September 22, 2009 –
The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an
interfaith organization, and its president and
founder Rabbi Arthur Schneier today honored
Bernard J. Arnault, Chairman & CEO, LVMH Moët
Hennessy Louis Vuitton, with the Appeal of
Conscience Award for his leadership to advance
international cooperation, the environment, and
the arts. Muhtar Kent, Chairman & CEO, The
Coca-Cola Company received the Appeal of
Conscience Award for his contribution in the
fields of education and the environment and The
Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP, Prime Minister of
Great Britain was presented the Foundation’s
World Statesman Award.
Former United States
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger addressed the
that brings together
leaders of business, public and religious life,
members of the diplomatic corps, and prominent
religious leaders of the Catholic, Protestant,
Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, Greek Orthodox and
Russian Orthodox communities.
“Each of these
deserving honorees have dedicated themselves to
removing barriers that have plagued our society,
by finding avenues for people of different
cultures, nationalities and religions to embrace
their common values,” said Rabbi Arthur Schneier,
the President and Founder of the Appeal of
Conscience Foundation. “They have all made a
difference for the benefit of humanity.”
Upon receiving the
Appeal of Conscience Award, Bernard J. Arnault
stated that, “The world can only thrive if it is
sustained by the spirit of progress and the
thirst for peace. A universe will not be able to
survive without the spread of liberty, the
willingness to talk and the spirit of tolerance.
What should bring men together is far stronger
than the perception they may have, which is an
illusion that separates them.”
“We are proud to
receive this recognition from Appeal of
Conscience Foundation because of their noble and
crucial mission of promoting peace, tolerance
and ethnic conflict resolution,” said Muhtar
Kent, chairman and chief executive officer, The
“We believe in creating a better world through
cross-cultural understanding. ACF’s support and
passion for peace and tolerance inspires us and
sends a powerful message in this time of such
The invocation was
delivered by Archbishop Demetrios, Primate The
Greek Orthodox Church of America a trustee of
the ACF and the benediction was offered by
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop
Emeritus of Washington, Vice President of the
They were joined on
the dais by world, religious, civic,
entertainment and business leaders including;
Queen Rania of
Jordan. Stjepan Mesic, President of Croatia.
Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of Albania.
Gordon Bajnai, Prime
Minister of Hungary. Rev. Joseph A. O'Hare, SJ
President Emeritus Fordham University. Bishop
Robert A. Rimbo, Bishop, Metropolitan New York
Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Monsignor Robert Sheeran, President, Seton Hall
University. The Rt. Rev. Mark
Episcopal Diocese of New York. Fashion Designer,
Donna Karan. John C. Whitehead, former
co-chairman of Goldman Sachs and Company and
former Deputy Secretary of State.James D.
Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank.
New York City Police Commissioner, Raymond
Kelly. Former Astronauts James A. Lovell
and Buzz Aldrin. Actress Uma Thurman and Bono,
singer for the rock band “U2".
Chairman of the Dinner was United States
President, Barack H. Obama. The Awards Dinner
chairmen included Steven T. Mnuchin and Wilbur
L. Ross Jr. The general chairmen included K.
Rupert Murdoch, Hon. Peter G. Peterson and Hon.
John C. Whitehead.
Daniel Abraham, Peter Barack, Len Blavatnik,
John A. Catsimatidis, Henri de Castries,
Christopher de Margerie, Paul J. Fribourg, Dr.
Klaus C. Kleinfeld, Hon. Earle I. Mack, Howard
J. Rubenstein, Christopher Ruddy,Stephen
Schwarzman, Daniel L. Vasella, Hon. James D.
Wolfenson and Tran Sri Francis Yeoh.
included former President William Jefferson
Clinton and former Secretaries of State Hon.
Madeleine Albright, Hon. James A. Baker III,
Hon. Lawrence S. Eagleburger,Gen. Alexander M.
Haig Jr., Hon. Henry A. Kissinger, Gen. Colin L.
Powell, Hon. Condoleezza Rice and Hon. George P.
Shultz. Other co-chairs include U.S Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Christopher J.
Dodd, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, Sen. Frank R.
Lautenberg and Sen. Charles E. Schumer.
Congressman, Howard Berman, Chair of the House
Foreign Affairs Committee.
Among the New York
area officials in attendance, New York City
Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.
New York State
DiNapoli and former New York City Mayor, Edward
Past recipients of
the World Statesman Award include President
Nicolas Sarkozy (2008), Chancellor Angela Merkel
(2007) and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
(2006). Other recipients include former Prime
Ministers Margaret Thatcher, Romano Prodi, John
Howard and King Juan Carlos I. The ACF has also
recognized leading international business
leaders including Bill Marriot, Jorma Ollila,
Dr. Josef Ackermann, Dr. Daniel Vasella, Michael
Bloomberg, Jeff Immelt and Hon. Peter Peterson.
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.