Leading the Peace Civilization in the 21st Century
Monthly JoongAng (July 2015 issue) Korean National Major Monthly Magazine
Translated by PR Department of Tongil Foundation
First Award Recipients of the Sunhak Peace Prize Selected
The Award Recipients for the “Korean Nobel Prize,” a Peace Prize for the Future Generations, have been announced.
President Anote Tong stands on the frontline to Resolve Climate Change in Nations that face imminent risk of being submerged
Dr. Vijay Gupta, South East Asia Starvation Relief through Development of Fish Farming Technology:“I am grateful and happy that Korea, which is not even an international organization such as the UN, is taking great interest in climate change.”
Republic of Kiribati President Anote Tong (63 years old) spoke after having been selected as a recipient of the Sunhak Peace Prize on June 8. The Republic of Kiribati is a small Pacific island nation made up of 33 coral islands, and sustains a population of one hundred thousand people. This nation, whose name is relatively unfamiliar, has recently been garnering the attention of the global community. This is because, with a very low average altitude of 2m above sea level, its islands are gradually being submerged by the rise in sea levels caused by recent years of global warming. It faces the tragic fate of having its entire nation submerged by 2050. President Tong has been raising awareness about his homeland’s critical situation which bears the risk of total submersion by the ocean. He has also been promoting awareness in the global community on the gravity of climate change, and for this he has been highly praised.
On June 8, the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee (Chairman Il-Shik Hong, former Secretary General of Korea University) held a press conference with domestic and foreign journalists at the National Press Club (NPC) in the US capital of Washington, DC. They announced that Dr. Gupta, who contributed towards resolving South East Asia’s poverty, as well as the food crisis, and President Tong were selected as the co-recipients of the first Sunhak Peace Prize. President Tong, also a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, was elected as the fifth president of the Republic of Kiribati in 2003. And during his three consecutive terms, he has been raising awareness throughout the UN and other international organizations on the crisis faced by small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, due to climate change, and has been urging resolution measures through global partnerships.
Co-recipient Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta(76 years old) is also known as the “saint for poor people” for helping to quell starvation throughout South East Asian nations by developing revolutionary fish farming technology. As a biologist, his methods were responsible for an explosive increase in the number of fish through improving the breeding species of cultivated fish. He led the so-called “Blue Revolution” of fish farming business. The “Green Revolution” gave rise to a rapid increase in farming productivity. Similarly, the “Blue Revolution” has rapidly increased the productivity of fishing businesses, and has been receiving attention as an alternative for the food crisis. Dr. Gupta has given his fish farming technology to many poor people, and has been widely recognized for making possible the miracle of self-sufficiency and independency. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that they would promptly post this news of Dr. Gupta’s award on their homepage.
The Solution to Humanity’s Problems Should Be Found in the Ocean
The Sunhak Peace Prize was established by the founder of the Family Federation, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han in order to discover and recognize individuals and organizations who have contributed towards the peace and welfare of future generations. This award was established to promote world peace and human welfare, which Rev. Sun Myung Moon dedicated his life toward realizing. It was proposed by Dr. Hak Ja Han and founded in order to realize the peace vision of “one human family.” The Sunhak Peace Prize, in particular, is based on an extended viewpoint of peace which takes into consideration not only the present generation but the “future generation” as well. It aims to lead a new peaceful civilization fit for the 21st century.
On this day, Chairman Il-Shik Hong of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee explained the criteria, “The focus of the first selection of award recipients was the resolution of climate change and the food crisis. Entering into the 21st century, catastrophes caused by climate change and the food crisis are occurring constantly in places all over the world. Soon, it will be amplified into a worldwide crisis and there are signs that it is threatening the very survival of the human race itself.” He emphasized that, “Every award event, the Peace Prize Committee would propose a ‘future peace agenda’ that will lead the collective civilization of humankind through peaceful means.”
The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee revealed its aim to realize peaceful morality based on reciprocity between the future and present generations through this award. This is rooted in the founder’s peace vision that “humanity is a community of love realized through continuous generations.” Just as parents take responsibility for their children through unconditional love, similarly, the present generation must prepare peace for the sake of the future generation. The Secretary General of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee, Man-Ho Kim explained, “Rev. Sun Myung Moon had foreseen environmental pollution and the food crisis since 1960, and presented the necessity of resolving these issues for the sake of future generations. Rev. Moon also proposed a vision and teaching to find a solution in the ocean.”
This award stands for the three great peace values of respecting human rights, conciliating conflict and preserving ecology. This year, in particular, they focused on the area of ecological preservation. The committee received recommendations for 182 candidates from 66 nations through well-known persons from each nation, global academic organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). They evaluated them during the one-year period, and then selected the co-recipients of the award. The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee currently has fifteen active committee members, including former UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali. A few prominent committee members include former Jogye Order Missionary Director Seong Ta, World Peace Professor’s Association Conference Director Dae-oh Son, Middle East Peace Association Chairman Chang-Shik Yang, Korea Family Federation for World Peace and Unification President Kyeung-Seuk Ryu, Korea Foreign Affairs Department President Tae-Ik Jeong, Jeju MBC former Director Sung-Chun Choo, Sun Moon University President Sun-Jo Hwang and Universal Peace Federation (UPF) International President Thomas Walsh.
The Sunhak Peace Prize will be awarded annually, and the monetary prize of one million U.S. dollars is the largest given domestically. The first award ceremony will be held on August 28th at the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in Seoul. The Sunhak Peace Prize committee has revealed that many current and former heads of state and hundreds of participants from overseas are expected to attend this award ceremony in August.
The Sunhak Peace Prize is an award which promotes world peace and human welfare, which Rev. Sun Myung Moon dedicated his life toward realizing, and was founded in order to realize the peace vision of “one human family.”