ambassadors, but I don't know any ambassadors who become generals."

And I must say Rabbi, Rabbi is a very distinguished title, which is not conferred honorary. You've earned it! You've earned it also with your commitment for the fight for religious tolerance. Maybe it's because of my own background, but I have long felt that it is one of the most important in the world. I could not agree more strongly with what you say is the greatest crime against religion,  crimes committed in the name of religion.

It was a great privilege for me, as an American Jew, to represent our country in Indonesia, with the largest Moslem population in the world, and to be able to count, as among my best friends, great Indonesian Moslem thinkers, like the first democratically elected president of that country, Avi Rothman Martin. We need more people like that.

I also appreciate your faith in this great country. My father's and my mother's parents were lucky to come here. We are all lucky, as American Jews, to be in this great tradition which was started by George Washington, who when coached by the Jewish community of Newport for help and protection, wrote an absolutely magnificent letter which said, "this is a country that gives to bigotry no sanction." One cannot have a better open statement from the father of your country. It makes one very proud to be an American.

I am also privileged and honored to speak on the occasion to great individuals who have been recognized. People that I've known and admired for many years. I still remember, pretty clearly, the occasion, in almost a day, on which I first met Richard Holbrooke. As a matter of fact it was also the day on which I met John Negroponte. I was working the Pentagon at the time and Mort Abramowitz, who was then Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, I guess Dick went from there to Thailand, said "The enemy gas just invaded Cambodia. I am going over to Holbrooke's office to talk about what to do, and why don't you come with me. And I came and I remember being absolutely stunned by the brilliance of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, John Negroponte. I was also impressed a little bit by Holbrooke, and very impressed by Abramowitz, and the three of them, and I think Mort particularly, and again with a lot of courage and lot of people in the U.S. government fighting, did put together one of the great humanitarian achievements of the twentieth century. As a matter of fact, let's just say a great humanitarian achievement that rescued two million people from Indo- China, to what Dick correctly described as an ingenious and difficult diplomatic exercise of the United States. With that and on many things Dick, of you we are all justly proud.

Winston Churchill once said of Clement Atlee that he is a modest man with a lot to be modest about. I don't think any one has ever accused Dick of being a modest man. But I don't think that anyone has ever said that he doesn't have a great deal to be proud of and you are properly honored here tonight. And I want to thank you additionally for your leadership and your fight against HIV/AIDS.

I know Lloyd Browne for a somewhat less length of time, but he was on my Advisory Board at Johns Hopkins and I remember talking with him over an extended period of time about his decision to go out and begin talking about the challenge of global warming. As a leader, not just of a major corporation, and one of the first to do it but certainly the first of an energy company, to go out and talk about it. It was not a simple thing, it took a lot of courage and for among many things I admire John for, is that courage.

And I was really privileged to be invited to his house for dinner one Sunday and to meet that amazing woman who was John's mother. She wasn't just a refugee and an asylum seeker, she was an Auschwitz survivor. I think she was in her eighties when I met her; she was still a life force, and that was just really quite amazing. It made me think about both of John's parents. John's father was a British army officer. And I am inferring a lot here and I hope I'm not embarrassing him, but I thought what an amazing event for a woman, not long out of the worst concentration camp imaginable, and meeting a British army officer, and the two of them falling in love. Pretty remarkable people, both of them, a testimony to a bridge across faith and across differences. It was a privilege to know them.

One part of the world that cries out to our conscience today is sub- Saharan Africa. Three hundred million people there, roughly half the population struggle to survive on less than a dollar a day. It's not just poverty, it's extreme poverty! And as we go back to our comfortable beds tonight we should think about those voiceless millions who may not even have beds at all, who go to sleep hungry, sick and uncertain about their future. For many it is literally a matter of life and death.

HIV/AIDS claimed the lives of two million African adults and children in 2005 and the numbers continue to grow. But AIDS is not the only plague that is stalking Africa. Every thirty seconds an African child dies of Malaria, a preventable disease. That is nearly three thousand a day. Think about it! One World Trade Center every day from a disease that has been wiped out in so many parts of the world, including Washington, DC.

Nearly forty million African children are still not in school. And all of that is after three hundred billion dollars, roughly, in international aid has gone to Africa for the last several decades. Some people look at that juxtaposition of misery and money and say Well, Africa must be hopeless, a land that will be perpetually tormented by wars and famine and corruption. They say there is no point in sending more aid, that will only go to dictators, like the notorious, Mobutu, the late dictator of what was then called Zaire and what today is very differently the Democratic Republic of Congo. But that excuse, like Mobutu himself, deserves to be consigned to the dust in history.

Across Africa we are starting to see hopeful signs of progress. Progress is reflecting energy, the talent and the ambition of Africa's people, which I have seen now first hand over and over again on four visits to fourteen countries during my time as President of The World Bank. Most recently I have just come back from visiting Ghana, Burundi, -Burundi which, by the way, never had enough peace to have a World Bank president's visit, the first time ever, the Democratic Republic of Congo, in South Africa. Ghana was celebrating a joyous event, the fiftieth anniversary of independence. The first few decades for Ghana were not so good, but today it survives a democracy as one of Africa's better economic performers.

For the last twenty years, and I don't think people realize this, Ghana has sustained a growth rate of four-and one half percent or better and last year its growth exceeded six percent. That would be a record, of course, to be envied by any developed country, but for a poor country it's still not enough. Ghana should do better and can do better, but this progress is making a real impact in the fight against poverty, and its' dividing inspiration for the region.

In the early 1990's more than half of Ghana's population was living in extreme poverty. By 2003 that number has dropped just one third and is continuing to fall.

Congo, I also visited, is a different story, but still it has become a hopeful one. Just emerging from a devastating war, Congo has had a democratic election and has taken the first step on the path out of poverty. Today, however, the average Congolese lives, imagine this, on thirty cents a day. The President Kabila, of Congo, has high expectations for his country's future. He was at that same celebration in Ghana and he was inspired by what he saw. In Ghana, he told me, I saw what Congo can become.

Today in Africa, instead of a race to the bottom, we are starting to see African countries starting to follow the path of their more successful neighbors. We are seeing in Africa, and this is the important thing, a new generation of leaders who take seriously their responsibility for their fellow citizens. We are seeing many Africans literally putting their lives on the line in the fight for transparency and accountability, to insure that public resources are used for public benefit.

One such man is, Nuhu Ribadu, he is the Executive Chairman of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Committee. He is courageous in leading his government's fight against corruption, undeterred by the murder of two of his staff. Nuhu Ribadu has said it eloquently: "We can't make poverty history unless we make corruption history".

And there are many other heroes like him. They are the people who are steering Africa toward a more hopeful future. They are calling on our collective conscience for help, and we owe them a generous response.

What is particularly impressive in Africa today is that some countries, Rwanda in particular, are rebuilding, literally, on the ashes of genocide. Rwanda, indeed, is not just a good performer, it's an excellent performer.

Rwanda has been growing, since the genocide in 1994, at a rates of eight percent or better. It is stunning. Similar projects, I think, may be starting to unfold in Liberia. That country was nearly destroyed by twenty years of Civil War, until the international community finally intervened. With initial assistance from U.S. Marines, followed by NAFTA peace-keeping mission, U.N. peace-keepers stepped in and helped oversee free and fair elections.

Given a chance to choose their president freely, and given a choice between a soccer star and a woman committed to fighting corruption and promote economic reform, the Liberian people voted overwhelmingly to reform. Now Liberia has the first woman president in any African country.

And as President of The World Bank I am very proud to say that our Finance Minister, Antoinette Sayeh, is another remarkable woman, another hero, and she was a World Bank alumnus. She left her family and a rewarding career in Washington to help rebuild her shattered society.

These heroes need and deserve our support. They need to show their people that they can produce results quickly, not in the six years it's normal for institutions like mine, but in the six months it is that necessary to meet people's demands.

So, at The World Bank we are changing our procedures in order to deliver our support much faster. We have a new rapid response policy designed to help us move quickly in an environment were peace is starting to take hold and where reformers need to show results urgently.

We have already placed one-hundred and eighty million dollars toward build Congo's capital, Kinshasa, so that people have access to clean water, health care, better roads and schools. And quickly, in months not in years.

Over the last half century The World Bank Group, has provided credits and grants for the poorest countries. Last fiscal year support reached a record high of nine and a half billion dollars. And half of that, fully half, was dedicated to Africa. With that assistance over 600,000 children were helped to go to school and brought better nutrition to more than a million children in Madagascar, and helped reduce the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Uganda.

Today we are bringing support to Southern Sudan, building on the peace accord and with more support from the rich countries, in particular, the United States, we could do much more.

It would be impossible to speak of progress in Africa, especially on this occasion, and fail to speak of that stain on the world's conscience, it is Darfur. In Darfur today there is no peace, there is genocide. And there is a war that is spilling over into neighboring countries and threatening the fragile stability of Central Africa. The response of the international community to the tragedies in Darfur has so far been disappointing, to put it charitably. And the longer we wait, the harder it will be to rebuild lives and restore hope.

In Rwanda, thirteen years ago, nearly one million people perished in genocide. If the international community heeded the call of conscience, those lives could have been saved. And when we see what is happening in Darfur today our conscience should be heavy.

But the progress elsewhere in Africa calls on for support. It is worth remembering that fifty years ago, after the devastation of the Korean War, many experts thought that Korea's future was hopeless. Today we know of Korea's spectacular success and that of other developing countries, that leadership and good policies make all the difference. However, they don't make much of a difference because leadership and good policies alone are not enough. Leadership and good policies need resources to succeed. South Korea received, just from The World Bank alone, more than twenty billion dollars in assistance for it's development.

African countries need that kind of help today. Americans are generous people, but we can afford to do more. The polls show that the average American believes that roughly twenty five percent, that is twenty five cents of the average tax dollar, goes to foreign aid. They are so wrong. The truth is much closer to a penny. The good news is that the average American believes that we should be giving about fourteen cents of every dollar to foreign aid. So we have a long way to go up; a lot of opportunities to improve. And I hope we will.

