Prime Minister Stephen Harper will receive the 2012 World Statesman Award at the Appeal of Conscience Foundation annual awards dinner on September 27 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

The Appeal of Conscience Foundation describes itself as an interfaith coalition of business and religious leaders, founded in 1965 by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, that promotes peace, tolerance and ethnic conflict resolution.

Its board includes former U.S. president Bill Clinton and former U.S. secretaries of state Madeleine Albright, James Baker, retired general Colin Powell and George Schultz.

Harper's office says the prime minister is being recognized as "a champion of democracy, freedom, and human rights."

Other past winners include former prime minister Jean Chretien, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and former British prime minister Gordon Brown.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Czech Vaclav Havel, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher have also been recognized over the years by the foundation — although not all have showed up in New York to receive their awards.

Harper will be appearing at the awards dinner with Vikram Pandit, CEO of the bank Citigroup and Virginia M. Rometty, president and CEO of IBM. Both business leaders will be receiving Appeal Of Conscience awards.

The event occurs during the same week the United Nations' 67th general assembly meets, but Harper will not make a speech. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will represent Canada.

While Harper may be popular with this particular U.S. foundation, it seems many Canadians don't agree. In a totally unscientific survey of the best Canadian prime ministers conducted in May, readers voted Harper dead last behind Kim Campbell and Brian Mulroney.

In June, readers of Calgary's Fast Forward Weekly voted Harper best local villain and most embarrassing citizen. The PM was named worst dressed male MP, MP with the worst sense of humour, biggest Scrooge to work for and biggest self-promoter in this year's Politically Savvy survey from The Hill Times.

With files from The Canadian Press

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  • Vote On Canada's Best Prime Minister

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  • Stephen Harper

    Has served from 2006 - present. (CP)

  • Paul Martin

    Served from 2003- 2006 (CP)

  • Jean Chrétien

    Served from 1993- 2003. (CP)

  • Kim Campbell

    Served from June 25, 1993 - November 4, 1993. (CP)

  • Brian Mulroney

    Served from 1984 - 1993. (CP)

  • John Turner

    Served from June 30, 1984 - September 17, 1984. (CP)

  • Joe Clark

    Served from June 4, 1979 - March 3, 1980. (CP)

  • Pierre Trudeau

    Served from 1968 - 1979 and from 1980 - 1984. (CP)

  • Lester B. Pearson

    Served from 1963 - 1968. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

  • John Diefenbaker

    Served from 1957 - 1963. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

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    Served from 1948 - 1957. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

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    Served from 1930 - 1935.(<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

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    Served from 1935 - 1948 and from 1926 - 1930. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

  • Arthur Meighen

    Served from July 10, 1920 - December 29, 1921. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

  • Sir Robert Borden

    Served from 1911 - 1920. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier

    Served from 1896 - 1911. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

  • Sir Charles Tupper

    Served from May 1, 1896 - July 8, 1896. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

  • Sir Mackenzie Bowell

    Served from December 21, 1894 - April 27, 1896. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

  • Sir John Thompson

    Served from December 5, 1892 - December 12, 1894. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

  • Sir John Abbott

    Served from June 16, 1891 - November 24, 1892. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

  • Sir Alexander Mackenzie

    Served from 1873 - 1878. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

  • Sir John A. Macdonald

    Served from 1867 - 1873. (<a href="" target="_hplink">Wikimedia</a>)

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  • Who Was Canada's Best Premier?

    Policy Options magazine asked 30 historians, political scientists, economists, journalists and policy advisers from across Canada to pick their top five choices for best provincial premier since 1972. Here are the answers. (CP)

  • 5. Robert Bourassa

    Bourassa served as premier of Quebec from 1970 - 1976 and then from 1985 - 1994. (CP)

  • 4. Frank McKenna

    McKenna served as premier of New Brunswick from 1987 to 1997. (CP)

  • 3. Allan Blakeney

    Blakeney served as premier of Saskatchewan from 1971 - 1982. (CP)

  • 2. William Davis

    Davis served as premier of Ontario from 1971 - 1985. (CP)

  • 1. Peter Lougheed

    Lougheed served as premier of Alberta from 1971 - 1985.<br><br> The magnitude of support for Lougheed in the survey spanned the country, with first-place votes in all regions Jury members were also asked to rate premiers according to nine questions pertaining to various aspects of leadership, such as vision and communications, fiscal and economic management, intergovernmental relations and other important files. Lougheed's ratings were higher than the others on all questions, and ranged from 4.23 on interprovincial relations to 4.77 on ability to win over voters and elections. (CP)