- Sunhak Peace Prize
Future generations refer not only to our own physical descendants
but also to all future generations to come.
Since all decisions made by the current generation will either positively
or negatively affect them, we must take responsibility for our actions.
Sunhak Peace Prize
Making the World Better for Future Generations
2020 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate
Munib A. Younan
- A Pioneer for Religious Harmony
- Pioneering religious harmony
Promoting harmony among Islam, Christianity and Judaism in the Middle East
Leading the reconciliation between the Catholic and Protestant Churches
- A Model of Good Governance in Africa
- Promoting a model of good governance in Africa
Reducing the presidential term
Developing Senegal as a model democratic country through reformations such as the Plan Senegal Emergent
- A Leader Striving for a Sustainable Earth
- Negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement
Proposing the Sustainable Development Goals
Advancing gender equality
To experience true peace, we must first practice true love without expectation of reward.
When our mindset changes from wishing to receive love to wishing to give love, the world of peace will be at hand.
We hope to share the light
of hope with all the people of the
world who pray for world peace.
The Sunhak Peace Prize was established in order to help resolve
worldwide suffering, conflict, poverty and threats to the environment,
by promoting a comprehensive, future-oriented vision of peace.
Peace Issue Zero hunger! For a world without hungry people
Satisfying hunger through meals is an act of survival as well as a most basic and important human right. However, even in this day of abundance, approximately 9 percent of the world’s population or about 700 million people are suffering from hunger. That number is increasing by more than 10 million people every year. Why does this happen? ㅡFood security means having access to sufficient foodㅡFood self-sufficiency is decreasing worldwide. A major cause is that after the industrial revolution, industries moved from primary to secondary and tertiary industries, reducing agricultural area and labor worldwide. As a result, the food self-sufficiency rate has dropped dramatically in many countries as they started to depend on imported foods. The high dependence on foreign countries’ food export will be fatal if the exporting country decides not to export food.As each country’s food self-sufficiency drops, food security can become a national security issue. Food security means, that a country must always maintain adequate food supply for its people even during special circumstances such as population growth, natural disasters, and war.After the 2008 global food crisis, food security became an even more important issue for the international society. A global recession started following the financial crisis that began in the United States in 2007, and global food prices surged over the next two years. The surge in food prices had a fatal impact especially on developing countries in Asia and Africa, and food riots broke out in more than 40 countries around the world. Those who could not buy food due to the high food prices in countries such as Algeria, Mexico, the Philippines, Haiti, and Egypt protested the government. Food had caused national security to be weakened. △ On October 8, 2017, the Rohingya people are reaching out to grab free bread held out by a man in Bangladesh. ㅡReasons food crises occurㅡFood security occurs due to intertwining of multiple causes. l Continuous increase in world populationThe world population exceeded 3 billion in the 1960s, and since then, it has steadily increased by about 1 billion every 10 years, surpassing 7.8 billion in 2020. If this trend continues, the world population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. The top countries contributing to the growth in the world’s population are mostly developing countries in Asia and Africa, which are also the most vulnerable countries in terms of food security.l Weather variation and water shortageOver the past 100 years, the Earth’s temperature rose by about 1℃. If the use of fossil fuels continues at the current pace, the average global temperature is expected to rise by about 6.4℃ at the end of this century. Given the climate-dependent nature of agriculture, climate change is taking a heavy toll on crop growth, with increasing uncertainty in agricultural production due to frequent floods, droughts, massive typhoons, and tidal waves.l Increase in meat consumptionThe global community has become a fan of delicious meat and dairy products, and now consumes a huge amount of meat. The increase in meat consumption leads to a higher demand for grain. About 7~8 kilograms of grain are needed to produce 1 kilogram of beef. The consumption of grain as animal feed accounts for more than 40% of the world’s grain production.l Increase in biofuel usageBioethanol is a fuel made by fermenting starch crops such as sugar cane, wheat, corn, potatoes, and barley that is used as a fuel additive in vehicles. Producing enough bioethanol for a medium-sized car requires an amount of corn a person can eat for a year. As a huge amount of corn gets used to produce bioethanol, the amount available for human consumption will inevitably decrease. ㅡIf grain prices rise, commodity prices also riseㅡThe price of grains such as wheat and soybeans rose to 2 to 3 times higher in 2008. The rise in food prices led to a rise in commodity prices, which further led to