NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith organization, and its president and founder Rabbi Arthur Schneier, honored Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with the World Statesman Award as a leader who has helped advance freedom, democracy, human rights and peace globally. Dr. Henry Kissinger, the 1999 World Statesman Awardee, made the presentation.
The Appeal of Conscience Foundation also honored Vikram Pandit, CEO, Citigroup, and Ginni Rometty, President and CEO, IBM, with the Appeal of Conscience Award.
"It is upon the foundation of freedom and human dignity that Canada seeks, in an uncertain world, to articulate a foreign policy built on certain principles," said Prime Minister Harper. "With this in mind, I humbly accept on behalf of my country this honour bestowed by Rabbi Schneier and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, and salute the important work of this venerable organization."
Louis R. Chenevert, Chairman and CEO of United Technologies Corp. served as the awards dinner Chairman.
The Honorary Chairman of the dinner was former United States President Bill Clinton. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, former Secretaries of State Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, George P. Shultz, James A. Baker III, Dr. Madeleine Albright, Colin L. Powell and Dr. Condoleezza Rice were the Honorary Co-Chairs.
Other Honorary Co-Chairs included U.S Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Charles E. Schumer and Representatives Howard Berman, Peter King, Charles Rangel and Steny Hoyer.
"With a sense of global responsibility Prime Minister Stephen Harper has assumed a significant role on the international scene to advance democracy, freedom and human rights through peacekeeping, humanitarian missions, confronting international terrorism. His leadership reflects Canada's religious and ethnic diversity based on democratic values. With clarity and vision he has responded to the economic, political and social challenges facing humanity," said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.
Rabbi Schneier also stated that, "Vikram Pandit has lead Citi's commitment to communities and building bridges between countries. IBM under the leadership of Ginni Rometty has dedicated itself to the promise of making 'the world work better.' Each has made a difference for the benefit of humanity, by demonstrating their responsibility to society and contributing to the improvement of quality of life through education, global development, peace, tolerance, and cross-cultural understanding."
"It is a great honor to receive the Appeal of Conscience award on behalf of my colleagues at Citi," said Citi CEO Vikram Pandit. "As Citi marks 200 years of supporting progress, it is particularly meaningful to be recognized for our shared commitment to communities. The Appeal of Conscience Foundation works tirelessly to foster peace, understanding, and tolerance. We are proud to do our part to fuel growth and expand access to financial services so communities can flourish."
"Through era after era, for more than a century, IBMers have asked, 'How can the world work better?'" said IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty. "This is how we came to understand global integration not only as an event in the history of economic competition, but also as an inflection point in technological and societal progress."
"I am honored to serve as Chairman for the 2012 Awards Dinner and congratulate this year's honorees. Their leadership in promoting freedom, human rights and economic prosperity has truly made a difference in improving communities around the world," said Louis Chenevert, United Technologies Corp. Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.
Co-Chairs were Peter G. Peterson, Stephen A. Schwarzman, Senator Pamela D. Wallin OC, Len Blavatnik, John A. Catsimatidis, Paul J. Fribourg, Ralph Lauren, Howard J. Rubenstein, Daniel L. Vasella, Mortimer B. Zuckerman.
The invocation was delivered by Bishop Nicolas Anthony DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, and the benediction was offered by Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson, Pastor of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. Both are members of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation Board of Trustees and Advisory Council.
Past recipients of the World Statesman Award include: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (2011), Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh (2010), British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (2009), French President Nicolas Sarkozy (2008), Chancellor Angela Merkel (2007) and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2006). Other recipients include former Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, Romano Prodi, John Howard and King Juan Carlos I., President Mikhail Gorbachev and President Vaclav Havel.
About the Appeal of Conscience Foundation:
Founded in 1965, the ACF has worked on behalf of religious freedom, human rights and tolerance throughout the world. The inter-faith coalition of business and religious leaders promotes mutual understanding, peace and interfaith dialogue. The Foundation believes that freedom, democracy and human rights are the fundamental values that give nations of the world their best hope for peace, security and shared prosperity.
SOURCE Appeal of Conscience Foundation