“President Macky Sall and Bishop Munib A. Younan selected as the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureates
Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon selected for the ‘Founders’Award’ ”
● Announcement of laureates to be held in Nagoya, Japan, at 17:00 on Saturday, October 5th
● Macky Sall (President of Senegal), a model of good governance in Africa
● Munib A. Younan (Former President of the Lutheran World Federation), a pioneer for religious harmony
● Ban Ki-moon (Former UN Secretary-General), a leader striving for a sustainable earth
[October 5th, 17:00 Korean time]
[Nagoya Castle, Nagoya, Japan] The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee has selected Macky Sall (age 59, President of Senegal) and Munib A. Younan (age 70, former President of the Lutheran World Federation) as the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureates. In addition, to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, a special Founders’ Award will be given to Ban Ki-moon (age 76, former UN Secretary-General).
President Macky Sall is being recognized for spreading mature democracy to neighbouring countries in the African continent, where dictatorship and poverty are still rampant, by successfully shortening the presidential term and leading an economic revival through transparent policy in his country. Bishop Munib A. Younan, a Palestinian refugee, is being recognized for his dedication to bring harmony among Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the Middle East region for over 40 years since his appointment as a Lutheran pastor in 1976, and for his leading role in seeking a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the winner of the Founders’ Award, was selected in recognition of his devotion in leading the UN toward a sustainable world in the face of unprecedented global challenges and crises, such as the global economic crisis, climate change, terrorism and refugee issues, during his term.
Hong Il-sik, the Chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee, stated, “With the expansion of self-interest around the world, the spirit of cooperative internationalism that underlied the post-war world order is significantly declining. The Prize winners today are people who have committed themselves to breaking down the boundaries between people and who see each other with the ideals of cooperation and co-prosperity to create a better, peaceful world together.”
The winner of the Founders’ Award, Ban Ki-moon, became the first South Korean to be elected as the UN Secretary-General in 2006, and greatly contributed to building peace during his two successful terms. In particular, he sparked international awareness of the seriousness of climate change and successfully led efforts that culminated in the 2015 Paris Agreement, a landmark measure for humanity and the planet.
Ban Ki-moon also presented a framework to address global issues for a co-prosperous future of mankind through the UN Sustainable Development Goals that countries around the world are jointly pursuing. Furthermore, he has contributed greatly to formulating and implementing a global strategy for gender equality and improvement of children’s healthcare.
The Sustainable Development Goals is a collection of 17 global goals for sustainable development. It will serve as a milestone agenda for achieving human prosperity by 2030, through partnership among nations and global cooperation to resolve long-standing issues such as poverty and hunger as well as the issues of economic and social polarization, deepening of social inequality, and environmental issues that have been developing globally in the 21st century.
Senegalese President Macky Sall, winner of the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize, is a leader of good governance who is spreading democracy in Africa. Elected as the 4th President of Senegal in April 2012, President Sall has been leading his country with exemplary policies of democracy, including a drastic reform that shortened the presidential term from seven to five years, as opposed to many presidents of other African countries who seek long-term ruling.
In particular, President Sall's passionate push for "Plan Senegal Emergent" (Phase 1: 2014-2018 and Phase 2: 2019-2023) stabilized Senegal's economic growth rate at around 6 percent. The Plan Senegal Emergent is an advanced policy that focuses on increasing retirement pensions, providing emergency subsidies to farmers, holding various education-related national conferences, and improving health insurance. The policy serves as a model for the advancement of the West African economy.
President Sall has upheld the rule of law and human rights, while working to eradicate poverty and promote economic development in Senegal, making Senegal one of the most stable countries on the continent. His good governance has made Senegal a role model for its neighboring countries.
Bishop Munib A. Younan, also a winner of the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize, was born in Jerusalem to Palestinian refugee parents in 1950. Growing up in Jerusalem, which became a hotspot for hatred and conflict, he came to believe that interreligious dialogue and reconciliation are fundamental to peace for humanity. Bishop Younan has devoted his entire life to promoting religious harmony among Jews, Christians and Muslims.
In particular, Bishop Younan led efforts toward religious harmony on a global scale during his service as the President of the Lutheran World Federation from 2010 to 2017, building a network of religious leaders from different faiths. Through continued dialogue with the Catholic Church, the Lutheran World Federation and Catholic Church came together on a “common path" toward unity, unraveling the deep-rooted conflict of 500 years between the two churches.
In 2016, a Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation was held and a joint statement declaring a common path was signed. It was the first time in history that the Pope took part in the anniversary of the Reformation. The two sides sent a strong message of religious harmony around the world stating, “Theological distinction entails prejudice and conflict, and degenerates into a tool for political purposes,” and that they “reject all past and present hatred and violence expressed in the name of religion.”
The Sunhak Peace Prize discovers and awards biennially individuals and organizations that have contributed to peace and welfare of future generations. The prize of 1 million US dollars is the largest single award in the world. The winner of the Founders’ Award will receive 500,000 US dollars. The award ceremony will be held at KINTEX in Seoul, South Korea, on February 5th, 2020.
Previous Sunhak Peace Prize Laureates are as follows. 2015 Laureates: H.E. Anote Tong (63, Former Kiribati President) and Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta (76, Ph.D in Aquaculture). 2017 Laureates: Dr. Gino Strada (68, Italian surgeon) and Dr. Sakena Yakubi (66, Afghan female educator). 2019 Laureates: Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina (59, President of the African Development Bank) and Mrs. Waris Dirie (54, Female genital mutilation human rights activist) -End-