Rabbi Schneier, I was very interested to hear that this organization was started in cooperation with Martin Luther King in 1964. But I still remember going to Washington the year before that to that amazing "March on Washington" and hearing Martin Luther King speak from the steps of Lincoln Memorial that famous speech that, "I Have a Dream", which, even though the people who were born long afterwards have probably heard. It's worth remembering also at the beginning of that speech, when King reminded us that no individual can expect to advance on his own. Many of our white brothers, he said, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny, and their freedom is inextricably bound with our freedom. We can not walk alone.

Ladies and Gentlemen we too can not walk alone on the path for peace, freedom and prosperity. We can not turn our backs on the pain and poverty that consume entire nations in Africa and other parts of the world. The Appeal of Conscience is our best hope for bringing those millions trapped in poverty on to the path of progress and giving them the opportunity to shape their own destiny.

Thank you!

2006

Speeches
President Of The Federative Republic Of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva

It is a great pleasure to be here at this awards ceremony held by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

I wish to convey my warm appreciation to Rabbi Arthur Schneier, whose dedication to human rights, freedom and tolerance we all admire. Rabbi Schneier is an inspiration to those who seek to overcome multiple challenges faced by the international community: hunger and poverty; social exclusion; environmental degradation and climate change; internal conflicts; human rights violations; weapons of mass destruction.

His biography and accomplishments are a living tribute to the values and principles that the prize enshrines. They embody the same qualities shared by the eminent personalities who, both in the past and today, have been honored by the Foundation. These are women and men who have contributed and still contribute towards a fairer and more oeaceful world.

This same conviction has inspired my militancy as trade unionist and my political career. Since the first day of my Government, I took a commitment to mobilize the vast wealth of my country and the generous anct entrepreneurial spirit of our to transform the difficult social situation in Brazil.

We have managed to consolidate our macroeconomic stability. Our democracy is well-established. Today we have reasons to renew our trust in the future: in a Brazil with more equality where everyone can enjoy full citizenship. and well-being,

Ladies and gentlemen,

ln a globalized world, we are aware that our well-being and security cannot be separated from the fate of the rest of the international community.

We must respond firmly to threats, but never in a way that undermines rights and values that we seek to protect. We cannot let the culture of terror create roots amid the hopelessness of those who feel abandoned. In the fight against irrational violence, our best weapons are the culture of dialogue, the promotion of development and solidarity among peoples.

This is what histcry has taught us. Brazil was forged by waves of immigration from different parts of the world. People of various origins and creeds were broughtogether in our country. As a result,diversity has become our common identity.

It was with the same vocation for peace, tolerance and mutual respect that my country has learned to live side by side with its ten neighbors. Today we are committed to organize the South-American space for the benefit of the shared interest of all regional actors.

We reject violence. Diplomacy is always our option. At the regional and global levels, we seek to articulate solutions that are based on consensus, with the seal of legitimacy that only multilateral institutions can confer. We are, therefore, engaged in making the United Nations more representative. We therefore attach utmost importance to the success of the Doha Round. lt is our wish that international trade be a source of hope and prosperity for all.

Nevertheless, our conscience also tells us that these structural changes in the international political and economic machinery will be slow and difficult. And we know that those who are hungry cannotwait.

see, therefore, with great enthusiasm the first results of the international Action against Hunger and poverty, launched by a group of world leaders in 2004. We are establishing truly innovative financing mechanisms, which bring renewed hope that the Millennium Development Goals will be achieved by the poorer countries.

The growing support that this initiative has received is a strong signal of the strength of the appea! of individual conscience that is neither undernrined by skepticisni, itor diluted by indifference. Our collective task is to channel this generosity and solidarity in economically viable and socially responsible projects and initiatives. This is the challenge that we all need to face.

Ladies and gentlemen, The World Statesman Award that I accept today is a conquest that is not mine alone. lt is the acknowledgement of something that Brazilian society as a whole has been able to realize. Therefore, it is not the President of Brazil who is honored by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation. lt is the Brazilian people, above all.

Once again, thank you all very much.

Hon. Bonnie McElveen Hunter

Mr. John A. Catsimatidis

2005

Speeches
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer

It is a tremendous pleasure to be here tonight on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary dinner of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation to accept, on behalf of the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, the Foundation's World Statesman Award for 2005.

Mr Howard has asked me to convey his deep appreciation for the honour the Foundation has bestowed upon him and to in turn pay Australia's respects to the brave and bold outcomes that Rabbi Arthur Schneier continues to deliver through this important Foundation.

Indeed, the objectives of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, in protecting religious freedom and human rights throughout the world promoting peace, tolerance and conflict resolution are enduring and noble goals relevant to any age, but perhaps of particular resonance in the world today.

The Foundation provides a bright beacon to guide us all towards these worthy, and achievable ends.

Mr Howard has now led our nation through almost a decade of unique challenges during which Australia and Australians have done much to promote the causes of security, democracy and shared prosperity internationally.

Our spirit as a nation is firmly grounded in values of liberty, tolerance and perseverance values that guide our foreign policies and give us confidence to take action to address challenges head on.

For we believe such endeavours are essential to our future, that of our region and beyond.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The international community today faces some very grave, complex and interwoven security issues from tackling terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to ensuring that weak and failing states do not become failed states.

,br> These are challenges that are global in nature but also have very clear regional dimensions.

Australia, and its region, are by no means immune to these challenges.

To address the terrorist threat we are working on all fronts taking initiatives domestically, building effective cooperation in our region and pushing for enhanced cooperation at a global level.

Australia is also highly active in counter-proliferation cooperation internationally and in our own region pushing for more work to be done by more countries in order to strengthen the rules and systems that exist to address proliferation.

And one of the best ways in which Australia can support regional security and prosperity, is through the promotion of stable and democratic communities based on the rule of law and with sound institutions.

Our development assistance programs in the region are helping to ensure the effective functioning of the bureaucratic institutions of states and the development of vibrant civil societies.

Ladies and gentlemen,

While the challenges before the international community are immense, I am one who takes a great deal of optimism from other recent events.

More and more we are seeing the peoples of the world turning to the democratic model from former states of the Soviet Union, such as the Ukraine ...to our own region, already home to the world's largest democracy India, and where Indonesia's embrace of democracy several years ago and its commitment to other reforms should be recognised as an enormous step forward.

Australia is proud to promote the cause of democracy for those oppressed by tyranical regimes.

We continue to speak out loudly against the complete lack of respect for democratic norms and basic human rights repeatedly demonstrated by Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe.

With others, we are providing support to Afghanistan in its efforts to achieve stability and democracy.

We are proud of the part we have played in freeing Iraqis from the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein and helping establish a system that has already seen free elections and highlighted the extraordinary courage of millions of ordinary Iraqis who look to a democratic future.

This year we have also witnessed the success of the Palestinian presidential elections with parliamentary elections in Lebanon also giving the Lebanese people the ability to decide their own destiny free from Syrian interference and Kuwaiti women being given the vote for the first time.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are also optimistic about the opportunities for a lasting peace in the Middle East. Recent developments have seen the Middle East peace process regain momentum and we warmly congratulate the Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, for his enormous courage in withdrawing Israeli settlers from Gaza an extraordinarily difficult but important step on the road to peace.

There is now a real moment of opportunity for the Israeli and Palestinian people, though no-one in the international community underestimates the challenges which remain for both sides.

Australia is committed to playing a constructive role in supporting further progress along the road to Middle East peace where we can.

We are making a tangible contribution to the disengagement process, seconding an Australian Defence Force officer to the International Security Sector Working Group and consulting with the Quartet's Special Envoy on Disengagement, James Wolfensohn, about projects where Australia might contribute to the economic aspects of disengagement.

Ladies and gentlemen

We share with Israel a deep and lasting friendship based on the shared values of democracy and liberty strongly underpinned by the support of the vibrant Jewish community in Australia. In multilateral forums such as the UN, Australia has demonstrated this friendship.

And in the UN this year we are pursuing jointly with Israel, the United States, Russia, Canada and the EU a resolution on holocaust remembrance.

This is an issue of historical and contemporary importance to us, Australia became home to many holocaust survivors, and they, their children and their children's children have in the decades since contributed so much to our nation as well as the vibrant Jewish community I mentioned a moment ago.

We are committed to the right of the Israeli people to live in peace within secure and defined borders and have long supported a two state solution.

It is vital that the Palestinian Authority continues to reject violence and to control terrorist activities.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Australian people and the Australian Government hold in common with the Foundation a firm belief that freedom, democracy and human rights are fundamental values giving nations of the world their best hope for shared peace, security and prosperity.

But there are real challenges standing in opposition to these endeavours and success will not come easily, nor quickly and will rely upon continued cooperation between like-minded nations, communities and their leaders, such as Mr Howard, whom I am honoured to represent here this evening.

Thank you

Jorma Ollila, Chairman And CEO, Nokia

Thank you, Rabbi Schneier for your kind words. I would like to congratulate you on your 40 years of perseverance. Being here, I recall something that last year's Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathai said: "We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill, those who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind." I feel that I am now in a room with such radiance.

In accepting this award, I want foremostly to recognize the excitement and vision that Nokia people have brought to my work over the years. Together, we have met many tough challenges, and we have worked hard to do things that some thought would be impossible.

Now we carry our strength and passion into the future, with a belief that communication is a basic human need, and that mobile communications is a driving force for economic development and social wellbeing.

We also carry a strong commitment to the environment and our concern for the ongoing realities of poverty and unrest that still prevail in many parts of the world. And we will not forget the many people who still lack the most basic and elemental opportunities to improve their lives.

I would personally like to express our sympathies for those who have been affected by the terrible natural catastrophy that has occurred in your own Gulf Coast States so recently. There are very few of us who have not been affected - we share our grief with you. But we also share our hope. The physical, emotional and economic scars that have been left in hurricane Katrina�s wake can be felt around the world, and will be felt for a very long time, but your country�s rebuilding efforts are challenges that the world takes up with you.

