“I am honoured to receive the Sunhak Peace Prize. It encourages EMERGENCY and me to multiple efforts to pursue our mission of promoting peace and human rights worldwide.

In 1994, I founded EMERGENCY with the aim of guaranteeing high standard, free-of-charge care to the victims of war and poverty.

For 22 years, EMERGENCY has been treating over 8 million people in 17 countries, in the firm belief that the right to be cured is a fundamental human right.

We work tirelessly in Afghanistan, where the number of war-wounded keeps increasing after 15 years of war.

In Iraq, we contribute to the reception of tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people. We provide medical care to entire families that have lost everything fleeing the war.

In Italy, we treat hundreds of migrants that every week risk their lives in the Mediterranean Sea, looking for a better future away from home.

Confronted daily with the suffering of war-victims, we have come to realize that war is the worst disease affecting humanity.

In 1932, at a press conference gathering journalists from all over the world in Geneva, Albert Einstein stated “War cannot be humanized. It can only be abolished.” Some years later, in their 1955 Manifesto, Einstein and Bertrand Russell wrote: “Here, then, is the problem which we present to you, stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?”

There is no alternative, especially today, when technologies with a mass destruction capacity million times higher than the bomb of Hiroshima are available. Humanity must renounce war.

It may seem utopian, but, before the XIX century, even the abolition of slavery seemed utopian.

As long as war remains a possible option to deal with severe crises, it is likely that someone will eventually resort to it. The abolition of war is the only guarantee for the future of humanity and our planet.

Nov 29, 2016

Dr. Gino Strada