President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Luiz In6cio Lula da Silva
September 19, 2006
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.
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