The Sunhak Peace Prize was established to continue the legacy of the late Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and is given biannually in recognition of individuals and organizations that have made enduring contributions to help resolve worldwide suffering, conflict, poverty and threats to the environment.
The Prize was established in February 2013 by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon to honor — and advance — the peacemaking leadership of her late husband who passed in September 2012.
Named for both Rev. Moon and Mrs. Moon, the Prize carries a $1 million grant and is awarded to individuals and organizations that have made enduring contributions to the noble ideal of peace by living for the sake of others.
Rev. and Mrs. Moon have devoted their lives to realizing “One Family Under God,” a global community founded on the principles of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values, based on a love for humanity that transcends divisions of race, nationality, ideology and religion.
The Sunhak Peace Prize is committed to the ideal of peace, under the theme of “Making the World Better for Future Generations.” Its premise is that humankind is one universal family composed of successive generations, and as parents care for their children with unconditional love, those living today should create an environment of peace for future generations.
Toward this end, the Sunhak Peace Prize seeks to recognize exemplary accomplishments in three categories: sustainable human development, conflict resolution, and ecological conservation. Sustainable human development refers to solving problems of poverty, disease and ignorance, and respecting the human rights and dignity of every human being. Conflict resolution focuses on peacefully de-escalating and ending disagreements between people of differing religions, races and nationalities. Ecological conservation means finding solutions to climate change and depletion of natural resources and creating a sustainable balance between the natural and human worlds.
The theme for the first Sunhak Peace Prize was that “the ocean is essential to the future peace of humanity.”
The first two Sunhak Peace Prize laureates, announced in June 2015, were Kiribati President Anote Tong, who has raised international awareness of how island nations, such as Kiribati, are affected by rising sea levels, and Dr. M. Vijay Gupta, who has developed fish-farming techniques for rural poor. The laureates split the $1 million prize and were honored in a ceremony in Seoul, South Korea, in August 2015.
Dr. Gino Strada, founder of Emergency, an organization that provides medical and surgical care in Africa and the Middle East to civilian victims of war, and Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, founder of the Afghan Institute for Learning, which provides refugee-educational programs in Afghanistan, were the Sunhak recipients in 2017.
The 14-member Sunhak Peace Prize Committee and its chairman, Dr. Hong Il-sik, a former chancellor of Korea University, review more than 1,000 nominees and select the laureates. The committee also coordinates follow-up programs with the laureates are aimed at continuing their work to promote peace and human development.
This article is based on materials from the Universal Peace Federation. For more information, please go to UPF.org.
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