Dear esteemed guests,
I offer you a very passionate welcome to the inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize Ceremony, and sincerely thank all of you for this wonderful turnout. I especially extend my deep gratitude to those delegates and dignitaries who have come from all across the world to attend the ceremony today, and I would especially like to thank the Speaker of the National Assembly Mr. Ui Hwa Chung who is representing Korea.
In a time when the desire for humanity's peace is becoming more and more imperative, I feel it very significant that the inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize Ceremony is being held here in Seoul, Korea. Even from a historical standpoint, this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, and the 70th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Korea, and thus makes this event all the more meaningful.
First and foremost, I would like to convey my deep respect and warm congratulations to the two individuals whose dedication and achievements for future peace have earned them the inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize, namely His Excellency Anote Tong, the President of Kiribati, and Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, a fisheries scientist of India.
As you all know the Sunhak Peace Prize was established by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the wife of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, to honor his teachings and accomplishments. From early on, Rev. Moon, based on his "One global family" peace vision of interdependence, mutual prosperity, and universally shared values, devoted his life to building a global community. This vision of peace is rooted from a very basic premise that the human race is one family continuing from generation to generation.
Until the past century the key issues of peace was overcoming war and violence. From the ashes of war, the League of Nations and the United Nations (UN) were established one after the other, and today, the UN is committed in its duty to prevent another world war from happening. However, entering the 21st century, other catastrophes more terrifying than war are threatening humanity. These are natural disasters and various diseases, and in particular global environmental disasters resulting from climate change and energy depletion.
As the present generation pursues growth and development in an endless competition, the Earth, our eternal home, is continuously being polluted and destroyed, and it has now reached such a serious condition that future generations will surely shoulder the weight of this damage. In the wake of this dire crisis, the Sunhak Peace Prize's grand vision, which endeavors to embrace all of humanity, proposes a new horizon of peace.
Peace is a new "civilization." In order to go beyond the limits of civilizations that humanity had constructed until the 20th century and live a truly happy lifestyle we need to create a new culture that meets the needs of the new era. The present generation has been given a historical calling to let go of its greed and selfishness and to transcend race, nation, ideals, and religion in order to create a peaceful civilization based on love for humanity.
In this new century, the Sunhak Peace Prize endeavors to sketch a new picture of peace. Under the banner "One Global Family, Making the World Better for Future Generations," we will strive to resolve humanity's conflicts and lead a new civilization of peace. We will continue to search globally for and encourage righteous and courageous people who practice the value of peace required in this new age characterized by moral legitimacy and logical rationality.
Responding to the call of history the Sunhak Peace Prize is sowing seeds of peace which will go beyond religion, race, country, and culture and continue to spread the new civilization of peace. I ask for your continued support and encouragement in this new path set before us.