The Appeal of Conscience Foundation granted Mr. Carlos Slim the Appeal of Conscience Award.
19 September 2016. New York, USA.

The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith organization devoted to religious freedom, tolerance, and human rights, and the organization's chairman and founder, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, presented the Appeal of Conscience Award to Mr. Carlos Slim Helú at a dinner held for the 51st Annual Appeal of Conscience Awards at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

“We are honoring Carlos Slim Helú as a visionary business leader with a strong sense of social responsibility. His philanthropic and humanitarian activities in the fields of healthcare and education have contributed to international cooperation and have helped to improve living conditions for generations,” declared Rabbi Arthur Schneier.

For over half a century, more than 800 distinguished and leading figures of business, religious, and public life have gathered at this international event alongside foreign statesmen and diplomatic representatives, in order to support global interfaith activities in the name of religious freedom, human rights, and tolerance.

About the Appeal of Conscience Foundation

Led by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation has worked on a global scale for the defense of religious freedom, human rights, peace, and tolerance since 1965. The foundation's permanent objective is to defend the principle of “live and let live.” This international organization, which is an interfaith coalition of business, religious, and foreign policy leaders, promotes mutual understanding, peace, and interfaith cooperation, providing a voice of conscience for the protection of minorities. The Appeal of Conscience Foundation believes that freedom, democracy, and human rights are fundamental values that offer the world's nations the best hope of achieving peace, security, and shared prosperity.

Discurso en video de Rabbi Arthur Schneier

Carlos Slim, and his great joy in life is not only to build corporate giants internationally, but as he has said many times: the more wealth you have, the greater your responsibility to make a difference in the world.

His foundation, which he started, aims to improve quality of life in Mexico, aims to improve health, education, throughout the world.

An unbelievable man of wisdom and heart; wisdom and heart. So you are a role model of what it means to pay back, to give and to share.

My prayer, and this is an ecumenical prayer, is that God should grant you good health, and many, many years of fruitful life. You are an inspiration, because you are a coalition partner with civil society and government all over the world. God bless you for it.

It is fitting that this is star, which is what you are: a star of business, of philanthropy. "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of." Enjoy it with good health.

Speech Carlos Slim Helú
September 19, 2016

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 a motivation and commitment for me in the work we do for the welfare of people 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 that was leveraged by 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 leadership in 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 are some 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 service concessions 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.

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