INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE: 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 precedence 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, 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, Dr. Sun Myung Moon.
In commemoration of the 100thanniversary 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.
The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee has selected MackySall (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 MackySall of Senegal)
President MackySall is being recognized for spreading mature democracy to neighboring 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 bringing 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.
-The Founder’s Award-
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.
(Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon)
Prof. Dr. 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 under-lied the post-war world order is significantly declining. The Prize winners today are people who have committed themselves to break 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 are a collection of 17 global goals for sustainable development. It will serve as a milestone agenda for achieving human prosperity by 2030, through a 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 MackySall, the 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 a 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.
The Sunhak Peace Prize discovers and awards biennially individuals and organizations that have contributed to the 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. SakenaYakubi (66, Afghan female educator). 2019 Laureates: Dr. AkinwumiAyodejiAdesina (59, President of the African Development Bank) and Mrs. WarisDirie (54, Female genital mutilation human rights activist