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Appeal of Conscience Foundation Honors Dr. Albert Bourla and Shinzo Abe

NEW YORK – 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 on March 22. The program can be viewed on YouTube:

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 Dr. 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. Instead of choosing a price that reflects the high value our vaccine brings to society, we have chosen to charge governments a low price, so they can distribute it to their citizens for free. A dose of our vaccine in high-income countries costs as much as a simple meal. But equity doesn’t mean that we give the same to everyone, but rather that we give more to those in higher need. For this reason, we set the price for middle-income countries at almost half the price of the high-income ones. And we provide the vaccine to the low-income countries on a no-profit basis.”

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.”

“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.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsokatis stated: “Tonight we honor two award recipients whose work embodies the values at the heart of this foundation. Shinzo Abe has been staunch advocate for regional peace and global security… strengthened the ties of friendship and economic co-operation between Japan and the European Union, and we salute his long-standing leadership here tonight.”

Prime Minister Mitsotakis continued, “Albert Bourla is a proud son of Greece… his leadership in response to the COVID-19 pandemic makes him a worthy recipient of this year's Appeal of Conscience award. I know millions of Greeks will join me in congratulating Doctor Bourla and the thousands of brilliant minds across the global pharmaceutical community whose collective endeavor has brought us not just one vaccine, but a host of vaccines, that are quite literally preserving millions of lives across the world. There is simply no greater achievement than that. You are all heroes in our eyes.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “There is no one more deserving of this year's award than Albert Bourla. Under his leadership, Pfizer has truly excelled, creating and producing a vaccine that will save millions of lives across the world. I congratulate Mr. Bourla on receiving this prestigious honor and thank him for all he has done for Israel and the world. His contribution to global health will be recorded in the annals of history.”

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 His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Most Honorable Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and 8th Archbishop of America, the benediction.

More information is available online: www.appealofconscience.org.

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