Seoul, Korea—Sunhak Peace Prize Founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and UPF World Chair Dr. Sun Jin Moon hosted a luncheon in honor of the first Peace Prize laureates.
The Sunhak Peace Prize Ceremony Commemorative Luncheon was held on August 28, 2015, following the inaugural award ceremony. Dr. Thomas Walsh, president of UPF, served as the emcee for the luncheon.
The festivities began with a cake cutting with the Sunhak Peace Prize laureates and World Summit participants singing “Happy Victory Sunhak Peace Price.” The invocation was given by Rev. Hjortur Johannson of the Free Lutheran Church in Iceland, and the toast by Hon. Balmiki Prasad Singh, former governor of the Indian state of Sikkim, who honored the laureates and the “founding vision for the Sunhak Peace Prize that derives from the life and work and teachings of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.” He also honored Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the former president of India who died recently but had planned to attend the World Summit.
After an enjoyable lunch, the Welcome Address was delivered by Dr. Sun Jin Moon, international president FFWPU International; chair, UPF International; and chair, Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation. On behalf of her mother, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Dr. Moon extended her appreciation to the laureates. She said that her father, Dr. Sun Myung Moon, dedicated his life to building a world of peace and unification for all humanity. Human responsibility is required to build a culture of heart and true love and to achieve universal peace. The key to peace is to follow the principle of living for the sake of others. She testified to her parents: “My parents planted seeds around the world: the arts, sports and politics. There is no area that they did not seek to guide to a higher understanding.” She said that her father spent half of his life on the sea, and that he developed aquaculture technologies, including fish powder to feed the hungry. She recalled that her father said, “Nature is our first mother,” and always found solace while fishing. Dr. Moon said, “We have failed to take care of our home. We are facing an environment crisis. That is why my mother created the Sunhak Peace Prize to honor my father’s legacy.”
Special Remarks were given by Ambassador Tae Ik Chung, former South Korean chief of foreign affairs and national security and president of the Korean Council of Foreign Relations. He informed the participants that this is the first peace prize that Korea has offered to the world. This year of 2015 is very special for several reasons, he said. It is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and the 70th anniversary of Korea’s independence. When the prize committee began considering various themes, it decided to abide by the central goal of the United Nations, which is to promote peace in the world. What is peace? Ambassador Chung explained, “We decided to expand the notion of peace. Historically it is associated with conflict, but poverty and climate change are important factors of peace.” He said he is very proud to be a part of such a historic and important endeavor for peace.
Hon. Dan Burton, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, added his congratulations to the recipients of the Sunhak Peace Prize. “Together you focus the attention of the world on extremely difficult problems facing the earth,” he said, “but especially I want to express the appreciation of all of us to Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and her late husband, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, for initiating this award to encourage efforts to solve the problems that afflict the people of this world. Every arena of human endeavor—whether it be international relations, feeding the world or stewardship over the environment—are gateways to the furtherance of world peace.”
Hon. Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., former speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives and chair of the International Committee of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), called the laureates “heroes of Asia.” The speaker said the “launching of the Peace Prize is a culmination of the legacy and the work of an outstanding Asian and internationalist, our good friend Reverend Moon, who devoted all his life to peace, conflict resolution and mobilizing people from all over the world for peace, democracy and human rights.” He congratulated the laureates for their incredible achievements in the arena of environmental degradation, climate change and poverty. The speaker affirmed Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s dream of a unified Korea and cited several of his goodwill gestures, specifically a hotel and auto factory that were donated to the people of North Korea.
It was a very enjoyable luncheon, the comments from all the participants were excellent and positive, and, most especially, it was an opportunity to personally greet the founder and hosts.