Harper takes jabs at UN, Iran while accepting statesman award
Published Thursday, September 27, 2012 2:11PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:01PM EDT
Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a jab at the United Nations as he accepted his "World Statesman of the Year" award Thursday from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.
“We Canadians are very conscious of our own sovereignty and we expect our governments to make pragmatic decisions in Canada’s national interest,” Harper saidduring his acceptance speech in New York. “We also want those governments to be good world citizens, to try to understand other points of view and to act in concert with our partners for the wider interests of humanity.”
“But that’s not the same as trying to court every dictator with a vote and the United Nation,” Harper added.
Harper passed up the opportunity to speak before the United Nations General Assembly to pick up the award from the American inter-faith peace organization, which recognized him as a "champion of democracy, freedom and human rights."
During his acceptance speech, Harper also condemned the recent wave of anti-American violence worldwide, and singled out Iran as a threat to global security, democracy and freedom.
“I speak not merely of its appalling record of human rights abuse or its active assistance to the brutal regime in Syria or its undeniable support of terrorist entities or its determined pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he said.
“Rather it is the combination of all these things with a truly malevolent ideology.”
Dr. Henry Kissinger, the 1999 World Statesman awardee, made the presentation.
“We are honouring a great friend of the U.S. and a man who has made enormous contribution in world affairs,” Kissinger said before Harper spoke.
The Appeal of Conscience Foundation also honoured Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citigroup, and Ginni Rometty, president and CEO of IBM, with the Appeal of Conscience Award.
Among the foundation's previous world statesmen of the year are former prime minister Jean Chretien, who accepted his award in 2002, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.