Harper recognized as human rights champ
Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vladivostok, Russia September 8, 2012. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will step away from the fiery political rhetoric of question period later this month to receive a special honour as World Statesman of the Year.
The New York-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation says it will give Harper its highest honour to recognize him as "a champion of democracy, freedom and human rights."
Rabbi Arthur Schneier founded Appeal of Conscience in 1965 to promote religious and human rights, as well as the resolution of ethnic conflicts.
"After Sept. 11, the foundation has rallied religious leaders worldwide to take a stand against terrorism and to use their influence to halt violence and promote tolerance," the organization says on its website.
Harper will accept the award at a reception at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City on Sept. 27.
Last year the award went to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
Former prime minister Jean Chretien received the award in 2002, while former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and former British prime minister Gordon Brown have also been honoured with it.