Rabbi Schneier, Prime Minister Howard, Dr. Kissinger, the Honorable Mr. Peterson, your Excellencies, distinguished guests:

It is inspiring to see how our concept of community is opening out to embrace a truly global sense of cooperation, a desire to do something good and worthwhile - regardless of where we are in relation to each other. People are saying, �We are all here together. Let�s work together and help each other out.� Look at how individuals as well as companies have reacted so immediately and so selflessly to the tsunami in Southeast Asia and to hurricane Katrina � we have never before united in such a large-scaled and diverse outpouring of support and goodwill.

When Nokia was founded 140 years ago, the speed of getting a message from one point to another was the time it took to travel that distance. What we now see happening is that messages are travelling instantaneously. This is the world we live in. We hear about things faster, and can help each other faster.

When I spoke at the first session of the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva in 2003, I envisioned that it would be possible for 4 billion people to have access to mobile communications by 2015. Now I can say that just this week we have reached the milestone of 2 billion mobile subscriptions.

This is not only 2 billion mobile phone users, but millions of people who can improve their businesses and millions of children and teenagers who can access information for developing life skills: 2 billion people who are able to interact more, learn more and achieve more. And the surprising fact is that for one quarter of these users, 500 million people, a mobile phone is the first phone they have ever used.

These people can now have a much more informed perspective to what is happening on this earth, acting as global citizens rather than as isolated individuals. Mobile communications has been a major enabler of this. One of the great things about working in the mobile communications industry is that by running a successful business we are creating positive changes in people's lives. For me this is about personal commitment. In whatever walk of life we are in, it is our personal commitment to the things we believe in that makes a difference.

When I was 17, I left home for an international boarding school. It was my first trip to a foreign country. As my mother waved goodbye to me, she said, "Boy, remember to do good things for all the people now that you are so privileged to get this education." For me, working in an industry that fundamentally improves people's opportunities in life is how I live up to that request of my late mother.

These days, to a greater extent than ever, our activities and decisions are being defined by the trust we gain from consumers - people who are aware of their actions and who take a stand for what they believe in. And as a company, especially a large company, we cannot even begin to expect trust without understanding that more and more decisions are being thought of as ethical decisions; more and more consumers are choosing products based on ethical considerations. People want new products and services, but they want them from companies and brands they trust. We take this trust seriously.

Doing business is no longer just about products and services, we want to prove our existence within every community we are part of. This means great products made with environmentally compatible materials. It means the smile of an employee helping to create a local fish pond. It means the voice of a loved one on your mobile phone, maybe a relative lost in the chaos of a hurricane or a tsunami who everyone can once again know is alive and well. This is the kind of proof and validation that allows us to continue, and what builds a greater sense of community. And through this, the world becomes more human, filled with the voices and faces of those we have helped or have been helped by in some small way.

But doing business is also about long term sustainability, living in a world that we can continue to live in, and that our children can continue living in, peacefully, without fear of starvation, with hope for tomorrow.

I believe that the companies that do the most good, and the ones that endure, are the ones founded on conscience and values rather than on technologies alone. It all comes down to one thing - something that this Foundation is built upon and that many companies, including Nokia are learning to grasp more fully. It is the simple recognition that the future is our promise to each other. We have made that promise, and know that we have to follow up on that promise - because I think that deep down, all of us understand that we owe this to each other.

Thank you.

Peter G. Peterson, Chairman, Blackstone Group

Thank you, Rabbi Schneier for what you said. And, I am more than honored to even be in the same company as Prime Minister Howard and Jorma Ollila. I don't deserve those kind words...but then I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either, so what the heck.

I'm going to be brief and, perhaps uncharacteristically, to the point. I think it is natural to feel that at an Appeal of Conscience Award dinner I can admit that I have a very guilty conscience. I do so tonight as a citizen, businessman, father of five, and a grandfather of nine. I also do so for our collective misdeeds as well as my own.

I know that moralizing does not come convincingly from an investment banker. But, perhaps at this ecumenical evening, you might at least listen to my confession of sins.

First, where do I come from?

Both my parents came to America penniless from impoverished Greek farming villages. Neither had any formal education, nor could they speak or understand a single word of English. Both mourned leaving their family, perhaps never to see them again. At the same time, both had a daunting mix of fear of what they might confront in this strange,

new land and of hope that the American Dream would be real for them, too.

My father took a job that no one else would take, as a dishwasher in a steamy kitchen of a caboose of a Union Pacific railroad car. He worked and slept there, and literally saved everything he earned. Some of these savings went to his impoverished family in Greece. The rest was invested in the proverbial Greek restaurant-his own-distinguished not for its cuisine, to be sure, but for the fact that it was open 24 hours a day, for 365 days a year, and for 25 years. And, alas, he worked there in his Kearney, Nebraska restaurant for all too many of these hours, days and years.

His vision of the American Dream, included himself and my mother, of course, but it certainly included his two sons as well. As he put it, he would buy us the best education money could buy so that we would have better lives than he. And I stand here tonight as the very lucky beneficiary of that vision and dream, and of the lessons my parents taught me.

Millions of others in my parent's generation also had not only the shared vision of the future and the shared responsibility for that future, but also the required sense of shared sacrifice to fulfill that future. If they were to wage the biggest war in history and provide, for example, for a G.I. Bill of Rights for returning veterans, they would have to pay for it. No free lunch for them.

Today, we face deficits and debts that would have been unthinkable in times past. We face unfunded promises for Social Security and Medicare, for 77 million baby boomers that aggregate trillions of dollars more than the entire net worth of the country. We recklessly and casually borrow nearly $3 billion every workday from foreign sources - an unthinkable amount equivalent to about 7% of the entire Gross Domestic Product of the country. We now confront the added burdens of hundreds of billions of dollars for the Katrina disaster, and we have the protracted and costly Iraq war, of course.

Long before Katrina, the vast majority of serious experts called this outlook utterly unsustainable. Speaking of unsustainable, a colleague in the Nixon administration, Herbert Stein, used to say "if something is unsustainable, it tends to stop." And, he said "If you don't like that one, how about if your horse dies, I suggest you dismount." Are we deluded enough to believe that we can continue to ride this horse? So, faced with this daunting future, what is the political response? I am an equal opportunity basher. I bash both parties, including my own. At a time of ballooning deficits as far as the eye can see, a protracted and costly war, the biggest domestic reconstruction effort in history, what are our political leaders asking us to give up? For example, what is the continuing preoccupation of many in my own party, the Republican party? It is, how do the Pete Petersons of this world get their income tax cuts made permanent and their estate taxes eliminated?

One might at well ask: In this all gain and no pain, all get and no give political world, has it become too politically incorrect or self-destructive to ever suggest that there are times when some of us mightbe expected to give up something for the greater good? I say: Shame on us all. What about my role, our role, as businessmen? Tom Friedman, the New York Times columnist among others, recently referred to us as MIAs - Missing In Action. He wondered why, for example, so few in the business community speak out about our soaring budget deficits and our unprecedented trade and current account deficits. Certainly our public policy leaders had made clear their sense of urgency. Former Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker recently wrote, "All together, the circumstances seem to be as dangerous and intractable as any I could remember, and I can remember for a long time."

And if we, as business persons, don't take the lead out of genuine civic concern, shouldn't we do so out of collective self-interest? That started me thinking. Was it romantic to imagine that there were ever many corporate statesmen? How many such business leaders have I known about? My memory is returned to the years just after World War II. The world was overwhelmed by colossal challenges. At home, we were managing the transition from a wartime society - including the demobilization of many millions of soldiers - to a peaceful, prosperous economy. Abroad, we were trying to rebuild a shattered world economy devoid of rules or institutions. A band of business leaders changed American history, including Paul Hoffman of Studebaker, Marion Folsom of Eastman Kodak and Bill Benton of Benton and Bowles. Recall that the 1930s had been defined by depression, isolationism, and beggar-thy-neighbor trade wars. In retrospect, the list of initiatives undertaken by this hearty band of businessmen is breathtaking: The Employment Act of 1946, The Bretton Woods Institutions, and the Marshall Plan. These business leaders not only formulated the policies, but took the lead in selling them and implementing them. When the Marshall Plan was announced, most Americans were wary of foreign adventures. Only 14% approved. Then these wise men of business went to work and helped lead a massive public educational effort. Eventually, America changed its mind. And what about our roles as parents and grandparents? I clearly need to add to my shallow moral portfolio, and do that now by quoting the noted German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who once said, "The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world it passes on to its children."

We might ask, "Would we parents and grandparents knowingly slip a huge and hidden check to our own children and grandchildren for our free lunch?" "Of course not," we would say. We would never do that to our own children. Well, that is precisely what we are doing. How big is the hidden check? Think of it in these terms. My children's and grandchildren's payroll taxes would need to be more than doubled to cover the cost of Social Security and Medicare. This is unthinkable. Economically. Politically. And I would add, morally.

So I would like to call on us as citizens, as business people, as parents, as grandparents to confess our sins and to share in the sacrifices to meet our shared responsibilities.

And while we're at it, shouldn't you religious leaders, like those of you who are here tonight, help lead the way in what is nothing less than a moral reawakening of our great country? Come on in and march arm in arm. We need a movement. Let's move.

2004

Speeches
Sir John Bond, HSBC Chairman, 2004 Dinner

Rabbi Schneier, Prime Minister, Your Excellencies,
Your Eminences,
distinguished guests,
ladies and gentlemen,
good evening. Paul, thank you for your generous words. I am deeply grateful for this award; it is a great privilege to accept it on behalf of myself and of all my colleagues at HSBC - without them, I would not be here. I would also like to add my personal congratulations to Prime Minister Goran Persson, and to the Honourable John Whitehead my fellow honorees tonight. It's a great pleasure to be here in New York in such distinguished company.

The ACF's aims of promoting peace and tolerance around the world are needed today more than ever. Indeed, mutual tolerance and respect for each others' cultures are pre-conditions of both a peaceful and a prosperous world. Over the last 50 years, the world has, by historical standards, been relatively peaceful. I am the first generation of my family who has not been called upon to go to war in a very long time.

Peace created the conditions for a period of unprecedented change, in terms of economic development, advances in medicine, science, technology and communications.

