2020 Laureate Announcement


2020 Laureate Announcement

2020 Laureate Announcement

Date : 2019 Oct. 5
Place : Nagoya Castle, Nagoya, Japan


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, Rev. 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, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon.

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary 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.

After careful review, it was decided that the Founders’ Award will be presented to former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea. And the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize Award will be presented to two worthy individuals: H.E. Macky Sall, current president of Senegal, and Bishop Dr. Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Palestine.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the winner of the Founders’ Award was the first Korean to become the U.N. Secretary-General in 2006. He served two successful terms, and contributed greatly to peace and human development. While in office, Secretary-General Ban led the United Nations with unyielding dedication, in the face of unprecedented global challenges and crises, including the global economic crisis, climate change, terrorism and refugee issues.

In particular, former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pressed for international awareness of the seriousness of climate change which resulted in the Paris Agreement, a landmark accomplishment for humanity and the entire planet. In addition, during his term, the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He also contributed greatly to presenting and implementing a global strategy for promoting gender equality and child health. The Sunhak Committee wishes to pay tribute to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his great contributions to world peace, and for his efforts to overcome numerous and critical challenges facing humanity.

Senegalese President Macky Sall, laureate of the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize, is a leader who exemplifies good governance. Elected Senegalese President in 2012, and again in 2019, President Macky Sall has consistently upheld the rule of law and human rights, while working to eradicate poverty and to promote economic development, making Senegal one of the most stable countries on the continent.

As an advocate for democratic values, President Macky Sall is leading Senegal effectively, creating a stable democracy. Among other things, he has rejected the temptation to extend his rule by implementing reforms, such as shortening the presidential term from seven to five years. Thanks to President Sall’s fervent endorsement of the ‘Plan Senegal Emergent’ (PSE), his administration has greatly contributed not only to the prosperity of Senegal but also to West Africa’s economic development, giving great hope for the whole of Africa. In addition, by holding events such as the International Conference on Islam and Peace or the Africa Summit, President Macky Sall has played an important role as a bridge to peace, promoting dialogue as a means to resolving conflicts in Africa.

Our committee praised Senegal's achievement, for overcoming adversity and achieving a stable and flourishing democracy along with economic growth in a relatively short period of time. Senegal's experience serves as a good role model for neighboring countries that are also on the path of democratization and development.

In addition, the committee has selected Bishop Dr. Munib Younan as a 2020 laureate. Bishop Younan believes that interreligious dialogue and reconciliation are fundamental to peace for humanity. He has devoted his life to promoting religious harmony. Born in Jerusalem in 1950, Bishop Younan has been promoting harmony between religions for more than 40 years, since he was ordained as a Lutheran priest in 1976. In particular, from 2010 to 2017, he served as chairman of the Lutheran World Federation, which represents over 70 million Christians. He established a wide network of religious leaders from diverse faiths and has made continuous efforts for harmony among religions. Most of all, Bishop Younan has promoted interreligious dialogue to bring peace to Jerusalem. He has promoted dialogue and reconciliation among Jews, Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem, a city that has been a center of conflict for centuries.

Furthermore, through continued dialogue with the Catholic Church, Bishop Younan was able to overcome differences and build mutual trust between the Catholic and the Protestant churches, demonstrating the beautiful harmony that is possible between believers of different faiths. Pope Francis even attended the Lutheran church’s 500th anniversary celebration of the Reformation in 2017, declaring the "common path" which united Catholicism and Lutheranism. This was the fruit of his tireless efforts. The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee applauds his great contributions and achievements, and is very proud to present the award to Bishop Younan.

The crises facing the world today are problems that no single individual or even a few great powers can solve on their own. However, when we combine the actions of each and every one of us, working to help our neighbors in need, to care for nature, to make effort to understand the other person, we will be able to change the world little by little, moving in the direction of peace.

The biggest factor in conflict is when two parties have a heart of antagonism towards each other. As the founders, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, have always said, “In order to transcend religious, national and racial barriers, we must move away from self-centeredness and exclusivism by cultivating a harmonious mind and by promoting earnest encounters between peoples.”

Today's award recipients are all peacemakers who also embody this kind of mindset. Moreover, they have applied this mindset, putting it into practice and solving conflicts. If we all associate the fate of the world with our own destiny, and if we unite and cooperate across borders, races, ideologies and religions, the world will be able to move one step closer towards one prosperous peaceful community.

October 5th, 2019
Il Shik Hong, Chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee

“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)
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