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Speech by CE at THE ONE Humanitarian Award 10th Anniversary Award Gala Dinner (English only) (with video)
     Following is the video speech by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at the ceremony of THE ONE Humanitarian Award 10th Anniversary Award Gala Dinner today (November 15):
Dr David Harilela (Founder and Global Chair of THE ONE Humanitarian Award), Mr Gordon McInally (Rotary International President), Mr Andy Li (District Governor of Rotary International District 3450), Mr Eugene Fong (THE ONE Co-Chair), Mr H W Fung (THE ONE Hong Kong Chair), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     Good evening. It gives me great pleasure to address you at tonight's prestigious event. You are all gathered here to celebrate one cause. The one cause, that has been promoting the sustainability of exemplary service for humanity for a decade.
     THE ONE Humanitarian Award was founded by Dr David Harilela in 2012. It is a project by Rotary International District 3450. It recognises and empowers outstanding individuals, who have dedicated their lives to the improvement of mankind.
     Throughout the years, THE ONE Award International, together with the award's local editions in Hong Kong and the Philippines, has rewarded over 60 unsung heroes around the globe. The award has donated over US$3 million, and transformed over 300 000 lives.
     I express my sincere gratitude to THE ONE Humanitarian Award, for the selfless humanitarian service you have encouraged in mankind, and for your continuous effort in spreading the important value of compassion.
     The Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by President Xi Jinping 10 years ago. It has become a key platform for building a global community with a shared future. Last month at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi said that we should jointly address various global risks and challenges, and deliver a bright future of peace, development, co-operation and mutual benefit for future generations.
     Under the "one country, two systems" principle, Hong Kong is bestowed with unparalleled connectivity with both the Mainland of China and the rest of the world. Not only are we an international financial, shipping and trading centre, Hong Kong is also committed to becoming a major international philanthropic centre.
     And we need to look no further than to our people for the drive to achieve that. The people of Hong Kong are well-known for their benevolence. They always lend their helping hands to those in need, to those who suffer from natural disasters, poverty, sickness or other misfortune.
     At last count, based on their tax exemption status, some 10 000 charities have been set up in Hong Kong. In the financial year 2020-21, approved charitable donations under profits tax for business donors totalled US$560 million. For individual donors, charitable donations approved under salaries tax was about US$1 billion.
     Figures aside, if you simply look around the kind and faithful faces around you this evening, you will know why I am confident that we can rise as a charitable hub.
     I know you are all eager to know which of this year's award finalists will win THE ONE honour. My heartfelt congratulations to the awardees and all finalists for your dedicated service to the community.
     My thanks again to THE ONE Humanitarian Award for the past decade of success, in recognising the best in humanity. And I wish you every success in the years to come.
     Enjoy the evening. Thank you very much.
Ends/Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Issued at HKT 20:30
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Speech by CE at THE ONE Humanitarian Award 10th Anniversary Award Gala Dinner