global inflation. Such phenomenon is called agflation.The global economy is greatly intertwined, and so an economic crisis and inflation that start in one country can have great impact on other countries. What is agflation?Agflation is a new term that combines the terms agriculture and inflation to describe the phenomenon of commodity prices rising due to rise in grain prices. This term was first introduced in the magazine Economist and has been widely used since then. Food insecurity due to agflation has led to riots and national crisis in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Mexico, and Haiti. The issue of food security has become much more important than before. ㅡ28 of the 48 countries in Africa are in a state of severe food insecurity ㅡ △ Children are receiving food distribution at a school in Rusinga, Kenya, October 23, 2016How serious is the hunger problem? The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. It measures a country’s state of hunger on a 100-point scale. A GHI score of zero means that a country has no undernourished person in its population. A GHI score of 100 means that a country’s entire population is experience hunger. According to the 2020 Global Hunger Index report, the worldwide GHI score was 18.2, down from a 2000 GHI score of 28.2. Also, of the 48 countries in Africa, 28 countries are in a serious level of hunger and 8 countries are in an alarming level of hunger. In other words, 75% of the countries in Africa are experiencing a serious level of hunger. ㅡInternational efforts for food securityㅡThe United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 is to bring the number of people who suffer from hunger to zero. As a foremost goal, the UN is working towards zero hunger. The World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s humanitarian organization focused on emergency relief, relief and reconstruction projects, and special response projects aimed at achieving zero hunger where no one suffers from lack of food. The WFP is providing critical humanitarian aid to fight hunger at a time when logistical flow of supplies has been blocked due to the spreading of COVID-19.What is the World Food Programme?Established in 1961, the WFP is the largest humanitarian organization focused on eradicating hunger through food assistance. The WFP, which operates offices in more than 80 countries around the world, helps nearly 100 million poor people in 88 countries each year. Currently, there are 36 State Members in the WFP’s Executive Board. Republic of Korea has been participating as a board member since 2011.The WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict." The Nobel Committee, in selecting the WFP for the Nobel Peace Prize, said, "Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos." Among the Sunhak Peace Prize laureates, Dr. Modadugu Gupta, the co-recipient of the inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize in 2015, has also dedicated himself to combating the global food crisis. Dr. Modadugu Gupta is a fisheries scientist who dramatically increased fish production and laid the foundation for the Blue Revolution. Risking his life to work in conflict areas, Dr. Gupta developed low-cost aquaculture technology that has emerged as a possible solution to address the looming food crisis due to population increase and climate change-induced rise in food priceㅡFood security can be strengthened through alternative foods and agricultural innovationㅡThrough efforts to attain stable food supply, there have been impressive developments in alternative foods and agricultural technology. The price of lab grown meat obtained by indefinitely multiplying meat muscle cells has decreased significantly since its first introduction, and lab grown meat is expected to become widely available. Also, plant-based meat and edible insects are rising as an alternative food due to its high productivity and high-quality protein content. New agricultural technology is also developing. A vertical farm uses urban high-rise buildings as agricultural land and can artificially control all conditions that affect farming (temperature, humidity, light, water, etc.) so that crops can be produced year-round regardless of weather. Digital agriculture, which increases agricultural productivity by using technologies such as internet of things, drones, and satellites, is also growing rapidly. By using drones and satellites to check the cultivation process and situation in real time, a supply and demand plan can be made for the cops. These technologies can also be used to determine the appropriate time to use pesticides. By using less water and less pesticide through such technology, it will be possible to produce higher price agricultural products at lower costs.Securing a staple supply of food has been an important and long-standing task for humanity since human history began. Having food to eat at each meal to avoid hunger is not only an act that satisfies a basic human need but also a basic human right. Despite remarkable scientific advancement, two billion people around the world are still struggling to secure food. The global community need to work together to solve the food crisis. ㅡWe need to create a world where no one is hungry ㅡ
Peace Issue As the world gets smaller, we need to become global citizens who solve global challenges together