But these advances have not benefited the world equally. In the twentieth century, in the struggle between the ideologies of capitalism and communism, capitalism won decisively. One of the main functions of capitalism and free markets is to raise everybody's standard of living, so its success should be judged not by the gains the wealthiest in society make, but by those of the least privileged people. In a world where one fifth of people live in extreme poverty, we can see that the benefits of free markets have not yet spread as far as they should. China and India, for example, account for just over a third of the world's population, but only around 5% of its GDP. By contrast the US, with less than five per cent of the world's population produces around a third of the world's GDP. This is a fantastic achievement and a tribute to the talents of the American people, but there is an imbalance in the world that cannot be sustained indefinitely. If we are to achieve a peaceful international order, prosperity will need to be more evenly distributed, both between nations and within their borders.

In my view, we are beginning to see an economic rebalancing of the world, largely due to changing demographics and the globalization of work. People around the world will improve their lot either by migrating to countries where the better jobs are, or by international companies taking jobs to them in their own country. Migration, both of people and of work, has become a feature of the human and economic landscape. It shows up in population statistics. Over the past 20 years, the number of foreign-born residents in the US, for example, more than doubled from around 14 million to 35 million. Migration into the European Union grew by 75 per cent during this period. Migrants create the rich tapestry of multiculturalism in society. And here in New York where over a third of residents were born outside the US, we can see the positive contribution that a multicultural society can make to the host nation.

Every country wants to develop its institutions, its economy in its own way. Therefore, respect for other people's cultures is a pre-requisite of economic development of a link made explicitly in this year's IJN Human Development Report, which argues that cultural freedoms "can be a source of political harmony and economy vitality." Nations have become dramatically more interdependent as a result of free trade. Air travel, communications and the internet have made other people's countries accessible in a way that was unimaginable 50 years ago. Paradoxically there are still relatively few people who understand properly the history, culture and aspirations of people in other countries. There's no better way to understand another person's country than to live in it. I have lived and worked in six different countries. For me, living in America and Asia were two of the most formative experiences of my life.

When I first came to America as an l8-year-old exchange student in L959,I was bowled over by the space the energy, the can-do attitude and the confidence of the USA, and I learned that there are different ways of being democratic. And travelling to Asia as a 22-year-old, subsequently living in four different countries over 25 years, opened my eyes to different cultures in an exciting way. When I left the UK I was, dare I say it, a typical Brit, who assumed that British democracy, medicine, education and even religion, were the best. My years in America and Asia challenged all those assumptions. I learnt a vital lesson: t hat other people do things differently and that no country has a monopoly over the right way. Two thirds of the planet's nations have an ethnic or religious minority of at least l0 per cent of their people. So we must resist seeing the world as homogeneous place, and embrace diversity as an opportunity, rather than viewing it as a threat.

This is where the ACF's work in bridging cultural divides is so important. Especially in a world where the source of political power remains essentially domestic, whereas most of the major influences on our lives, the media, entertainment, religion, business, security, the environment, are international. This creates a tension between domestic politics and the intemational interests of people and the planet, which can be a fault line.

A domestic job lost in an advanced Western economy can be a highly valued job gained in a developing country, leaving an unhappy politician and constituency in the West, and delighted ones in another country. International companies can be a force for good, or they can exacerbate tensions, depending on the responsibility of their Boards and leaders. Companies cannot, nor should they, take on the responsibilities of government. But they can be a conduit for investment they can set an example of good corporate behaviour, and they can help create the institutional framework that is fundamental of a developing economy. And through the frequent, though often mundane contact between people working for an international company in different countries, business can play an important part in promoting mutual understanding. Sometimes building bridges where politicians cannot. I believe that any success HSBC has achieved in the past 140 years arises in no small part from our respect for the culture of each country where we operate.

We describe ourselves as 'the world's local bank'. We have customers in more nations than the UN has members. We have a clear cut set of worldwide values which we practice wherever we operate; thereafter we want to be a multicultural organisation. We have 200,000 shareholders from over 100 countries. We want to be a Brazilian bank in Brazil. a Chinese bank in China and an American bank in America. Similarly, we value the diversity of our employees. Bringing together intemational trainees at our campus in the UK, and watching young people from different countries and cultures come together, is fascinating and uplifting. We start by asking every different nationality to explain their own country's culture; then we create diverse teams and set them a challenge, such as building a bridge over a river. We put Hindus with Muslims, Muslims with Jews, Jews with Christians; we cross all the political and cultural barriers.

There are very few places in the world where you will see a Saudi man, who would not normally touch a woman in public, and an Indian woman, who would not normally touch a man in public, lifting each other over an obstacle course. We can be a force for better understanding in other ways. Our businesses also straddle some of the most sensitive international divides. W e are in China and Taiwan; Pakistan and India; Tel Aviv and Ramallah. Altogether, we operate in 76 countries and territories around the world, and have 110 million customers. Cultural diversity is part of our everyday experience; it is an enriching daily reality which we embrace because it is the right thing to do and it is good for business. What is true of business is equally true in other forms of international endeavour. Whether you are engaged in diplomacy, business, the media, entertainment, or international politics, you will not succeed in the long term unless you understand the culture of other countries; this requires tolerance, which is always a precursor of peace.

Rabbi Schneier, distinguished guests, t hat is why we admire and support wholeheartedly the mission of the Appeal of Conscience. Thank you again for the tremendous honour you have conferred on HSBC with this award.

2003

Speeches
Address By His Excellency José María Aznar

Rabbi Schneier,
Messrs Volcker,
Whitehead,
Condit,
Ackerman
Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to accept this �World Statesman Award�. I would like to thank you, Rabbi Schneier, for your kind words of introduction.

I feel deeply honoured at joining the distinguished past recipients of the Award and am highly privileged to have my name associated with those who believe, as does this Foundation, that it is freedom that provides nations with the fruits of democracy and human rights. Free democracy and individual rights are the values that characterize a civilization open to the entire world.

These values have been of the utmost importance to me throughout my political career and when thinking about my country.

I would like to speak to you first tonight about modern-day Spain, a responsible, dynamic and open country.

Second, allow me to say something on the need to fight terrorism using the means available to us through the rule of law.

Third, I would urge you to bear in mind the moral imperative, the need to listen to the victims of terrorism, whose message gives us great emotional support in the aforementioned fight.

Fourth, let me emphasize that, without international cooperation and solidarity, it will be very difficult to eradicate terrorism from today's globalized world.

Finally, let me say also that we are working to secure the recovery of Iraq and in so doing we do not put our national interests before those of a country that has suffered at the hands of an aggressive dictatorship, thankfully no longer in power today.

Dear friends,

In a few months, my country will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of its Constitution. Just 25 years ago, it was commonplace for question marks to be associated with the mention of Spain. A country rightly reputed for its bravery, but which had taken time to occupy its rightful place amongst the community of free nations. A nation long famous for its honesty and loyalty to its allies.

Spain, which is committed to the construction of the European Union, believes firmly in the Atlantic link, and in close relations between Europe and the United States as one of the key components of that construction. It makes no sense to try to build a Europe as any form of counterpower. If the United States and Europe face the challenges which confront the world together, the world will benefit.

Moreover, Spain and the United States contribute to the efforts currently made by Iberoamerica to reach its just position in the world. A position defined by the principles of liberty, democracy and full respect for the fundamental rights of persons, and the rule of law. In those joint efforts, the Hispanic Communities of the United States are bound to play a fundamental role.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Twenty-five years later, Spanish democracy has heralded in a dynamic society that looks optimistically to the future.

However, Spain can also look proudly to its long history as a European nation.

Over these past twenty-five years, including my seven as prime minister, the most trying moments have without doubt been those caused by terrorism.

Spain has suffered in its midst the cruelty of terrorism, directed at people and institutions.

Terrorist groups always seek to impose their will upon us, by operating outside the law and democracy. Terrorists, irrespective of their political leaning, direct their fanaticism against tolerance and human rights.

Which is why it is important that we believe firmly that democracy and the rule of law are the most powerful opponents of terrorism. Terrorist violence cowers and weakens when confronted by democracies.

Dear friends,

Less than a month ago, in this very city of New York, at the United Nations I called for the voices of the victims to be heeded with particular attention. They do not merely deserve to be heard. We must pay tribute to them; we must pay homage to their sacrifice.

Above all, however, we owe these victims a better world in which tolerance and human dignity prevail.

Two years ago New York was the setting for a shameful demonstration of contempt for human life. But the people of this city responded with an admirable lesson in public spiritedness and sense of responsibility. It was one of the most beautiful pages of our times.

Like you, I believe that a crime committed in the name of religion is still a crime. Acts of terrorism dishonour any religious, ethnic or social cause. Let us call things by their proper name: terrorist barbarity is a crime against humanity. Terrorism is a crime against civilization , against the whole of civilization .

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On his first trip to Europe, before these events took place, President Bush offered my country his full support against terrorism. For that reason, on 11 September 2001, the people of Spain wanted to make it very clear that the United States could rely on Spain as a particularly loyal ally in the new fight. Together we can, together we will defeat terrorism. With international cooperation and solidarity we will achieve this aim.

Dear friends,

One of the crucial phases in the fight against terrorism is underway in Iraq at present. The Iraqi people deserve to have control of their destiny. Iraq deserves to be able to make use of its own resources in peace and freedom. The Iraqi people deserve to enjoy all these things which a brutal tyranny denied them for so long.

Many countries, including Spain and the United States, are working together to guarantee peace and security in Iraq. We want a free and plural Iraq, a fully sovereign Iraq.

Only if security is guaranteed will it be possible to properly address the reconstruction of Iraq

A Donors' Conference for the reconstruction of Iraq takes place in Spain next week. This is a job which has to be undertaken by the entire international community. For the sake of the future of Iraq, this Conference must be a success.

A democratic, pluralist Iraq, an Iraq at peace, will certainly be an element of stability in the Middle East, not to mention a orthy example to follow.

Dear friends,

Let me end with a quote by Winston Churchill which I believe is particularly appropriate on this occasion: �Wherever men are fighting against barbarism, tyranny, and massacre for freedom, law and honour, let them remember that the fame of their deeds may perhaps be celebrated as long as the world rolls round�.

