ACF Honors World Leaders 40th Anniversary Dinner
September 21, 2005
New York
ACF Honors World Leaders 40th Anniversary Dinner The Honorable John D. Negroponte, United States National Intelligence Chief, addressed more than 600 leaders of business, public and religious life, members of the diplomatic corps, supporters, friends, and prominent religious leaders of the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim communities at the 2005 Annual Appeal of Conscience Foundation Award Dinner, held at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in midtown Manhattan this evening.

The Honorable John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia in his fourth term, was honored with the World Statesman Award from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for his “achievements and leadership in the advancement of democracy and preservation of freedom as a way of life, for his courageous stand against international terrorism, and for his support of religious tolerance worldwide ” said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and Senior Rabbi of New York’s Park East Synagogue in presenting the Award. Accepting the Award on behalf of Prime Minister Howard was Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer.

"Mr. Howard has asked me to convey his deep appreciation for the honour the Foundation has bestowed upon him,” Foreign Minister Downer said. “Indeed, the objectives of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, in protecting religious freedom and human rights throughout the world, and promoting peace, tolerance and conflict resolution, are enduring and noble goals relevant to any age but perhaps of particular resonance in the world today," he added.

Jorma Ollila, Chairman and CEO of Nokia Corporation, was presented with The Appeal of Conscience Award for his “perseverance not only to build a global communications corporation but also to cultivate the Nokia philosophy of “we connect people” regardless of race, color, or creed, and for his steadfast commitment to international cooperation, tolerance and human rights, and his concern for the environment and sustainable development,” said Rabbi Schneier. Ollila in June 2005 introduced a multi-faceted Environmental Vision and Strategy for Nokia Corporation, a program addressing environmental efficiency in new product design as well as environmental impact of Nokia’s suppliers’ activities.

In presenting the Appeal of Conscience Award, Rabbi Schneier said “Jorma Ollila is blessed with a brilliant mind and a compassionate heart. He is truly an exemplar of the social responsibility of the international business community and we are proud to bestow upon him the Appeal of Conscience Award.”

The Honorable Peter G. Peterson, Senior Chairman and Co-Founder, The Blackstone Group, Former Secretary of Commerce and Chairman of the Board, The Council on Foreign Relations received the Appeal of Conscience Public Service Award “for his leadership in national and international affairs, as well as humanitarian and philanthropic contributions for the betterment of society,’ Rabbi Schneier said. ‘For more than 30 years Peterson has served as a principal force in both the private sector, as Chairman and CEO of major global corporations, and the public sector as Secretary of Commerce in the Nixon Administration and a member of high ranking trade and commerce commissions.” He is the author of several books which take on the vital socioeconomic issues of our times, most recently: Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It.

“I applaud the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for your work with political and religious leaders across the globe to advance religious tolerance and peace,” President George W. Bush, the Honorary Chair for the Annual Awards Dinner, said in a prepared statement. “These are values that honor the dignity of every life and set free the creative energies that lead to progress.”

The Dinner’s Co-Chairmen attending the event were Rupert Murdoch, Chairman, the News Corporation; Hon. John C. Whitehead, Chairman, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation; Martin JG Glynn, President and CEO, HSBC USA and HSBC Bank USA; and J. Willard Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

In calling for a dialogue and an alliance of civilizations, Rabbi Schneier said that, “The conflict today is not the West against Islam, but it is instead a conflict between those who stand on the side of tolerance and the rule of law and those who wish to destroy freedom by any means possible,’ said Rabbi Schneier at this international gathering of leaders. ‘As members of the global community, we must send a strong, clear and united message that hatred and violence in the name of religion will not be tolerated now or ever.”

Among the prominent members of the religious, diplomatic and business communities who attended the dinner were: John Bolton, US Ambassador to the UN; Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church; Archbishop Khajag Barsamian of the Armenian Church of America; Jan Eliasson, President of the UN General Assembly; Daniel Gillerman, Israel Ambassador to the UN; Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See Ambassador to the UN; Boris Tadic, President of the Republic of Serbia; Ferenc Somogyi, Foreign Minister of Hungary; Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, Foreign Minister of Croatia; Robert Morgenthau, Manhattan District Attorney; Joan Ganz-Cooney, founder of Children’s Television Workshop and Sesame Street and Paul Volcker.

Past recipients of the Appeal of Conscience Award include Sir John Bond, Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings PLC; Dr. Josef Ackermann, Deutsche Bank; Dr. Daniel Vasella, Chairman and CEO of Novartis AG; Carly Fiorina, Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Company; and Dr. Heinrich V. Pierer, President and CEO of Siemens AG.

Some past recipients of the World Statesman Award include Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson, President of the Government of Spain José Maria Aznar, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Republic of Korea President Kim Dae-jung, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Presidents Cardoso, Gorbachev, Havel, and von Weizsaeker, Chancellor Schroeder, as well as Prime Ministers Prodi and Thatcher.

Since 1965, The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith coalition of business and religious leaders, has been actively involved in furthering religious freedom, human rights and tolerance in Russia, China, the Balkans, Central Europe, Argentina and Cuba. The Foundation has been active worldwide, energizing religious leaders of the major faith communities for dialogue and coexistence. ACF recently brought together leaders of the Serbian Orthodox, Muslim and Catholic communities of South East Europe and Kosovo in order to advance reconciliation, peace and stability.
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