We live in a large village called the Earth. Thanks to the rapid development in transportation and communication, we can fly to the other side of the Earth in one day and hear of news from all around world in real-time. As countries worldwide influence each other in various areas including politics, economics, society, culture and science, the world is becoming a single community. However, as interdependence increases across the globe, many problems arising from such globalization are deepening. Climate change, pandemics, refugee crises and other global problems all require international cooperation. The need for legal and institutional regulations that apply beyond national boundaries is becoming urgent and solving these global problems require an expansion of our perspectives beyond national borders. ㅡIn the age of globalization, we are already global citizensㅡ We live in a globalized world and are impacted by the effects of globalization. Therefore, we are already all global citizens. Furthermore, we need to be aware of the common problems that the Earth as a single community is facing and work together to solve them. Such efforts are not only for the Earth but for all individuals that are members of the global community. Let’s look at the definition of global citizenship. First, let’s look at the definition of citizen. A citizen refers to a person who, as a member of a democratic society, has political rights and voluntarily and actively participates in national policy decisions. Following this definition, we can understand global citizen by extending the concept of nation that defines a citizen to the world. In other words, a global citizen refers to a person who, based on an awareness of the community, takes interest in the various global problems and actively works to solve them to create a peaceful global village. A global citizen does not reject other people based on their religion, race or nationality and takes continuous interest in solving the challenges faced by the global village.Someone with global citizenship understands their identity to extend beyond the family and nation to the entire world and actively participates to solve global issues by fostering a sense of morality, inclusion and other characteristics. △ In November 2015, Syrian refugees arrived on the beach of Lesbos Island, Greece. A volunteer from Europe is helping the refugees who are full of fear and pain. Living in a globalized era, we must come together in solidarity. ㅡGlobal citizenship is the attitude of accepting differences and trying to solve global challenges togetherㅡWhat attitude should global citizens have? A global citizen does not reject other people based on their religion, race or nationality and takes continuous interest in solving the challenges faced by the global village. This is called global citizenship. In other words, global citizenship refers to recognizing oneself not simply as a citizen of one country but as a member of the global community and taking responsibility and authority as global citizen. △ Internationally known youth environmentalist Greta Thunberg demonstrates together with other youths at the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate (BYS4C) on February 28, 2020.Important values that global citizens should possessl Human rightsHuman rights are rights that every person should enjoy as a human being. Regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, level of wealth, everyone’s human rights should be respected. l InterdependencePeople from all regions of the world are in an interdependent relationship. We need to understand that all events - economic, environmental, cultural, social and political – that occur across the world have an impact on us and that our actions also impact the world.l Diversity A necessary condition for diverse people to co-exist peacefully is acceptance and respect for what is different. We need to accept differences in race and religion; social, historical and political background; language and culture; and throw away stereotypes and prejudice and be open to diversity.l SustainabilitySustainability refers to human beings having a long-term outlook and not destroying the natural resources for short-term growth. In other words, it refers developing while maintaining harmony with nature.Attitudes global citizens should takel Empathy toward othersHuman rights of all people should not be violated for reasons of race, gender, regional characteristics, religion, economic hardship and others. Global citizens should look after the hardships of our neighbors in the global village whose human rights have been violated and have empathy towards them.l Respect for what is differentGlobal citizens should respect differences among each other and accept cultural diversity.l Critical and creative thinkingGlobal citizens should analyze the cause and effect of phenomena that occur in the global village and think about how to eliminate the cause and creatively solve the problem.l Action-orientedOnce a problem is identified and solution is found, action is required. Using the developed communication systems available, global citizens should listen to what is happening around the world, form an opinion and take action.