The Argentine businessman Eduardo Eurnekian was awarded this Tuesday by the Americas Society, one of the most important and influential organizations in USA and the continent, in a meeting that was attended by important business leaders, civil servants, diplomats and social leaders. The recognition was given to his contribution as a fundamental man in the Latin American business community and for his recognized philanthropy both in the region and in the world.
Eurnekian received the Gold Medal from the institution founded in 1965 by David Rockefeller “in merit of his business and philanthropic career “, as indicated by the organization. The awards ceremony was led by Susan L. Segal, president and CEO of the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas and took place in one of the most iconic places in New York: Tavern on the Green, in the heart of Central Park. Also present were the Argentine ambassador to the United States, Jorge Argüello, and the businessmen Christian Ratazzi, Guillermo Francos and Ernesto Gutierrez.
The president and founder of America Corporation -one of the most important economic conglomerates in Latin America– was one of the three personalities who received a distinction on the night of New York: the other two were the president of Colombia, Ivan Duque and Pilar Arosemena from Alemán, founder of Biomuseum, on Panama.
The Gold medal constitutes the most important award of the Americas Society, an entity founded 55 years ago by Rockefeller and that brings together the most powerful and influential businessmen from across the continent every year. When explaining the reasons that led to the decision to distinguish the Argentine businessman, Segal pointed out: “Eduardo Eurnekian is an extraordinary person. And the more you know this privacy-conscious person, the more you know how deep he is. He is a serial entrepreneur. His success as an entrepreneur is indisputable, but that is not his essence. Eduardo is a global thinker, a visionary and, above all, a private sector statesman ”.
The CEO of Americas Society further explained, what for her is the basis of the success of Eurnekian: “Understand that innovation is at the same time disruption and construction of the future”.
Americas Society is an institution dedicated to education, debate and dialogue in the different countries that make up the continent. Its traditional headquarters are located at 680 Park Avenue, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The organization promotes understanding and debate on the common economic, political and social problems of Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada.
The traditional building where the institution operates is registered in the National Register of Historic Places. It had formerly been owned by the banker and philanthropist Percy Rivington Pyne before serving as the Soviet Mission to the United Nations until its present use. Together with the neighboring buildings of the Reina Sofía Spanish Institute and the Italian Consulate General, the house constitutes one of the few unified architectural ensembles left on Park Avenue.
Eduardo Eurnekian’s complete speech
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
I am deeply honored and grateful to have been chosen as the recipient of the Gold Medal of the Americas Society. With a special thanks to my dear friend Susan, for her kind introduction.
I also wish to congratulate the other awardees tonight:
Pilar Arosemena from Alemán
President Iván Duque
Receiving the Gold Medal from the Americas Society inspires me to continue the values I share with this distinguished organization: economic and social development, open markets, the rule of law, and democracy throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Tonight, together in this room, we are united in the idea of who we are as a continent.
Today, exactly five hundred and twenty-nine years ago, Christopher Columbus introduced our continent (the second largest on the planet, with 28% of the earth’s surface) to the rest of the world, placing it on the map. Today, that map of the American continent includes 35 countries.
Perhaps tonight we could take the opportunity to ask ourselves together how each of those 35 American nations is actually related to the rest of the region.
And within each of those nations, the questions that should be asked are:
– Are minority voices heard?
– Are their interests taken into account, with agreements based on initiatives that they can also support?
More specifically, Columbus opened the door to the arrival of European civilization, and many of us are here today, because this land welcomed immigrants from Europe, but also – and increasingly – from many other corners of the world.
These immigrants overcame strong differences and assimilated into host societies, while giving rise to a new culture.
“Man lives a truly human life thanks to culture”It is something that we must constantly safeguard and never take for granted.
But that’s not all: also we must consolidate our democracies and modernize our economies. In this sense, we must thank companies, which cross borders, and individuals, who make a difference in various fields.
But today democracy is threatened by outbreaks of social discontent and waves of populist ideologies.
The tragic and repeated conflicts of the last century show that both action and reaction are part of the evolutionary process of history.
It is this tension that often leads to development and innovation and is also an expression of the freedoms we enjoy.
In this context, the capacity of nations to act has been overwhelmed, both from within and from without, in the face of global challenges such as:
– climate change and the depredation of the oceans
– diseases and pandemics
– massive human migrations
– threats to cybersecurity
– a new arms race
– The terrorism
As we know, technology has recently taken on a life of its own, for example through genetic engineering.
States are not the only ones influencing this evolutionary process. There is a risk that any one individual will take control of you and multiply any potential threats.
This lack of control can mean acceleration, on the way, towards self-destruction.