Establishment of the “Sunhak Peace Prize”
“Monthly JoongAng” (September 2014 issue) a Korean major monthly magazine, on it’s Religious World Topics published an article about the “Sunhak Peace Prize”. Here we would like to present the translation of this article. Translated by PR Department of Tongil Foundation.
Establishment of the “Sunhak Peace Prize” of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification
Bringing “world peace” through the Korean version of the Nobel Peace Prize
Largest scale domestic prize, with an award of one million USD… Prize to be awarded annually to individuals or organizations that make significant contributions toward the benefit of humanity and world peace
“Humanity must seek out, before all else, world peace. We must realize world peace through true love.” This is the message that Rev. Moon emphasized throughout his lifetime. His ideology of world peace is now coming to fruition through the “Sunhak Peace Prize.” The prize is becoming a reality, one year and six months after Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon first proposed the idea last February. Selection, verification and investigation of candidates are to be carried out by the Sunhak Peace Prize Council. The Family Federation officially launched the “Sunhak Peace Prize” at the Korean Press Center in Taepyong-ro, Seoul, on August 11th, and inaugurated the Sunhak Peace Prize Council at the same event.
Former Korea University President Il-Shik Hong is serving as the council president. Former UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali, Washington Times CEO Larry Beasley and former Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshinori Ono are some of the international leaders serving on the council, and representing Korea, Jogye Order Bulguksa Temple Priest Jooji Seongta, Korean Council on Foreign Relations President Tae-Ik Jeong and others joined them for a grand total of 12 members.
The council will continue to invite world-renowned leaders to serve on the council, in order to ensure a transparent and fair selection process for prize recipients.
First Award Recipient to be announced Next April
The Sunhak Peace Prize derives its name from the founders of the Family Federation, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. The goal of the prize is to expand the culture of peace throughout the entire world. The “Sunhak Peace Prize” will be awarded each year to an individual or organization that has made sizable contributions toward world peace and the welfare of humankind. Winners will receive a prize of one million USD (about one billion won), the largest scale peace award ever awarded in Korea. The prize will be sponsored by the WonmoPyeongae Foundation. The awards ceremony will be held around Rev. Moon’s Seonghwa anniversary by the lunar calendar, July 17th. The first awards ceremony will be held on August 29th, 2015, at the COEX Center in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. The Council will receive nominations for 1,000 candidates from about 80 countries until the end of October. The nomination committee is comprised of world-renowned leaders from powerful academic institutions and NGOs. The nominees will undergo a rigorous six-month screening and evaluation process to determine their eligibility for the award, and the recipient will be announced by April 2015.
The Sunhak Peace Prize is the second international peace prize to be established in Korea, after the Seoul Peace Prize. In commemoration of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the Seoul Peace Prize was established in February of 1990. The Seoul Peace Prize is awarded once every two years, and has to date been awarded to 11 recipients. The first recipient to receive the prize was International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch, and the second recipient was former US Secretary of State George Pratt Shultz. The monetary award for the prize was 200,000 USD (about 2,000,000 won).
The creators of the Sunhak Peace Prize dream of going beyond the scale of the Seoul Peace Prize to become the “Korean Nobel Peace Prize.” The Sunhak Peace Prize already differs from the Seoul Peace Prize in its monetary scale, which was raised to par with the Nobel Peace Prize as well as its council, which is made up of respected leaders from around the world. Unlike other Nobel Prizes, which are all managed in Norway, the Nobel Peace Prize recipients are selected in Sweden. The prize awards 8 million kroner (about 1.3 billion won).
Established through the efforts of Dr. Han and steeped in Rev. Moon’s teachings
What sets the Sunhak Peace Prize apart from other awards is the fact that the council plans to continue supporting and promoting the candidates and laureates after giving them the award. This way, the values of peace can be popularized and peace movements can expand throughout the globe. Furthermore, as the prize is a project of Rev. and Dr. Moon, who dedicated their lives toward the realization of world peace, candidates are required to have a harmonious family life.
A representative from the Family Federation stated that, “Rev. and Dr. Moon always emphasized the preciousness of the family. They wholeheartedly believe in the spreading of true love and the family in contributing toward the realization of world peace. From that viewpoint, the recipient of the award must be someone who has both contributed to world peace and has a model family life.”
The will and mission of Rev. Moon remain intact within the Sunhak Peace Prize. Furthermore, it celebrates his accomplishments during his life, which he dedicated toward the fulfillment of world peace. He traveled the globe many times over in pursuit of world peace, up until the moment of his passing, in order to spread the message of peace, which transcends race, religion and national boundaries. In 1991, he met with North Korean Premier Kim Il-Sung to discuss North-South unification, and in 1990, he met with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. This meeting played a crucial role in the cessation of the Cold War. He established movements in the Middle East to bring peace between Israel and Palestine, founded women’s peace movements for the liberation of women and in 1962, he established the Little Angels Performing Arts Troupe, thus spreading his ideologies of peace through the arts. It is impossible to count the many contributions to peace that Rev. Moon has made. His accomplishments are not limited to the religious world, either—national leaders from many countries speak highly of him.
Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, Prime Minister of East Timor, spoke of Rev. Moon at the Sunhak Peace Prize inauguration ceremony. “The message of the Sunhak Peace Prize is that a peaceful family and society can be brought about through a life lived for the sake of others. Through this, we can transcend religion, race, nation and culture to create a peaceful nation and a peaceful world. Rev. Moon’s life was an example of this way of thinking. I hope that Rev. Moon’s project, the Sunhak Peace Prize, as a beacon of hope, can lead us toward a culture of peace.”
Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation Director Cheol-Seung Lee spoke as well. “Even amidst tremendous persecution, Rev. Moon pushed forward strongly and established peace movements throughout the world. He dedicated his whole life to humankind through true love.” “The Sunhak Peace Prize is unique and special in that is established by the only divided nation in the world: Korea,” said Chairman Il-Shik Hong. “I hope that the Prize can become a Mecca for the message of peace and love for humanity, which is so desperately needed.”
“The Sunhak Peace Prize was established after the wishes of Rev. and Dr. Moon, who wanted to give a peace prize to someone who had lived a life of true love for the realization of world peace. It is a proclamation to the world, announcing the beginning of a grand event for world peace. This prize will support the settlement of peace movements, and become a driving force that supports their growth through culture,” said Tongil Group Foreign Cooperation Headquarters Director Ho-Yeol An.
WonmoPyeongae Foundation Founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, in addition to the establishment of the Sunhak Peace Prize, is also working actively to further peace movements, and stands at the forefront of the movement to fulfill Heavenly Parents’ dream and a peaceful world.