ㅡGlobal challenges that require joint efforts of global citizensㅡAt the UN General Assembly in 2015, 17 common goals for humanity were agreed upon to be achieved by 2030. Under the slogan, “Leave no one behind,” the Sustainable Development Goals propose the direction humanity should take in the five areas of people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. The 17 goals are composed of 169 more specific goals.l Seventeen goals for a better world 1. No poverty2. Zero hunger3. Good health and well-being4. Quality education5. Gender equality6. Clean water and sanitation7. Affordable and clean energy8. Decent work and economic growth9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure10. Reduced inequalities11. Sustainable cities and communities12. Responsible consumption and production13. Climate action14. Life below water15. Life on land16. Peace, justice and strong institutions17. Partnerships for the goalsl No povertyAround the world, 1.3 billion people are living in absolute poverty (World Bank, 2012). These people in on less than $1.25 a day. Despite rapid development that has raised the standard of living to its highest, the lives of 22.7% of the world's population suffer from poverty. Absolute poverty, in which survival is at stake due to lack of food and poor living conditions, is a problem that we all need to combine efforts to solve.l Zero hungerCurrently, the world's malnourished population is about 800 million (10.7 percent). The United Nations aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030, but its achievement is projected to be difficult.There is enough food in the world for everyone to eat. However, hundreds of millions of people suffer from hunger because production and distribution are uneven and do not take into consideration the poorest people. Poverty and starvation are also the result of social, political and structural inequality, such as the lack of proper welfare systems, corruption, and unequal trade structures. Therefore, solving the issues of hunger and food inequality require a holistic approach within political and social contexts, and a solution must be sought from a global perspective.l Protection of the environmentPollutants produced by a country spread to the rest of the world through the atmosphere and currents. Yellow dust, fine dust, ship oil and radioactive materials are some of the representative pollutants. These can lead to conflicts and disputes between countries.Since the start of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, fossil fuels used by humankind have been emitting greenhouse gases. An increase in greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere produced a warming effect, and the average temperature of the Earth has risen by about 0.8 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years as of 2020. As a result, glaciers have been reduced, sea levels have risen, and various weather anomalies and natural disasters are threatening the Earth's ecosystem.l Conflict and refugeesTo this day, conflicts between countries and ethnic groups are occurring in many parts of the world due to differences in religion, race, and culture. Regional conflicts that start in certain areas expand into wars between countries and even into indiscriminate terrorism that spread fear globally. Recently, conflicts and friction have intensified due to religious fundamentalism or exclusive nationalism. The conflict between Palestine and Israel and the civil war in Syria are affecting neighboring countries.The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide who have lost their homes due to conflict and violence reached 79.5 million or 1 percent of the world’s population at the end of 2019 (UNHCR). This number is the highest since World War II. As conflicts in the Middle East and Africa intensified in the 21st century, the number of refugees has exploded.Many refugees die in the process of crossing an international border. In many countries, there are conflicting opinions regarding the acceptance of refugees leading to a crisis in how to deal with the refugee inflow. Peaceful coexistence with refugees is an important challenge in the 21st century. ㅡUrgent call for solidarity among global citizens in an age of pandemicㅡAn unprecedented global epidemic has brought chaos to the entire global community. The World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.What's even scarier than a virus is indiscriminate hatred. The COVID-19 virus is creating hatred, discrimination, and unconditional exclusivism against China, where the first case occurred, Chinese people and other Asians. This exclusivist attitude adversely affects the path toward resolution of the pandemic, which requires international cooperation.COVID-19 cannot be overcome with nationalism. To overcome the pandemic, international cooperation and global solidarity are needed in developing vaccines and sharing quarantine best practices. It should be recognized that the people who were already vulnerable, suffering from conflict, hunger, violence, and poverty before the pandemic, face an even more severe crisis, and greater attention and efforts need to be given to them. ㅡWe must foster our global citizenship at a time when problems requiring international cooperation are increasingㅡ
Peace Issue Female genital mutilation, a practice that needs to end