Address By Dr. Josef Ackermann

Mr. Prime Minister; your Eminences; your Excellencies; reverend clergy; distinguished guests; ladies, and gentlemen: it is a great pleasure to be here, again, in this unique forum, now in its 38 th year.

Last year, I was flattered and pleased to preside as Dinner chairman. This year, I find myself on the other side of the table, as an honoree. I am in distinguished company as a recipient of this award. I am very proud, and grateful for this honour.

My dear Rabbi Schneier: in the 38 years of your foundation, there can rarely have been a time when the principles of the Appeal of Conscience have been more important to the world we live in. The outlook for the global economy is not clear. In the relations between nations, many tensions exist. Cultural and religious differences profoundly influence and color our outlook on the future. The prosperity of a few nations still stands in stark contrast to the hardships faced by many others.

For many people, in many parts of the world, the word, globalisation' has come to symbolise inequality, alienation, and mistrust. In some cases, these feelings have led to violent protests. And yet, we cannot go back: we live in a world more globally integrated, and more globally interdependent, than ever. This is a highly unpredictable environment. It is also a tremendous opportunity.

As an 8-year-old boy, growing up in Switzerland, I got an early lesson in the diversity of the world around us in my own 'village'. A large number of new schoolmates suddenly arrived at our local school. They wore different clothes; they spoke a different language. These were Hungarian refugees, fleeing their homeland after an unsuccessful uprising against their Soviet masters. For a young boy, the world suddenly seemed bigger, and richer. Later, as a Swiss German marrying a Finn, my wife and I both encountered many new traditions and customs. For celebrations and family occasions, we often chose not the Swiss way, nor the Finnish way - but rather, we invented a new way. We took the best of both traditions, and invented a new one. Those were some of the best.

I believe we stand at a fork in the road. Some people believe that globalisation has gone too far. I disagree. Globalisation, in its most meaningful sense, has hardly begun. But by 'globalisation', I mean more, much more, than simply the geographical extension of commercial or political interests. I mean the globalisation of the human spirit. That notion may sound very theoretical; I believe, on the contrary, it is highly practical. And what's more, this globalisation of the spirit' can be a decisive factor for stability and increasing prosperity in a complex and uncertain world.

In my professional career, the world got even bigger, and even richer, when I encountered the United States. I was, and still am, deeply impressed at the way ethnic and cultural diversity form the very roots of this nation, and how America has benefited from this diversity. I was convinced years ago, and I remain convinced now, that the entrepreneurial dynamism which powers this nation, springs from a constant celebration and embrace of diversity: the learning, the adapting, the inventing and the creating which occur, when different cultures meet in a spirit of tolerance and equality. And, in America, diversity has proved to be a true source of 'renewable energy'. Only last week, here in New York, Deutsche Bank sponsored our 9th annual Women on Wall Street' conference. We were prepared for 2,500 people. Within 36 hours, we were already oversubscribed, and we had to close the registration process. This energy has ensured, that the United States has remained a magnet for some of the finest talents in the world. Americans have committed themselves to diversity; Americans have enjoyed sustained prosperity and stability. That is no coincidence.

But there is more. By respecting and embracing many different cultural origins, Americans have also fostered pride and allegiance to a single nation. A 'one culture nation' was never an option; but a 'one nation' culture has proved a powerful, unifying force. Diversity has not led to fragmentation; it has led to unity . And the lesson of the United States can be a lesson for the world now.

In Europe, the roots of separate nations go deep. Cultural, traditional and linguistic barriers are strong. Nevertheless, I believe that across European nations, the embrace of new and different cultures, customs and practices will be critical to our progress,  both economic and cultural. As you know, Mr. Prime Minister: this spirit has benefited the development of Spain, a nation which is home to several ancient regional cultures.

This is particularly important in the relationship between the United States and Europe's biggest economy, Germany. In the last fifty years, this relationship has been truly special. Half a century ago, a unique model of collaboration and understanding emerged between these two nations: a vitally important source of prosperity and political stability, particularly at critical moments after the end of the second world war. These are deep bonds of loyalty and friendship, and at Deutsche Bank, we are determined to contribute to them inasfar as we can.

I am absolutely convinced that globalisation, in its truest and most human sense, can be an important, even decisive force for good,  above all, now. Certainly, in my own institution, we are committed to furthering the cause. We have no choice: 124 nations are represented on Deutsche Bank's staff, based in 76 countries. Only by embracing diversity, and by binding diversity deeply into our professional lives, can we hope to build a unique team, with the richness and depth our clients expect. Four years ago, we merged with Bankers Trust, a bold step for a European firm. As we merged these two cultures, we tried to mix the best of both cultures. We tried to do things, not the Deutsche Bank way, nor the Bankers Trust way, but a new way. Enforced homogeneity, a 'one culture bank', is quite simply not an option for us. On the other hand, a 'one bank' culture is one of our highest goals. But this is not just good business practice. It also goes to the heart of what we want to be, in the communities we serve.

Only if we respect our own diversity can we engage with, and serve, a rich and varied world around us. The Deutsche Bank Africa Foundation has created a wildlife park which stretches across three nations; we met challenges not only of saving and sustaining an environment - but also, increasing understanding and collaboration among three different governments. The Deutsche Bank Microcredit Development Fund has advanced money to support small farmers in India, and artists struggling to set up their own businesses in the Bronx. I do not mention these, just to highlight Deutsche Bank as a corporate citizen. What is really important, is the way we have had to adapt, to assimilate, and to learn, as we tried to contribute in different surroundings. This has been a process of re-invention: we are constantly pushing back the frontiers of our activities, in order to really make an impact. The result, every time, was something new; something different; something good.

My dear Rabbi, you have devoted much of your life to promoting tolerance and respect for diversity among the citizens of the world. These principles have rarely been more important than now. The world will continue to become more integrated. Dialogue between nations, and cultures, is more important than ever before. Globalisation is not optional; but the real choice we have, is the choice of making globalisation a force for good. If globalisation becomes nothing more, than an extension of our own interests, we will miss a tremendous opportunity. But if, as we ride the wave of globalisation, we embrace, adapt to, assimilate and celebrate the diversity we meet along the way then, I am confident that our children will inherit a more secure, prosperous and tolerant world. Thank you.

2002

Speeches
Address By Rabbi Arthur Schneier

I would like to express my appreciation to Dr. Josef Ackermann, the Chairman of this event. He and his colleagues at Deutsche Bank did a superb job and worked very hard to make this a memorable evening in support of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

I would like to single out the dinner Co-Chairmen, particularly Paul Fribourg, Youssef Nasr, Earle Mack, John Whitehead and Paul Volcker for their leadership.

The 2001 Appeal of Conscience Foundation Award Dinner was held on September 24, 2001, a few days after the heinous attack on New York and Washington that claimed the lives of citizens from 81 nations. We gather a year later in a changed world, scarred and traumatized but with our spirit not broken, resilient and determined to prevail against terrorism.

When the Appeal of Conscience Foundation was founded in 1965 we were in the midst of another war: the cold war. The world was divided between those who oppressed freedom and those who were prepared to make sacrifices to preserve freedom. Our focus was religious freedom and human rights. In the 90s we lived to see the walls between East and West come down. However, we faced a new scourge: ethnic conflict in the Balkans.

This is why in 1992 we brought together in Switzerland religious leaders from former Yugoslavia to take a united stand to end the ethnic conflict and prevent escalating it into a religious war. The Berne Declaration is as relevant today as it was than: "a crime perpetrated in the name of religion is a crime against religion."

It is heart-warming to see an old friend, His Eminence Metropolitan Filaret, Exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate joining us tonight. He represented the Patriarch of Moscow when the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and the Ecumenical Patriarchate co-sponsored The Peace and Tolerance Conference in Istanbul in 1994. We brought together 120 religious leaders from the Balkans and Central Asia to help bring about the end of the conflict in former Yugoslavia.

Many other religious leaders here tonight have worked with me for over three decades on behalf of religious freedom, dialogue, and tolerance and conflict resolution. Today international terrorism has become mankind's major burden. We learned how vulnerable we are to terror in this technological age. We discovered that terrorists are ready to take their own lives and the lives of innocent human beings in the name of God. We also learned that we could no longer ignore internal religious conflicts because they begin at the doorsteps of religious leaders. While we must attempt to build inter-religious tolerance the real battle begins within each religion. We religious leaders in cooperation with leaders of business, political and public life face another challenge: how can we help attain security and freedom in a world threatened by those who despise freedom. In looking at history religious leaders of different traditions have contributed to intolerance and have permitted the use of religion as fuel for divisiveness and violence. Religion must become a force for peace and understanding.

Our initiative to bring religious leaders together in a common stand against bloodshed and to clearly state: "a crime perpetrated in the name of religion is a crime against religion" has particularly resonated since 9/11.

I was privileged to participate in the World Day of Prayer convened by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in Assisi, Italy and the meeting of Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders organized under the auspices of His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission in Brussels earlier this year. The recurrent theme has been the need to take a stand against those who want to impose religious tyranny, who seek to divide peoples and civilizations.

Let our voice be heard: we call on religious leaders to disavow violence in the name of God, to embrace the Appeal of Conscience Foundation declaration that "a crime perpetrated in the name of religion is a crime against religion" and to prevent the destruction of religious sites.

It is now more important then ever to embrace the concept of tolerance, dialogue and mutual understanding as pillars of peace and security for the 21st century. Tolerance is based on the principle of "live and let live" with a commitment to freedom, democracy and coexistence.

In Chinese the word crisis is spelled the same way as the word opportunity. The international community faces a serious crisis that can be transformed into an opportunity to advance democracy, freedom, and prosperity for the people of the globe.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien, recipient of the 2002 World Statesman Award, has provided leadership far beyond Canada as Dean of the G-8. We recognize his commitment to democracy, freedom and tolerance and his creative initiative for a new partnership with Africa. As New Yorkers, we express our appreciation to him for bringing 15,000 Canadian citizens to New York in the aftermath of 9/11 in an expression of solidarity.

The Prime Minister and Carly Fiorina, the Appeal of Conscience Award recipient, share a common concern. They seek to bridge the divide between the developed and developing nations.

