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French President Hollande to pick up ‘World Statesman Award’ in New York

AFP file picture | The French president will attend the awards ceremony in person

President François Hollande will be awarded the 2016 “World Statesman Award” at a ceremony in New York on Monday for his “leadership in safeguarding democracy and freedom in a time of terrorist attacks” in France.

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Hollande, who will already be in New York to attend a United Nations Security Council meeting, is being recognised not only for his “leadership” but also for “his contribution to global stability and security".

The prize, which is awarded by the New York-based interfaith Appeal of Conscience foundation, honours “individuals who support peace, prosperity, liberty and promote tolerance, human dignity and human rights, both in their own countries and internationally through cooperation with other leaders”.

The foundation confirmed to FRANCE 24 that the president will attend the ceremony at the famed Waldorf Astoria New York hotel in person.

The award comes at a time when Hollande is struggling with record-low support at home, with opinion polls showing that he is the most unpopular president of the fifth republic. A poll conducted by research institute Opinionway and published in French newspaper Le Figaro on September 12, gave the Socialist leader an approval rating of just 19 percent.

During Hollande’s four years in office, France has been hit by a string of terrorist attacks in which more than 230 people have been killed.

Previous winners of the award include former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who won the prize in 2008, as well as Britain’s ex-prime minister David Cameron who received the award last year.

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