“The practice [of female genital mutilation] also violates a person's rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.” (World Health Organization)ㅡAt least 200 million girls and women alive today living in 31 countries have undergone FGM. An estimated 3 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM every year.ㅡFemale genital mutilation refers to any procedure that involves partial or total damage to the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons, usually carried out as a religious or traditional custom. The official name set by the World Health Organization (WHO) is “female genital mutilation” and is abbreviated as “FGM”.According to UN data, there are at least 200 million girls and women alive today who have undergone FGM, and an estimated 3 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM every year. FGM is carried out mostly in about 31 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It is estimated that 98% of women in Somalia, 97% in Guinea, 90% in Sierra Leone, 87% in Egypt, 83% in Eritrea, 74% in Ethiopia, 25% in Nigeria, 19% in Yemen, and 8% in Iraq were circumcised. Recently, FGM has been introduced to Europe and American countries, as ethnic groups with FGM traditions have immigrated to Europe, United States, and South America. Source: FGM Prevalence UNICEF (2016)ㅡA 4,000-year-old practice – is it tradition or violence? ㅡFGM is seen as a practice that has been handed down from generation to generation in Africa for thousands of years. Although the exact origin is unknown, there are several conjectures.Three conjectures of the origin of FGM① It has been performed for disease prevention, healthy sex life after marriage, and hygienic reasons. ② It started as a form of sacrifice to a fertility god. ③ It began as a rite of passage to becoming an adult or becoming an official member of a tribe or nation. Reasons FGM is carried out① Rite of passage to become an adult: Some societies believe that the clitoral gland of the female genitals are considered traces of men remaining in the female body, so women have to go through the FGM to become complete adults. ② Premarital purity: Some societies believe that girls who go through FGM are more likely to keep their premarital purity and become virtuous women after marriage. In this regard, there is a perception that women who have not been circumcised are unreliable and unsophisticated.③ Polygamic reasons: FGM is practiced mainly in African and Islamic cultures, where polygamy is common. It is said that since it is not easy for a husband to take care of several wives at once under polygamy, he conducts FGM as a method to manage his wivesGirls and women who have undergone FGM have to live with physical side effects and complications through the rest of their lives. The procedure is accompanied by severe pain and bleeding. Most of times, it is carried out without anesthesia. Furthermore, such pain can become a mental trauma causing the person to feel shame, loss, discouragement, and emotional anxiety for the rest of the person’s life. By 2050, one-third of the world’s female population will be born in the 31 countries where FGM is still performed. This means that more than 500 million women will be exposed to the risk of FGM. In Somalia, where the proportion of women who experience FGM is high, the female population is estimated to double in 2050 compared to 2017, signifying that even more women will be affected by FGM.ㅡBringing FGM to the world’s attention ㅡ FGM was considered an African tradition until world-famous fashion model Waris Dirie, who had undergone FGM as a young girl growing up in Somalia, exposed its inhumane violence to the Western society in 1997.Waris Dirie served as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation from 1997 to 2003. During her tenure, she highlighted FGM as the most representative and symbolic international problem that suppresses women’s human rights.International efforts to eliminate FGMIn 2003, the first lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, officially declared “Zero Tolerance to FGM” in Africa during a conference organized by the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children. Then in 2012, the UN General Assembly designated February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. Centering on the UN, many international organizations are working to spread the awareness that FGM is not simply a matter of culture or tradition but an inhumane violence and are taking the lead in efforts to legally ban FGM. To eliminate FGM, women’s perception and understanding is more important than anything else. International NGOs have carried out education to change the perception of FGM from a beautiful tradition to a cruel and violent act against human rights. The UN is carrying out various activities with the goal of eliminating FGM by 2030. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 is to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” The third target under this SDG is to “eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations.” In July 2003, government representatives from the AU member countries gathered in Maputo, Mozambique and adopted the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, or the Maputo Protocol. Article 5 of the Maputo Protocol emphasizes the elimination of harmful practices, referring to a ban on female genital mutilation and other traditional practices that are harmful to women.Global media coverage and interviews of those who have undergone FGM have raised the interest of many people about the issue of FGM. UNICEF, Desert Flower Foundation, and Tostan are some of the international NGs working to eliminate FGM. Since after the 2000s, many countries have enacted legal bans on FGM, and there has been constant declaration of eradication of FGM led by community leaders. However, FGM has not been completely eradicated. Stay-at-home restrictions due to COVID-19 have worsened the situation. ㅡStop FGM! ㅡ In a world where diverse peoples and cultures actively interact and coexist, FGM is a common problem for the world. Living in the 21st century, we need to be aware of the violence of FGM that threatens girls and women’s lives and work together to eliminate it.