Carly Fiorina, a visionary corporate leader, with a sense of social responsibility has guided Hewlett-Packard Company to become a global provider of computer and imaging solutions focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to all. In her own words: "With 90 percent of the world's population currently technologically excluded, our goal is to co-invest sustainable and scalable solutions to address the challenges of the global digital divide."

From India, to South Africa, to Houston, TX, Hewlett-Packard initiatives helped accelerate sustainable social, economic and environmental development through the transfer of technology and information skills.

We are honored to present the Appeal of Conscience Award for her commitment to education, freedom and tolerance.

Address By Carly Fiorina

Rabbi Schneier, Mr. Prime Minister, Dr. Kissinger, Cardinal McCarrick, Governor Pataki, members of the diplomatic corps, distinguished ladies and gentlemen: it is a special privilege for me to be here this evening. When he received an honorary award from Tel Aviv University, Amos Oz once remarked that "there is no way I can speak for anyone - on a lucky night I sometimes manage to represent myself."

I admire Mr. Oz's restraint. Even so, on behalf of the men and women of Hewlett-Packard, I want to thank you for this wonderful award, and for the honor of joining such an illustrious company of past recipients - especially from a Foundation and from a rabbi whose life itself is a testament to hope, to faith, and to all that is good in this world.

A month ago today, I was just about to step on a plane to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. For the first time in the history of these summits, corporate leaders were invited to have a seat at the table. As a company with a presence in more than 140 nations around the world, I thought it was important to take them up on that offer.

For most of the next week, we all heard until we could hardly bear to hear again the statistics that define the challenge of the developing world today: the fact that half of the world's population lives on $2 a day; that a billion people live on less than one dollar a day; that more than 100 million in Africa alone live with the daily threat of war.

It brought to mind an example I once heard, that tried to paint a picture of what the world would look like if the Earth's population was shrunk down to a village of precisely one hundred people, with all the earth's existing human ratios the same.

Of the 100 people, 57 would be from Asia, 21 would be from Europe, 14 would be from the Western Hemisphere, and eight would be from Africa. Eighty of the 100 would live in substandard housing. Seventy would be unable to read. Sixty-five would never have made a phone call. Fifty would suffer from malnutrition. Twenty would never have had a clean drink of water. Only one would have a college education. And only one would own a computer.

Now, take that analogy one step further. Imagine if all of those people actually did live in the same village. Imagine if they were all painfully aware of how each other lived. Imagine the resentment that would build up in that village if those who had food didn't make enough of an effort to feed those who didn't; if those who had access to clean water didn't even think about those who didn't; if the person with the college education and the computer went out and bought a car and satellite television and simply enjoyed his life, while the children across the street sat in darkness under a leaky roof, begging for food.

What would happen? As Dr. Kissinger and others have so eloquently written, it's not hard to imagine how that kind of disparity would eventually lead to something like the events of September 11th.

The message of this Foundation - the message of that summit - is that it's not too late to step back from the brink, to reverse those trends, and change that global disparity. But it's going to take the contributions of every one of us, working together in new ways, to invent a different future.

I come to you today from a company that is proud to play its part. Hewlett-Packard has never been a company that has thought conventionally about itself or its role in the world. Our founder, Dave Packard, put it best. He wrote that "many assume, wrongly, that a company exists to make money . . . the real reason HP exists is to make a contribution . . . to improve the welfare of humanity . . . to advance the frontiers of science . . . profit is not the proper end of management, it is what makes all of the other aims possible."

That wisdom is still the foundation of everything we do. As a global company, we believe that with global reach must come global responsibility. On one hand, it means being a good global citizen, maintaining high standards in areas like the environment, ethics, labor and human rights. On the other, it means being part of the communities in which we do business. HP was one of the first companies in the world - nearly 50 years ago - to give its employees paid time off to do volunteer work, a tradition we continue to this day.

When it came to philanthropy, like many corporations, HP traditionally looked at disparities in the developing world and asked two fundamental questions: first, how do we use our money to provide people with the resources they need to make a difference; or second, how do we use our talents to make sure citizens in the developing world have the training to use the technology or equipment we facilitate once they've got it?

That's what traditional philanthropy has been about - but if we have learned anything in this new global economy, we have learned that traditional philanthropy is no longer enough. In asking those two questions, we rarely take a leap to a fundamental third question, which is: how do we engage their talents? How do we engage local citizens in local communities in the developing world to learn what's important to them, and what goals they hope to achieve?

I think we in the multinational business community rarely ask local citizens what they think and what they need - either because the market share hasn't been there, or the profit motive hasn't been there. But if we never make the leap to that third question, corporations leave off the table those very assets - our ability to invent locally relevant products, our project management skills, our ability to set goals and meet them - that make us most relevant.

If the Johannesburg summit made one point clear, it made clear that financial capital alone is not the greatest wealth multinationals can bring to the developing world, it is human capital. It is experience and knowledge, and the ability to transmit that into capacity building. Especially at a time when the challenges are so great, we need to apply all of our best talents to solving those problems.

In a sense, at HP, we believe that this new age we are living through today marks the beginning of a new era of leadership - that now, more than ever, corporate leaders have an opportunity to redefine the role of the corporation on a world stage; to leverage our ability to improve the lives of people, communities, and nations for the better. In fact, we believe that the winning companies of this century will be those who not only increase shareholder value, but increase social value at the same time - and that more and more shareowners, customers, and partners will begin rewarding companies that fuel social change.

But that can't happen if multinationals remain faceless entities from far-away places. It can only happen if corporations engage local citizens in the developing world in the places where they live and work. Like some of the companies represented in the room today, we are working to create a new model of involvement, one that taps more deeply into the things we do best.

Instead of simply committing resources - like computers or printers -- and wishing them well, we are committing some of our best talent to underdeveloped communities from East Palo Alto to Kuppam, India, from South Africa to Houston; putting them in place for up to three years; and charging them with the responsibility of working with local citizens to set goals and create solutions for the challenges the community prioritizes. In the process, we're working hand in hand with local governments, NGO's, and organizations like the Conscience Foundation. This isn't about imposing solutions - it's about listening to the needs of the community and helping them acquire the tools they need to make their own goals and dreams come true.

Why do it? This is not an argument for compassion, it's an argument for enlightened self-interest. First, because of the security dimension - poverty anywhere undermines stability everywhere. Second, because if we look beyond the next quarter or two, particularly for an industry where only ten percent of the world is in a position to buy our products, we have to acknowledge that many of the ideas and markets of the future will come from the developing world.

There has never been a time when doing the right thing also happens to means doing the smart business thing as it is today. It's true - no company or country or organization can do it alone. But together, I believe we can make real what this Foundation has aspired to create for 37 years - to develop freedom, democracy, opportunity, and human rights as the fundamental values that will help give the nations of the world their best hope for peace, security, and shared prosperity. Thank you for letting us be part of that journey.

Address By Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

I want to begin by thanking Henry Kissinger for his kind introduction. Henry Kissinger is, of course, a statesman of a very high order and I am honoured to share this stage with him.

The Appeal of Conscience Foundation is about encouraging and recognizing statesmanship in the best sense of the word. That is, leadership for the public good.

Leaders with great responsibilities benefit indeed from encouragement and pressure from organizations like yours. You help us aspire to the highest standards and insist we work to promote adherence to universal values and norms.

It is my great privilege and honour to accept this award on behalf of the people of Canada. For the honour you have given me really belongs to them.

And I stress that their conscience is my conscience. Their values are my values. Values of freedom and justice. Of tolerance and human dignity. Of compassion and generosity. Of prosperity and fairness.

Reflecting those values while trying to advance progressive and cooperative approaches on the world stage represents a tradition of Canadian leaders. It has been my duty and goal for the past nine years to try and carry the tradition forward. Whether we are dealing with issues like we have seen in the Balkans. Or the war against terrorism. Or action on Africa or the global environment.

In my time as Prime Minister...I have witnessed the period of euphoria, and belief in new possibilities at the end of the Cold War. And I have seen the more recent renewed sense of global threat. The threat of terror.

Terrorism is the ultimate wrong. It has no moral justification or conscience. Not in Ireland. Not in South and Central America. Not in the Middle East. Not anywhere. Terrorism is about the taking of innocent life. Individually or in groups. At bus stops. In train stations and homes.

And on September 11th...last year... in two of the greatest buildings...in one of the greatest cities...in the world. Terrorism is an assault against civilized values and requires forceful and determined responses by civilized nations.

A fundamental obligation of government is ensuring the security of our citizens. In the post -September 11th context... President Bush has...indeed... served the American people very well in this regard. He has shown both resolve and restraint in leading his country. He has successfully gathered an international coalition of common purpose. And a remarkable consensus around the need for cooperative, coordinated efforts to defeat terrorism.

Canada has been in the forefront of this coalition. The international campaign in Afghanistan confirms a belief long held by Canadians in the importance of multilateral approaches to international issues.

It is in all of our interests to use the power and moral weight of international institutions in this complex world. Collective action, I believe, produces greater long term security for all than does unilateral action.

In this vein I believe the UN has a crucial role to play in the current situation with Iraq.

Working with and through the UN is the best way to ensure respect for international law. It is the best way to deal with states which support terrorism or attempt to develop weapons of mass destruction. And deal with them we must.

We must keep the pressure on Saddam Hussein to accept unfettered inspections by the UN. And make absolutely clear that the resolve of the international community to see UN resolutions respected is steadfast and determined.

But we must also recognize that our peace and security requires not only armed responses or better intelligence and cooperation. It also requires collective measures to address poverty and despair.

To quote from the National Security Strategy recently announced by President Bush... "a world where some live in comfort and plenty...while half the human race lives on less than two dollars a day...is neither just nor stable. Poverty...weak institutions and corruption can make weak states vulnerable to terrorist networks."

For billions of people in the world...the main life-threatening dangers beyond their control are those of famine, disease, feeble economies, inept or corrupt governance. And regional conflicts rooted in competition for land and scarce resources.

It is, of course, the right thing to do to advance human development in poor countries. But helping such countries lift themselves out of poverty also advances our own security. And will create the conditions for a broader global prosperity.

For globalization must be made to work for the poor, not just the wealthy. The African Action Plan endorsed this year at the G-8 Summit in Alberta is a perfect illustration of this philosophy.

