UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinoyannis attended the “summit meeting” of the global elite at the annual awards ceremony of the “Appeal of Conscience” Foundation in New York on Wednesday 26 September 2018.

At the event, which brings together Presidents of countries, Ministers, heads of international organizations, and powerful businessmen from all over the world, important personalities are given awards each year for their contribution to establishing peace and defending the freedom of religion.

At this year’s event, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Mrs. Christine Lagarde, received the “Appeal of Conscience World Leader Award 2018” for her contribution to promoting dialogue between peoples, and the President of luxury goods company Richemont, Mr. Johann Peter Rupert, received the Appeal of Conscience Award 2018″ for his contribution to society as a whole.

The event’s main speaker was US Treasury Secretary Mr. Steven Mnuchin, while former US Secretary of State Mr. Henry Kissinger was an honorary speaker.

Those present included the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, entrepreneur Maurice Levy, the CEO of the Blackstone Group Mr. Stephen A.Schwarzman, the CEO of Bank of America Mr. Brian Moynihan, the Greek-American businessman John Catsimatidis, the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yuchenko, the former President of Bulgaria Petar Stoyanov, and many more representatives from the political, corporate, and diplomatic arenas.

Mrs. Vardinoyannis, who was among the event’s honorary guests, had the opportunity to speak for quite a while with Mrs Lagarde, as well as with Henry Kissinger, with whom she is linked through long-standing familial ties of friendship. The UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador had an interesting discussion with the President of Georgia, who had recently visited the “Marianna V. Vardinoyannis – ELPIDA” Paediatric Oncology Unit, while she also spoke with most of the guests in attendance.

Immediately after the awards ceremony, the two award winners made brief speeches. “I am especially honoured to have received this award. It is a common belief among everybody that democracy and human rights are fundamental values that provide nations with the hope for peace and prosperity. Peace, tolerance and respect must become second nature to us and are absolutely necessary in today’s age” noted Mrs. Lagarde.

“Thank you for this great honour. Whatever I have done, I have done it because I believe that we should share our blessings. Both I, as well as my family, consider it our obligation to share some of our good fortune”, stressed Mr. Johann Peter Rupert during his speech.

The event ended with a blessing by Archbishop Demetrios of America, who is a Trustee of the “Appeal of Conscience” Foundation.

The event was moderated by the well-known journalist Alina Cho, who for a number of years was the host of successful programs on the television channels CNN, ABC, and CNBC.

It is worth noting that the “Appeal of Conscience Foundation” was founded in 1965 by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, the evening’s host who, having been tortured by the Nazis during World War II, set peace between peoples and defending human rights and religious freedom as his life’s goal. Through cooperation between the religious leadership and the political and economic leadership, the “Appeal of Conscience” Foundation promotes democracy, dialogue among peoples, and tolerance.