Peace Issue Things we must do for a sustainable ocean
In the summer of 1997, Captain Charles Moore was passing through the middle of the North Pacific Gyre when he encountered a stretch of plastic debris surrounding the ship. For a week straight, he sailed between the pieces of plastic, all of which were plastic waste that came from land. What had happened to the ocean?ㅡThe deep and wide ocean gave us many giftsㅡHow well do you know the ocean? l 71% of the Earth’s surfaceThe Earth glows blue when seen from space. This is because most of the Earth’s surface is covered by the ocean. In fact, about 71% of the Earth’s surface area is covered with water, which is equivalent to about 362 million square kilometers.l 97% of the Earth’s waterFreshwater coming from glaciers, lakes, and rivers accounts for only about 3% of the total volume of water on Earth. Of the 3%, much less is accessible as drinking water for humans. Accordingly, technology to convert the abundant seawater into freshwater is actively being researched, developed and applied.l Produces 70% of the atmosphere’s oxygenThe ocean supplies oxygen, which is essential for sustaining life. Marine algae and other ocean phytoplankton produce about 70 percent of the oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere. The amount of oxygen supplied by the ocean is far greater than double the amount that is supplied by the Amazon rainforest.l Ocean is the Earth’s air conditioner One of the functions the ocean performs is to control the Earth’s weather. The ocean current circulates energy by moving the heat near the equator to high latitudes with less heat. The ocean acts like an air conditioner for the Earth. If the ocean currents do not perform this function, the tropics will get hotter and polar regions will get even colder.l Repository of tremendous amount of resources A wide range of creatures live in the ocean and a vast array of mineral and energy resources are buried within it. The ocean has infinite potential for development. About 17,000 species of plants and about 152,000 species of animals live in the ocean, which account for 80 percent of the Earth's species.The ocean also has a vast amount of energy resources such as oil and natural gas. As of 2012, approximately 30 percent of the world's oil came from offshore oil fields. In addition, energy is being produced from the ocean using the ocean tides, current, wave, and temperature differences.The magazine Nature estimates the total annual value of land ecosystems at $10.6 trillion and the total annual value of marine ecosystems at $22.6 trillion, which is more than double the land ecosystem value. It also estimates the available use period of mineral deposits on land to be 40 to 110 years, but 200 to 10,000 years in the ocean.ㅡOur ocean is becoming ill ㅡMarine pollution refers to the deterioration of water quality and other adverse effects to the ocean caused by chemicals and trash produced by human activities entering the ocean. Most pollutants produced on land will eventually reach the ocean. Among the substances that enter the ocean, pollutants with high degree of residuality remain in the ocean and form high concentrations in the environment or inside the body of marine creatures, causing serious problems.What is happening to the ocean?l The ocean is getting hotterGlobal warming is having a huge impact on the ocean as well as on land. For the past 100 years, the average temperature of the ocean surface has risen 0.1℃ every 10 years, and the temperature of the deep sea is rising faster than the shallow sea. Even if humankind were to stop greenhouse gas emissions right now, the temperature of the deep sea is expected to rise steadily until 2050.l Ocean water nutrient pollutionNutrient pollution refers to the gradual increase of phosphorus, nitrogen and other plant nutrients causing excessive algae growth, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. This in turn hinders the breathing of fish and other marine life. When nutrient pollution intensifies, the blue color of the water changes to red and fish die in droves.l Loss of marine habitatsMarine life habitats where spawning, breeding, and growing occur are being destroyed by industrial development, pollutants, and climate change. Between 1980 and 2010, 40% of marine life habitats such as coastal wetlands, mangrove forests, sea forests, coral reefs, and mudflats disappeared or were destroyed.l Marine life extinction According to the 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, 60% of the world's marine regions are adversely affected by humans and 267 species of marine life are on the verge of disappearing.ㅡWhat are the most common types of trash found on beaches? ㅡAbout 80% of marine pollution comes from land, and plastic makes up the biggest proportion. Over 90% of the trash floating in the ocean is plastic. Every year, up to 12.7 million tons of plastic are thrown away into the ocean. Seventy percent of the plastic that flows into the ocean slowly sinks below sea level. Sea creatures can swallow plastic pieces and choke to death. Pieces of plastic floating in the ocean are broken down into tiny pieces by the sea water or sunlight. The tiny pieces of plastic are called microplastic and are sometimes eaten by the fish. Once swallowed, microplastics stay in the fish for a long time and emit various harmful substances. Humans who eat these fish are also not free from the damages caused by the negative substances. What are the most common types of trash found on beaches?