The Timor-Leste government donated $100,000 to the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee. Timor-Leste won its independence from Indonesia in 2002 and is called ‘the youngest country in Asia’. The Sunhak Peace Prize was established by Mrs. Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon to honor the achievements of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, which will annually award an individual who contributed to world peace, beginning in 2015.
The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee revealed on January 13 (Tuesday) that the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao (69 years old) addressed the agenda regarding the contribution of $100,000 as foundation fund to the Sunhak Peace Prize at a recent Council of Ministers meeting, with the resolution receiving unanimous approval. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, while attending the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee Inauguration Ceremony held at the Seoul Press Center in South Korea last year August, had made the promise to the Committee.
According to the Committee, Timor-Leste stated through the respective resolution that “Timor-Leste greets the initiative for the establishment of the Sunhak Peace Award, whose principles include a vision beyond the issues of religion, race, nationality and culture, and promotes the construction of peace communities and nations, and wishes to contribute” and that it “will donate $100,000 to the Sunhak Peace Prize foundation fund”. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, through the Congratulatory Address at the Committee Inauguration Ceremony expressed, “In essence, the message that this Sunhak Peace Prize should carry is this : by living unselfish and altruistic lives we can build families and communities of peace. By transcending religion, race, nationality and culture we can build nations and a world of peace. With this message, the Sunhak Peace Prize will serve as a beacon of hope, guiding us all towards a culture of peace.”
Timor-Leste is a small island nation with a population of 1.18 million people situated east of Indonesia, which overcame a tumultuous 25-year history of Indonesia's colonial rule and civil war, and became newly independent in 2002. The history of Timor-Leste bares much resemblance to the modern history of Korea in that it was erected with a long yearn for peace, often with the hope for independence. Given the fact that the per capita GDP of Timor-Leste is $3,664 (by 2014 standards), a $100,000 donation is much more meaningful than its objective economic value.
Dr. Il-Sik Hong, Chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee, and former President of Korea University stated, “Timor-Leste won over the pain of colonization with peace, as the first independent nation of the twenty-first century", the Sunhak Peace Prize is a future-oriented peace prize that was enacted to encourage sustainable peace in the twenty-first century” and that “the fact that the Timor-Leste government would show empathy for the Sunhak Peace Prize which strives for a trans-national world peace, in itself was a great event for peace that should be conveyed throughout the world.” He added, “going forward, the Sunhak Peace Prize will strive to gain the empathy and appeal of not only Timor-Leste but the entire world, and work for the implementation of peace for future generations.”
A Committee affiliate revealed, “the prize will be awarded to an individual or organization that contributed to the realization of a peaceful world maintaining the wishes of the late Rev. Moon, who coined the phrase 'One Family Under God'." A $1 million prize money will be awarded, similar to the 8 million krone prize money awarded by the Nobel Peace Prize. The first award ceremony will be held on August 28, 2015 (Friday) at the Seoul Grand Intercontinental Hotel in South Korea.