The Action Plan strikes a new bargain between Africa and the developed world.

A bargain in which progressive African leaders have pledged themselves to advancing good governance, rooting out corruption, and supporting democracy.

In return, G-8 leaders have committed to strengthened development aid, technical cooperation, and to encouraging trade and investment.

For Africa has been the neglected continent since the end of the Cold War. It is essential to put their needs back on the developed world's radar screen.

Half the population of Sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $1.00 a day. The average purchasing power overall is 20% below what it was twenty years ago when we already considered Africa poor.

Twenty-five million HIV positive Africans face certain death without access to better treatments. Leaving behind a potential 40 million orphans.

The increased aid pledged by G-8 leaders is part of the answer. So is the commitment by Africans to good governance and the rule of law.

But Africa will not rise unless we work together to create conditions for domestic savings, investment and trade.

That means opening our markets to goods that Africans can more readily produce. Such as agricultural products, textiles and apparel.

As of January 1, 2003, Canada will eliminate tariffs and quotas on almost all products from least developed countries in Africa and elsewhere.

But if I may be really frank, the biggest hurdle faced by poor nations are the huge subsidies for agriculture currently paid by the European Union and the United States.

These subsidies force prices down and effectively block poor countries from competing. I recognize the domestic political pressure for such subsidies.

My government has had to deal with the same thing in deciding to drop tariffs and quotas. But we did it because it was right. And because free trade means greater prosperity for all sides in the long run.

Consider that last year agriculture subsidies in the European Union and United States were greater that $300 billion. Foreign aid from developed nations, by contrast, amounted only to $50 billion. Conscience urges us to begin eliminating these distorting, unfair subsidies and to do it soon.

While I am on the topic of global responsibilities, I would be remiss if I failed to mention climate change.

This phenomenon is creating new health, economic and environmental problems that threaten to become defining challenges for future generations.

Once again, national interests would be best served by multilateral cooperation.

It is for that reason that our government will ask the Canadian Parliament to vote on ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. We are currently developing an implementation strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2012.

While the United States has decided to address climate change outside the Kyoto agreement, I nevertheless remain hopeful that our two countries will find ways to cooperate on this challenge in the coming period.

I believe that the health and well being of future generations requires the world to collectively address it. And to seize the opportunities for new technologies and investment that will come with it.

In conclusion, I want to stress three issues of overriding importance. First, security from terror; second, development in poor countries; and third, environmental security for the planet.

A more prosperous, secure, healthy, and hopeful world requires collective action on these issues.

We have to recognize that acting for the greater good, and respecting our common space is the best way to serve the long-term good of each of us individually.

Simply put, I can say to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation: following conscience has a pay off.

On behalf of Canadians I will continue to advocate for collective action on each of these fronts during the time I have remaining as Prime Minister.

I want to thank you again for this recognition and for your noble advocacy for these and other crucial issues facing humanity.

2001

Speeches
Address By Dr. Heinrich V. Pierer, President And Chief Executive Officer

Minister Han Seung-soo, Rabbi Schneier,
Your Excellencies, Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen:

Thank you, rabbi, for your gracious words.

I wish to thank the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for honoring me this evening. It is a special privilege for me to be joining the company of such illustrious past recipients, and I very much appreciate being here.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Just two weeks ago, I wasn't sure I would be coming to New York for this event. Certainly none of us were sure if we should - or could - come. We all sat before our television sets and watched in stunned horror as the impossible became brutal reality in this city and in Washington D.C. My immediate response to the disaster was to e- mail our U.S. employees and express our grief and feelings for all those affected. The outpouring of answers was overwhelming.

We all felt profound shock, grief and outrage. And these feelings have deepened and intensified in the days since those dark hours in American history. My visit to the attack site this afternoon only confirmed the terrible magnitude of this nightmare.

The appalling atrocities of September 11th changed our world overnight. Since then, we have all asked the same question over and over: After this unspeakable crime, will anything ever be the same again?

The entire world is in mourning. Even now, many painful days after the attacks, the sense of disbelief, the sense of absolute horror, and the sense of foreboding have only grown. The devastating message has taken on incomprehensible dimensions. What has happened here must be seen as a declaration of war not just on Americans, not just on the victims of over 50 nations - but on humanity itself.

My company, like so many others, was caught up in this dreadful act. With well over 80,000 employees, we are one of the largest U.S. companies. We count ourselves as a good corporate citizen of this nation.

The United States is our largest and most important market, and our company benefits immensely from the size, the strength and the dynamics of this country. We benefit from the advanced work being carried out in the universities and research centers. We benefit from the incredible openness for innovation and all that is new. We benefit from the unmatched vitality of American companies, markets and institutions. And above all, we benefit from the invincible spirit and creativity of its people.

And believe me - as I watched the televised reopening of the New York Stock Exchange last Monday - as I saw the heroic firemen and policemen ring the opening bell - I was deeply moved by the unbroken power, strength and determination of this great country!

On the other hand, I feel endless sadness and compassion for our American employees and all people of the United States. Fortunately all of our employees working at the World Trade Center - with one sad exception - escaped unharmed and we are thankful for that blessing.

What is especially painful for countless people throughout the world to see is that something fundamentally good - and fundamentally right - has been attacked. The terror of these days is targeted - above and beyond all the individual suffering - against humankind.

My country is extremely grateful for the role that the United States plays in the world. This nation's unrelenting commitment to freedom, democracy and justice may well be more evident to German citizens than probably any other folk in the world.

Twice in the past century - in defeating the Nazi dictatorship to help Germany return to the folds of the free world, and then during the reunification of Germany just over one decade ago - America has been an uncompromising and successful advocate for German freedom.

I have many strong personal images of what America has done for my country.

My earliest memory dates back to my childhood, to a day late in April, 1945, when I was four years old. American troops had arrived in our city. My mother told me to stand in our doorway, like the other children in our house, with my hands up, hoping we would touch the hearts of the GIs entering the house for the first time. We must have done a good job. The first soldier I saw stopped and gave me a piece of chocolate - an unbelievable rarity at that time.

Such incidents may seem trivial today, but happened thousands of times in postwar Germany and were indelible for my generation.

Later, the Americans kept West Berlin alive and free for eleven months during the Blockade that began in 1948. In 1963, President Kennedy proclaimed his solidarity with the city. And in 1987, President Reagan stood before the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate and called out: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall!" Just two-and-a-half years later, President Bush worked with enormous skill, leadership, commitment and resolve to help make this dream come true.

Words and deeds like these have shaped and cemented German-American relationships over half a century. Chancellor Schroeder has just reaffirmed this spirit by pledging Germany's "unlimited solidarity" with America.

The whole world owes America a huge debt of gratitude for the willingness and determination of U.S. citizens to repeatedly risk life and limb to ensure that freedom prevails. One of the most dramatic and inspiring examples of this spirit was shown just two weeks ago on Flight 93 - where a few brave souls sacrificed themselves for a greater good.

U.S. armed forces are still stationed in my home state of Bavaria. They are held in high esteem after half a century of guarding our freedom. In the eyes of the broad German public, they are a key pillar in the transatlantic partnership which is so alive today.

These same soldiers - and this country which so symbolizes freedom for all peoples of the earth - are now embarking on a far more difficult task. Evil is no longer easily identified. It can no longer be pinpointed on a world map. And for the first time in history, it has struck the very heart of America.

I am firmly convinced that the gruesome acts of terror will serve as a wake-up call for the civilized world. And that we will be united in both purpose - and action.

Ladies and gentlemen, Before the events here in the U.S. so radically altered our world, I had planned to center my remarks tonight on the challenges presented by globalization. Although the war against terrorism has now seized our highest priority, allow me to expand on my original thoughts.

I see three phases in the nearly ten-year-old process of globalization.

The first phase was basically economic and political in nature. It was marked by opening markets, deregulation and privatization. And it ushered in an unprecedented era of ever fiercer global competition.

The second phase was marked by strong social elements. Seattle, G�teborg and Genoa were disturbing milestones in a broadening and increasingly aggressive social dialogue. Growing concerns about sustainability, social justice and the environment awakened the world to some very fundamental issues.

We had just entered a new level of dialogue that could reconcile the process of globalization with social needs. The Global Compact initiative of Kofi Annan and the budding dialogue between NGOs, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were a promising beginning.

Before this second phase could bear fruit, we were struck by the disasters in America. In this third phase, a global network of fanatic terrorists are targeting many things - including the world economic and financial systems. The immediate response may be military and political in nature, but the business community can also make major contributions.

We must elevate the globalization debate into a dialogue paced by social concerns and driven by understanding and consensus. It is time to address pressing global challenges and to act. We are all being called upon. Politicians. Governments. NGOs. Global enterprises.

I can only speak for the latter group. As multinationals, we must ensure that the enormous benefits of corporate citizenship are better communicated. We create jobs, transfer technologies, build local business, provide essential infrastructure, integrate cultures, and train and educate people. Our higher purpose is to be a catalyst for social stability and to achieve sustainability.

Ladies and gentlemen, The struggle between barbarism and civilization, between terror and humanity, between the rule of force and human rights are still with us at the dawn of the 21st century.

More than ever before, it will be the role of the world's religions to seek peaceful coexistence. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism - all religions and cultures are ultimately bonded by great humanitarian values. And all must join the unrelenting battle against the perversions of religious intolerance and fanatic violence.

We must never forget that what happened here was not in the name of a religion. At the same time, we must accept without reservation that terrorists - and those who condone terrorism in any form - are beyond the pale of civilization.

We must also make it absolutely clear that this is not a clash of civilizations. It is the reaction of all cultures, all religions, all countries and all peoples against the destruction of common fundamentals like freedom, tolerance, humanity and diversity.

The work of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and other institutions is a ray of hope. It assures us that people are indeed working to bridge dangerous gaps between cultures and religions. That someone cares for the highest good of all, humankind.

I am thankful for this work. Because it is one welcome glimmer of light in a reality that at times seems too brutal to permit hope. All of us share this mission in one form or another. We have come to a city that is facing unprecedented challenges. To a country that is trying to find the right path in a world that has revealed a frightening new dimension of evil. We are here to mourn and reflect. And we are here to set out with new purpose - and new resolve.