(Based on the Ocean Conservancy’s 2019 International Coastal Cleanup analysis)1) Food packaging (4.77 million)2) Cigarette butts (4.2 million, was the most common for 33 years)3) Plastic bottle (1.88 million)4) Plastic bottle caps (1.5 million)5) Plastic straw (940,000)Besides these kinds of trash, there are various other pollutants harming the ocean. Pesticide absorbed into the soil flow into rivers and seas, and heavy metals that are produced in the process of plating and petrochemical and automobile production flow into rivers along with sewage and wastewater eventually flowing into the sea. Large amounts of nuclear waste have also been dumped in the ocean. △ The third Saturday of September of every year is the International Coastal Cleanup day. It began in 1986, when the environmental organization Ocean Conservancy based in Texas first started the cleanup with the support of UN Environment Programme. Currently, about 500,000 volunteers from 100 countries worldwide participate in the cleanup making it one of the largest environmental events for the protection of the ocean. ㅡThe ocean is not the Earth’s trash bin ㅡThe causes of marine pollution and collapse of marine ecosystem are very complex and diverse, and the scope of causes span the entire global community. Therefore, it is important for all countries in the world to work together to come up with and implement solutions. The international community, countries, organizations, and individuals need to work together. International efforts for a sustainable marine ecosysteml International conventionVarious international agreements have been signed to address the marine pollution and collapse of marine ecosystem.① Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Waste and Other Matter (1972, London Convention): Convention to regulate dumping of waste from airplanes and ships② Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (1995, GPA): The GPA was created as an intergovernmental mechanism to counter land-based pollution and its impacts on the marine environment through detailed action plans.③ Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (2001): This international environmental treaty aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic pollutants that that do not decompose in the natural environment and accumulate in plants and animals up the food chain causing disturbance of the immune system and damage to the central nervous system.④ Honolulu Strategy of the International Marine Debris Conference (2001): The Honolulu Strategy is a global framework to reduce the amount of marine debris produced worldwide and manage and reduce the amount and impacts of existing marine debris.National efforts for a sustainable marine ecosysteml Designation of marine protected areasCountries are designating marine protected areas to protect the ocean and sustainably manage marine habitats and resources. l Support for development of plastic alternativesPlastic made from plant sources, such as fruit cells and corn, that are biodegradable and harmless to human body and other kinds of plastic alternatives are being developed. l Encouragement and operation of marine resources certification systemA country can support and encourage fishing companies and workers to secure seafood supplies in a sustainable manner without overfishing and illegal fishing. Furthermore, responsible and healthy consumption by consumers should be encouraged by expanding the market for seafood supplies produced in a sustainable manner.Individual efforts for a sustainable marine ecosysteml Reduce the use of plasticUsing reusable water bottle instead of disposable water bottle and using reusable shopping bags or baskets instead of plastic bags can make a positive difference to making our oceans healthy again.l Participate in marine protection activitiesParticipating in or sponsoring marine cleanup activities hosted by good NGOs dedicated to protecting marine habitats and wildlife can also be a way to create a healthy ocean.l Consume sustainable seafoodSome companies supply seafood in a sustainable way, while others do not. When purchasing seafood, purchase products from companies that practice sustainable fishing when possible to help protect the ocean.ㅡLet’s save the ocean! ㅡ △ In July 2020, the Japanese bulk carrier Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the southeastern coast of Mauritius, and more than 1,000 tons of oil spilled into the sea. Volunteers are working to remove the oil off the coast of where the accident occurred. Now is the golden time to save the ocean. The deep and wide ocean, covering 71% of the Earth’s surface, that has been providing humanity with necessities of life for a long time, is being polluted daily and slowly dying. The enormous amount of pollutants and trash that humans have let flow into the ocean has caused the ocean to lose its self-purifying ability. Ocean pollution not only affects marine life but also affects humanity’s life. The serious problem facing the ocean is the responsibility of humanity. The only way to save the ocean is understand clearly the dire situation of the ocean’s health and act now to improve the situation. Let us all work together to turn the polluted ocean into a healthy ocean once again.
