Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Credits: REUTERS/HENRY ROMERO
The New York-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation will give Harper its highest honour at a reception at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City on Sept. 27.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier founded Appeal of Conscience in 1965 to promote religious and human rights as well as the resolution of ethnic conflicts.
Schneier says Harper has brought "moral clarity" to Canada' s foreign policy, partly through pushing for the creation of an Office of Religious Freedom.
"There's no ambiguity," says Schneier, who met Harper in Ottawa last week. "He impressed me as a man with a vision and a principled approach to the statecraft."
Canadian foreign policy toward Israel has warmed considerably under Harper, as he's taken strong stands against anti-Semitism and opposed communist Cuba's inclusion in the Organization of American States.
"I think he's certainly earned the respect of world leaders," said Schneier.
Last year, the award went to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.
Former prime minister Jean Chretien received it in 2002, while former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and former British prime minister Gordon Brown have also been honoured with it.