Appeal of Conscience Foundation Honors Shinzo Abe, Former Prime Minister of Japan and Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer at the 56th Annual Appeal of Conscience Awards

NEW YORK, March 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith organization dedicated to religious freedom and human rights…

NEW YORK, March 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith organization dedicated to religious freedom and human rights and its President and Founder Rabbi Arthur Schneier, presented the 2021 World Statesman Award to His Excellency Shinzo Abe, the former Prime Minister of Japan and the 2021 Appeal of Conscience Award to Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer at the 56th Annual Appeal of Conscience Awards held virtually in New York, the program can be viewed at

The World Statesman Award:

The World Statesman Award honors leaders who support peaceful coexistence and mutual acceptance in multi ethnic societies. «Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made a significant contribution beyond his country to peaceful coexistence, security and cooperation in the spirit of his ancestors as well as a great service to his Nation,» said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation. 

«As Prime Minister, I consistently underscored that promoting universal values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law is essential for achieving regional and global peace and prosperity,» said Prime Minister Abe.  «The work carried out by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation to achieve religious freedom, promote human rights and pursue peaceful coexistence is in line with the efforts to promote universal values. I would like to extend my deepest respect to Rabbi Schneier, who is a survivor of the Holocaust and has been working hard to promote mutual acceptance and respect for others as a champion of peace and interfaith cooperation, while protecting minorities.»

Appeal of Conscience Award:

The Appeal of Conscience Award is presented to visionary business executives with a sense of social responsibility who use their resources and vast reach across boundaries to better serve the global community. According to Rabbi Arthur Schneier, «Dr. Albert Bourla was recognized for his leadership in helping to heal a world wounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and for his tireless work in service of the global community.»

«I am struck by the common set of values shared by Appeal of Conscience Foundation and my amazing colleagues at Pfizer, «said Albert Bourla. «The Foundation works to foster mutual understanding and acceptance across people of different faiths. Similarly, Pfizer’s equity value is based in the belief that every person deserves to be seen, heard and cared for.»

According to Bourla, «Since the beginning of our vaccine development program, we have been committed to working toward equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines for people around the world. We, like many others during the pandemic, put our individual interests aside to partner with others for the betterment of humankind. As a result, our COVID-19 vaccine is now the first of three authorized for use in the U.S. and several other countries. This success clearly demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships and what can be accomplished when we work together.»

President Biden:

United States President Joseph R. Biden stated, «I extend my warmest congratulations to Albert Bourla for his tireless work helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic here and across the globe. I trust that you take pride in your leadership and in knowing that you helped shepherd a miracle of science for our great Nation and also across the globe.

President Biden also extended his best wishes to former Prime Minister Abe, «I am grateful for our many years of partnership working together, and also for our friendship. I thank you for your meaningful contributions around the world, and for your many years of personal stewardship of the alliance between Japan and the United States

United Nations Secretary-General Guterres:

«I congratulate the winners of this year’s awards. Former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, a champion of universal healthcare, and Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, the developer of one of the first anti-COVID vaccines,» said United Nations Secretary- General Antonio Guterres. «Our focus must be on ensuring that everyone, everywhere can be vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines must be seen as a global public good as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said so many times. The pandemic has put a spotlight on the need to finally address long standing fragilities and inequalities.»

Tributes to the honorees were received from worldwide leaders including Kyriakos Mitsotakis the Prime Minister of Greece and from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Dr. Henry Kissinger delivered the laudatio honoring Prime Minister Abe, «Under his leadership, Japan has made a great contribution to its own people and its economic growth but equally to the friendship between the United States and Japan which is a key to economic progress and peace in the area.»

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of the Blackstone Group introduced His Excellency Shinzo Abe and joined Dr. Kissinger and Rabbi Arthur Schneier in the presentation of the 2021 World Statesman Award calling him «A widely respected and global leader whose tenure was marked by renewed emphasis on international leadership and incredible progress on economic reforms and social issues.»

Brian Moynihan, Chairman and CEO of Bank of America introduced Dr. Albert Bourla and joined Rabbi Arthur Schneier in presenting the 2021 Appeal of Conscience Award. «As I think about the events of this past year – which united us through our common humanity – the work of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation resonates more than ever,» said Moynihan. «A great leader has the capacity to translate vision into reality. Albert, you led the way with the words: Science will win». You were deliberate and empathetic. You energized your team and formed external collaborations in a race to deliver the first FDA approved Covid-19 vaccine to the world in record time – less than one year. It was nothing short of miraculous.»

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, delivered the invocation and Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Most Honorable Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and 8th Archbishop of America, the benediction.

Previous Honorees:

Past recipients of the World Statesman Award include Presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lee Myung-bak, Prime Ministers David Cameron, Tatsuro Goto, Stephen Harper, John Howard, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Margaret Thatcher and Lee Hsien Loong. Other recipients include Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dr. Henry Kissinger, and Madame Christine Lagarde. The ACF has also recognized prominent business leaders with the Appeal of Conscience Award including: Bernard Arnault, Mary Barra, Barbara Bush, Michael Bloomberg, Robert Iger, Muhtar Kent, Coretta Scott King, Brian Moynihan, Virginia Rometty, Stephen A. Schwarzman, Masayoshi Son, Paul Volcker Timotheus Höttges, Stephen M. Ross, Susan Wojcicki and Dr. Rong Yiren.

Honorary Co-Chairs:

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop Elpidophoros, Bishop Daniel Findikyan, Imam Mohamed Magid, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Alex Gorsky, Muhtar Kent, H.E. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Hon. John D. Negroponte, Jerry I. Speyer and Ambassador Koji Tomita.


Bernard Arnault, Marc R. Benioff, Len Blavatnik, John A. Catsimatidis, Michael S. Dell, Jamie Dimon, Jane Fraser, Paul J. Fribourg, Robert K. Kraft, Hon. Ronald S. Lauder, Maurice Lévy, Hon. Earle I. Mack, Michael A. Peterson, Anthony J. Pratt, James Quincey, Yohei Sasakawa, Jiro Seguchi, Hope And Robert F. Smith, Robert Speyer and Kenichiro Yoshida.

About Appeal of Conscience Foundation:

Appeal of Conscience Foundation, under the leadership of Rabbi Arthur Schneier, has worked worldwide on behalf of religious freedom, human rights, peace and tolerance since 1965. To uphold the principle «live and let live» is the Appeal of Conscience Foundation’s continuing goal. An interfaith coalition of business, religious and foreign policy leaders, this international organization promotes mutual understanding, peace and interreligious cooperation and provides a voice of conscience to protect minorities.  The Appeal of Conscience Foundation believes that freedom, democracy and human rights are fundamental values that give nations of the world their best hope for peace, security and shared prosperity.

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