2008 World Statesman Award Ceremony
September 23, 2008
New York
2008 World Statesman Award Ceremony The Appeal of Conscience Foundation (ACF), an interfaith organization, and its president and founder Rabbi Arthur Schneier presented the 2008 World Statesman Award to French President Nicolas Sarkozy during an awards ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria, attended by an international gathering of leaders in business, religious and public life, as well as many presidents, foreign ministers, and ambassadors.

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg received the Public Service Award and Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE, the Appeal of Conscience Award.

Co-chairs of the evening were Stephen A. Schwarzman, co-founder and CEO of the Blackstone Group and Serge Dassault, chairman of Groupe Dassault, which has interests in software and media.

On the World Statesman Award to President Sarkozy, Rabbi Arthur Schneier stated: "With determination and perseverance, President Sarkozy has plunged into the international arena to take on the political, social, and humanitarian challenges facing the world today. His advocacy for human rights, democracy, and tolerance, and his concern for the protection of the environment are exemplary. He has earned the designation of World Statesman."

Rabbi Arthur Schneier continued with the award recipients: “Michael Bloomberg’s exemplary business achievements have translated into humanitarian and public service that has benefited the people of New York; while Jeffrey R. Immelt’s vision and leadership has propelled GE to address some of the world’s global environmental and energy needs.”

Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State (1973-1977), gave the laudatio to President Sarkozy and former NBC Nightly News Anchor Tom Brokaw served as the evening's Master of Ceremonies. The Honorable John D. Negroponte, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, presented the evening's greetings.

The honorary chair of the event was President George W. Bush and honorary co-chairs were Vice President Dick Cheney, Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and Former Secretaries of State Albright, Baker, Eagleburger, Haig, Kissinger, Powell and Shultz.

Co-chairs were Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO, LVMH; Len Blavatnik, chairman, Access Industries; Philippe Camus, president and CEO, Lagardere N.A.; Muhtar Kent, president and CEO, Coca-Cola Company; Ralph Lauren, chairman and CEO, Polo Ralph Lauren; Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO, FedEx Corporation. In addition, the leadership of the evening’s ceremony included Josef Ackermann, Robert Agostinelli, Henri de Castries, Christophe de Margerie, Jean-François Decaux, Marie Josee and Henry Kravis, Anne Lauvergeon, François Maisonrouge, Jean-Pierre Meyers, Rupert Murdoch, Peter Peterson, Felix Rohatyn, Daniel Vasella, Paul Volcker, Guy Wildenstein, James Wolfensohn and Mortimer Zuckerman.

Past recipients of the World Statesman Award include: Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who was awarded in 2007, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain; Former Prime Ministers John Howard of Australia and Romano Prodi of Italy, José María Aznar López of Spain, Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien of Canada, Göran Persson of Sweden, and Margaret Thatcher of the UK; Former Presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Mikhail Gorbachev, Václav Havel of the Czech Republic, Richard von Weizsäcker of Germany, and Kim Dae-jung of South Korea.

Additional co-chairs included ACF vice president Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, who gave the evening's invocation; ACF vice president Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Armenian Church in America; and ACF Trustee Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, who gave the evening's benediction.
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