One thing is clear. Each of us - in our own way - must work to ensure that the good, the right and the just will prevail in the end. I am absolutely convinced we will succeed.

Thank you.
Dr. Heinrich v. Pierer

2000

Speeches
Dr. Daniel Vasella Upon Receiving The Appeal Of Conscience Award

Thank you Rabbi Schneier. I am particularly honored to share the dais with Chancellor Schroeder, who is doing so much in bringing Germany to a new position of exciting economic growth.

Dear Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. President, Mr. Chancellor, Rabbi Schneier, your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends. Receiving the appeal of conscience award this evening is to some degree confusing to me. On the one handside I feel honored, on the other handside my conscience clearly says that I deserve just the appeal, not the award.

As a business leader and the head of a global corporation, one is thought by many people to have suspicious motives. Some of the words, which come to one's mind and are being used by our critics are suspect to many. Aanonymity, scale, resources, mega-mergers and globalization. These factors ,create new powerbases and to many their sole purpose seems to be to exerciseing control over local communities and interests forwith the sole objective ofto increasinge profits. Scientific advances inspirespark hope but then also create uncertainties and fear of the unknown. In biotechnology for example the progress and new possibilities to intervene even on a genetic level are frightening to some.

Is this just a perception or is it true? Do global businesses act without controls and ethical responsibilitycompunction? And if not, what are some of the greatest challenges? How do we deal in pursuing desirable but mutually exclusive objectives?

The market economy, free trade and competition have brought economic growth, innovation and productivity improvements. Democracy has proven to be the best governance system, and transparent and stable governance and legal systems create the basis for long-term investments. On all these levels the world has achieved great progress over the past decades. But important problems remain unsolved.

A year ago my colleague Percy Barnevik spoke to you about environmental challenges. Today I would like to touch upon another important and most disturbing theme, the problemone of poverty.

In the last 50 years more progress has been made in the fight against poverty than in the previous 500 years before. And as we know, increasing wealth normally leads to more democracy.

Overall international relationships have become friendlier, and the legal protection of human rights is increasing. All these improvements have been achieved in spite of the fact that the world population has doubled since 1960.

Nevertheless we have to acknowledge that this progress has not brought the same benefits to everybody. Today, more than 1.3 billion people still need to live with a daily income of 1 dollar or less. An Additional 2 billion bio people are only slightly better off, their daily income is equivalent to 2 dollars. Even if some of these figures need to be seen in relative terms as well as in a broader context, they reflect human tragedies, destinies and suffering which cannot be disregarded and cannot be measured by statistics alone figures.

About two years ago I was sitting in the back of a limo in the midst of Mumbai, in India, when at a crossroads the traffic lights turned red and we stopped. Two little girls, aged of may be maybe 8 andand 10 years old knocked begging at my window begging for money. Their dark eyes had a questioning and haunted look. I did not know what to do. What could I achieve by giving them anything? There was so much misery all over the place. But I simply could not remain seated passively seated. As I reached into my pocket I glanced at them and was deeply moved by the incredible joy I could see in their little faces, the excitement, the twinkling in their eyes, the expectation. I held the money in my handtook the bills and, but suddenly the car started, for the lights had turned green. I hesitated and looked at the girls., and Nnever in my life had I seensaw such deep disappointment, so much desperation in a face. As tThe car accelerated, I opened the window and threw the money out to them. Turning back I saw them picking up the billsobserved how they picked it up. Cars honked and my driver scoldedblamed me for throwing money out of the window. He was right but so was I. I still feel ashamed thinking of children having to knock at the windows of limousines appealing to men in dark suits sitting inside.

Social disparities are increasing in a number of countries. The differences are widening between those participating in the economic and social progress and those seeing no development at all or havingeven tosuffering from the transformation of their societies.

The reasons for these inequalities deficitsin development vary from country to country. I share the view that the responsibility for eliminating these inequalities is incumbent upon the respective sovereign governments, At least to a great extent, however but not entirely.

Indeed, the international community has an obligation to contribute to further local development potential through transfer of capital, know- how and technology from industrialized to developing countries. This in turn should help to create appropriate conditions for self-sustaining economic and social development of the respective country.

The G8 recently committed itselfthemselves to prioritizing expanded immunizations, better nutrition and the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases., Bbut statistics show that over the past decade, development funding has fallen, with aid flows, in real terms, as much as a third below their 1990 level. Today in a number of developing countries spending in relative terms for arms is much more than for healthcare.

But Ppoverty does not only touch developing countries. We are all are aware of the poverty of some elderly people who often even hide their condition. it, And we know of the urban poverty, which we can see everyday in the streets of our cities.

How should we and do weact in regard tofront of these disturbing facts? What guiding principles should we apply? As leaders and as individuals?

One option is to ignore or deny the misery of others, or as a company leader to just follow Milton Friedman's well known words:. Let me quote, There is one and only one social responsibility of business, to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.

A second option is to adopt align oneself to the opposite view, to join those who are opposed toagainst making any profits, who fiercely attacking those who do, using all available means, includingeven violence; to join those groups trying to achieveget a short-term redistribution of wealthgoods in favor of the underprivileged, without worrying about the price to be paid in the long run.

Extreme positions often look very tempting. They free us from the task of analyzing complex situations and recognizing the inherent difficulties of ambivalent positions. In the Pharmaceuticals industry, we know that our medicines save lives and improve the quality of life of millions of people. But we also know that for every patient who can afford his or her medicine there are many more who can not.

We are being attacked for our pricing policies. Already some governments of developing countries intend to abolish patent protection to ensure cheap access to new medications.

Our critics condemn the enforcement of intellectual property by WTO as a way to extract additional profits from developing countries in favor of industrialized countries. According to a recent study by Keith Maskus of the University of Colorado, the U.S. would have received from developing countries an additional 5.8 billion dollars in 1988 for license fees had they been in existence. So in the short term a government thatwho disregards intellectual property might generate some savings. If one however takes a mid-term view, incremental technology transfers, trade, investments and sublicenses would more than outweigh these license fees. Profits also ensure that companies continue to invest in long-term R&D programs.

From a societal standpoint the purpose of a company - especially a pharmaceutical company - can not just be profits. However, for a company, profits are like the air we breathe: We do not live to breathe but we need to breathe to live. For a company's long-term survival, profits at a competitive level are a prerequisite. We will therefore constantly come up against face dilemmas where, in order to attain a certain desirable end other desirable ends will have to be sacrificed.

In order to avoid destructive compromises corporations need guiding principles, a set of values and a globally applicable code of conduct. These rules must be explicit and broadly communicated in order to function as behavioral controls. But Never may a corporation may never sacrifice human dignity or disregard basic human needs. We have to know and respect the cornerstones for a non-violent reconciliation of divergent interests. Corporations have a moral obligation to respond to such problems as third world poverty. Not just by compassion but also by self-interest. Through our Foundation for Sustainable Development we at Novartis support for example small farmers, orphans with AIDS, and have recently decided to donate all medication needed for the worldwide elimination of Leprosy while WHO will fund the appropriate education. Before the year-end we will dedicate specific R&D resources for working on a treatment of a prevalent third world disease. We are following a pragmatic approach, which, although far from being perfect, enables us we are tryingto be guided as closely as possible by our ethical ideals.

So we must have ideals, spiritual ones as well as those expressed by people who have demonstrated exemplary behavior. Of course all of us have been influenced by values that have been transmitted by our parents. As an example, In this context I would like to share a memory from my childhood:

As a child my father let me sometimes gave me his wallet. I liked counting the money and looking at the pictures on the bills. The 50-franc bill had a picture of showed a flowery garden and an apple tree., Once he showed me a thousand-franc bill, which it depicted an allegory of death. The hundred-franc bill was dark blue and showed a knight, his sword in the hand cutting his coat in two with a sword and sharing it with a poor man. It was a picture of St. Martin and I often asked why he was cutting his coat in two. "He is sharing it with the one who had none" explained my father and "no", he reassured me "it would not be too small for both". Aside from of beliefs, ideals, rules and one's conscience there is one other essential factor which should guide our actions: it is Empathy, the capacity to identify oneself temporarily with the other, an identification which leads to deeper understanding and appropriate responses.

Nearly 40 years ago, as an 8-year-old boy I was lying in a hospital bed high up in the Swiss Mountains. I was diagnosed with a Tuberculosis and Meningitis. The treatment was long and tiring, and I often felt lonely as my parents lived quite far away in a small town Fribourg, which Rabbi Schneier and especially his spouse know well. During these many months of hospitalization there was one procedure, that which I feared more than anything, the lumbar puncture. ion. Usually nurses hold me down, I felt helpless and overwhelmed. The procedure was done behind me, out of my sight, in silence. Then one day a new physician came to my room and told telling me that the next day he would have to do a lumbar punctureion. I cried silently. When he . He saw how afraid I was, he my fear and then promised that nobody would keep me down. As he sat down close to my bed the next day, he first showed me the needle, explained the procedure and asked me if I had any questions. I just wanted to said that the only things I wanted were to hold the nurse�s hand and give the go ahead. He did exactly as he said he would, punctured and for the first time it didn't hurt. This physician showed empathy., He emotionally understood my fear situation and helped me to manage it by reassuring me, giving me the necessary understanding and control about what was going to happen.

And control. As I was preparing for this speech many thoughts, memories and emotions came to mind. I am of course aware that I failed in my attempt to express them all failed in my attempt to express them all, clearly and logically in a logical sequence. But as we mature we do not only learn about our the own limitations, but also discover the strength and weaknesses of our parents, of earlier ideals of our ideals, the strength and weaknesses of our parents - without any resentments - and so we learn to accept our own shortcomings, as they are part of our human condition. Nevertheless we all must do our best to must examine our actions, words and even thoughts candidly as we all bear a heavy responsibility. We must act according to our beliefs and our conscience and always with empathy, constantly balancing action and introspection. To use Gandhi's words:

"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world .as in being able to remake ourselves."

Adona Ozer Li,  May God help me in this difficult task.

Thank you.