(New York) The 54th Annual Awards Dinner of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, a US-based interfaith organization, was held at The Pierre New York in Manhattan, on Monday, September 23, 2019 for the presentation of the World Statesman Award to His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, and the Appeal of Conscience Awards to Timotheus Hӧttges, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Telekom AG, Stephen M. Ross, Chairman and Founder, Related Companies and Susan Wojcicki, Chief Executive Officer YouTube.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier, the foundation's president and founder, noted: "Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be recognised for fostering a society that embraces multiculturalism in which ethnic communities maintain their unique way of life while at the same time living harmoniously." PM Lee will also be recognised for "supporting a knowledge-based economy and an education system that provides its citizens with the necessary skills and knowledge to survive in a globally competitive environment and for implementing a renowned world-class health infrastructure," Rabbi Schneier added. The World Statesman Award honours leaders who support peace and freedom by promoting tolerance, human dignity and human rights, championing these causes in their homeland and working with other world leaders to build a better future for all, the foundation said.
PM Lee stated: "It is my honour to accept the World Statesman Award. Singapore has embraced diversity and multiculturalism as fundamental ideals of our society. We strive to build a multi-racial, multi-lingual, and multi-religious society where people live peacefully and harmoniously together. "Singapore shares the Appeal of Conscience Foundation's vision of a world underpinned by human dignity and respect."
The Appeal of Conscience Foundation was founded by Rabbi Schneier in 1965 to work on behalf of religious freedom, human rights, peace and tolerance worldwide, and seeks to uphold the principle of "live and let live". The interfaith coalition of business, religious and foreign policy leaders seeks to promote mutual understanding, peace, interfaith cooperation and protection of minorities, and says it believes freedom, democracy and human rights are fundamental values that give countries around the world the best hope for peace, security and shared prosperity.
Previous World Statesman Award recipients include British Prime Minister David Cameron, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
A spokesman for Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "The award recognises Singapore's long-standing efforts to promote religious freedom and tolerance among our diverse ethnic and racial groups."
Among the numerous dignitaries seated at the Dias were His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, representing the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and His Grace Bishop Irinej, representing the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America.