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2020 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureates Announcement Speech

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2020 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate Announcement

 

World peace can only be achieved when all people live together in harmony, guided by principles of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values. Unfortunately, the world we live in does not manifest this ideal. In international relations, the principle of “national self-interest” takes precedent over norms of dialogue and cooperation. In order to achieve peace, we must work to overcome the barriers that divide us. We must learn to see each other as members of one human family. Living in a global era, we must all strive for mutual prosperity and lasting world peace.

 

The Sunhak Peace Prize was established to contribute to a peaceful future for all humanity, which is the vision of its founders, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.

 

The year 2020 is a very significant year for the Sunhak Peace Prize. Not only does it represent the 4th award ceremony; it is the centenary year of the founders. For this reason, in addition to the 2020 peace prize, there will also be a special Founder’s Award that will be presented to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the founder, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. 

 

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the founder’s birth, the Sunhak Peace Prize committee carefully reviewed the achievements of many candidates, based on the principles of peaceful interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values. Interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values serve as the standard for a prosperous and peaceful global community.

 

After careful review, it was decided that the Founders’ Award will be presented to former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea. And the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize Award will be presented to two worthy individuals: H.E. Macky Sall, current president of Senegal, and Bishop Dr. Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Palestine.

 

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the winner of the Founders’ Award was the first Korean to become the U.N. Secretary-General in 2006. He served two successful terms, and contributed greatly to peace and human development. While in office, Secretary-General Ban led the United Nations with unyielding dedication, in the face of unprecedented global challenges and crises, including the global economic crisis, climate change, terrorism and refugee issues.

 

In particular, former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pressed for international awareness of the seriousness of climate change which resulted in the Paris Agreement, a landmark accomplishment for humanity and the entire planet. In addition, during his term, the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He also contributed greatly to presenting and implementing a global strategy for promoting gender equality and child health. The Sunhak Committee wishes to pay tribute to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his great contributions to world peace, and for his efforts to overcome numerous and critical challenges facing humanity.

 

Senegalese President Macky Sall, laureate of the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize, is a leader who exemplifies good governance. Elected Senegalese President in 2012, and again in 2019, President Macky Sall has consistently upheld the rule of law and human rights, while working to eradicate poverty and to promote economic development, making Senegal one of the most stable countries on the continent.

 

As an advocate for democratic values, President Macky Sall is leading Senegal effectively, creating a stable democracy. Among other things, he has rejected the temptation to extend his rule by implementing reforms, such as shortening the presidential term from seven to five years. Thanks to President Sall’s fervent endorsement of the ‘Plan Senegal Emergent’ (PSE), his administration has greatly contributed to not only the prosperity of Senegal but also to West Africa’s economic development, giving great hope for the whole of Africa. In addition, by holding events such as the International Conference on Islam and Peace or the Africa Summit, President Macky Sall has played an important role as a bridge to peace, promoting dialogue as a means to resolving conflicts in Africa. 

 

Our committee praised Senegal's achievement, for overcoming adversity and achieving a stable and flourishing democracy along with economic growth in a relatively short period of time. Senegal's experience serves as a good role model for neighboring countries that are also on the path of democratization and development.

 

In addition, the committee has selected Bishop Dr. Munib Younan as a 2020 laureate. Bishop Younan believes that interreligious dialogue and reconciliation are fundamental to peace for humanity. He has devoted his entire life to promoting religious harmony. Born in Jerusalem in 1950, Bishop Younan has been promoting harmony between religions for more than 40 years, since he was ordained as a Lutheran priest in 1976. In particular, from 2010 to 2017, he served as chairman of the Lutheran World Federation, which represents over 70 million Christians. He established a wide network of religious leaders from diverse faiths, and has made continuous efforts for harmony among religions. Most of all, Bishop Younan has promoted interreligious dialogue to bring peace to Jerusalem. He has promoted dialogue and reconciliation among Jews, Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem, a city that has been a center of conflict for centuries.  

 

Furthermore, through continued dialogue with the Catholic Church, Bishop Younan was able to overcome differences and build mutual trust between the Catholic and the Protestant churches, demonstrating the beautiful harmony that is possible between believers of different faiths. Pope Francis even attended the Lutheran church’s 500th anniversary celebration of the religious reformation in 2017, declaring the "common path" which united Catholicism and Lutheranism. This was the fruit of his tireless efforts. The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee applauds his great contributions and achievements, and is very proud to present the award to Bishop Younan.

 

The crises facing the world today are problems that no single individual or even a few great powers can solve on their own. However, when we combine the actions of each and every one of us, working to help our neighbors in need, to care for nature, to make effort to understand the other person, we will be able to change the world little by little, moving in the direction of peace.

 

The biggest factor in conflict is when two parties have a heart of antagonism towards each other. As the founders, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, have always said, “In order to transcend religious, national and racial barriers, we must move away from self-centeredness and exclusivism by cultivating a harmonious mind and by promoting earnest encounters between peoples.” 

 

Today's award recipients are all peacemakers who also embody this kind of mindset. Moreover, they have applied this mindset, putting it into practice and solving conflicts. If we all associate the fate of the world with our own destiny, and if we unite and cooperate across borders, races, ideologies and religions, the world will be able to move one step closer towards one prosperous peaceful community. 

 

October 5th, 2019

Il Shik Hong, Chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee


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