SOURCE: Appeal of Conscience

September 14, 2011 16:36 ET

Appeal of Conscience Foundation to Present 2011 World Statesman Award to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 14, 2011) - The Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith organization, and its president and founder Rabbi Arthur Schneier, will honor South Korean President Lee Myung-bak with the World Statesman Award on September 20th at the Waldorf=Astoria. He will be cited for his leadership in furthering democracy, freedom, peace and human rights.

The Appeal of Conscience Foundation has worked on behalf of religious freedom, human rights, peace and tolerance throughout the world and brings together leaders of business, public and religious life of the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, Greek Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox, communities.

"President Lee has dedicated himself to world peace and democracy and building bridges worldwide through economic and trade ties, concern for the environment, and respect for different cultures and civilizations," said Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President and Founder of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

Rabbi Arthur Schneier will be joined in presenting the World Statesman Award to President Lee by Paul Volcker, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve. United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon will also address this international event.

Former President William J. Clinton is an Honorary Chair and Co-Chairs are Former Secretaries of State, Madeleine Albright, James Baker, General Colin Powell and George Schultz.

A group of 30 Korean American second to seventh graders from the TKC Choir in Queens will welcome President Lee, the Youngsters from Douglaston, Flushing and Little Neck will sing both the Korean and United States anthems.

Lee Myung-bak was a business executive, a member of the National Assembly and Mayor of Seoul before being elected the 17th President of the Republic of Korea. President Lee was born on December 19, 1941 to a family from Pohang, a port city in southeastern Korea. The President graduated from Korea University with a major in business management. During his university days, he was jailed for leading a student democracy movement.

President Lee joined Hyundai Construction in 1965 and twelve years later became its youngest-ever CEO. During his time at Hyundai, he was involved in the construction of Korea's first highway, the building of Seoul's first modern apartment buildings and the production of Korea's first automobile which all became the foundation for the subsequent launching of Hyundai Motors, Hyundai Heavy Industry and Hyundai Shipbuilding.

After a successful career as a business executive, President Lee retired from Hyundai in 1992 and entered politics. He was elected as a member of the National Assembly for two consecutive terms and entered the Seoul mayoral race. He was elected Mayor of Seoul in 2002 and served until 2006.

While Mayor of Seoul, Lee restored Cheonggyecheon, a 6.5 km stream in the center of Seoul that was hidden under concrete for many decades. The restoration has been hailed as a model for big-city ecological restoration and was recognized with a prestigious award during the 2005 Venice Biennale. TIME magazine named President Lee as one of their Heroes of the Environment in 2007.

He is married to First Lady Kim Yoon-ok. They have three daughters and one son and six grandchildren.

Past recipients of the World Statesman Award include: Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India (2010). Prime Minister Gordon Brown (2009), 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., President Mikhail Gorbachev and President Vaclav Havel.

About the 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.

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