Peace Issue Every human being has the right to be cured
Ninety percent of people who contract disease live in developing countries in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. However, these countries only account for 10% of the world’s healthcare resources. In these countries, 15,000 infants die every day from treatable diseases. ㅡMany people still die from preventable diseasesㅡHealth inequality refers to the gap in health that arise from the difference in social and economic status such as income level, occupation, class, wealth, and education level. As nutrition improves and medical technology develops, life expectancy of people is increasing. An increase in life expectancy, increase in immunity, and decrease in infectious disease mortality rate, among other measures, show that healthcare is being provided at the highest level in history.However, 3.6 million people die every year due to lack of treatment. because they are unable to receive treatment. To prevent and treat diseases, proper nutrition and hygienic environment as well as on-time vaccination, diagnosis, and treatment are important. Because the conditions for preventing and treating diseases are unequal among individuals, countries, and society, many times, even minor illnesses lead to death. About 800,000 children die each year from diarrhea because they are not able to receive the appropriate medical treatment at the right time. ㅡThe gap between average life expectancy in developed and underdeveloped countries is 20 yearsㅡ Global health inequality is deepening. The average life expectancy in 2020 for the world was 73.2 years. Over the past 100 years, human life expectancy has increased significantly. For most of the developed countries, it is over 80 years. With the development of medical technology and improvement in public health environment, some countries even expect the average life expectancy to reach 100 years.However, the average life expectancy in underdeveloped countries in 2020 was between 50 and 60. This is because infant mortality and maternal mortality rates are still high in underdeveloped countries in Africa and South Asia. Many children in these regions die from endemic diseases such as typhus, malaria, and dengue fever, and highly contagious diseases such as polio, pneumonia, cholera, and measles.The most widely used indicators to assess the quality of public health are infant mortality rate (the number of infant deaths within a year of birth per 1000 live births) and maternal mortality ratio (the number of women dying from complications form pregnancy or childbirth per 100,000 live births). As a country's economy grows and its healthcare infrastructure improves, infant mortality and maternal mortality decrease.Infant and maternal mortality rates are highest in Africa and South Asia. In these regions, children and women’s health remain a blind spot. The main causes of infant mortality are preventable infections and endemic diseases, and the main causes of maternal mortality are poor prenatal management, lack of delivery facilities, and infection during labor among others.ㅡThe most serious preventable diseasesㅡ △ Many people in Soroti, Uganda, Africa get infected with malaria because of poor conditions. Malaria is preventable through insecticide-treated mosquito nets and malaria vaccinations, and even if a person is infected, it can be cured through drug treatment for 15 days if it is diagnosed early on.l Pneumonia: 2.65 million deaths per yearPneumonia, a very common disease, is the inflammation of the lungs accompanied by symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chills, and fever. Although it can be prevented with vaccination, 2.56 million people around the world died of pneumonia in 2017, due to lack of vaccination, diagnosis, and treatment. One third of the deaths were of children under the age of five.l Tuberculosis: 1.5 million deaths per yearAlthough tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that has disappeared from many developed countries, outbreaks still occur in developing and underdeveloped countries. In 2018, around 10 million people worldwide contracted TB and 1.5 million people died from it.l AIDS: 690,000 deaths per yearAIDS is one of the most serious public health issues in the world today. It is most seriously widespread in underdeveloped countries, with more than two-thirds of all infected people living in sub-Saharan Africa. Of that population, children account for about 5%. AIDS is the number one cause of death for adolescents aged 10-19 in Africa and the second cause of death for adolescents worldwide.l Malaria: 400,000 deaths per yearMalaria, an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes, is an endemic disease that is widely spread across the African continent, with more than 10% of infected people dying. In 2019, there were about 229 million cases of malaria and 409,000 deaths from malaria. Children under the age of 5 accounted for the largest proportion of deaths. Malaria is preventable through insecticide-treated mosquito nets and malaria vaccinations, and even if a person is infected, it can be cured through drug treatment for 15 days if it is diagnosed early on. However, mosquito nets, malaria vaccines and antimalarial drugs are too expensive for people living in Africa. The price of antimalarial drug is about $20, which is far too high for people living on $1 a day on average.ㅡWhy is the average life expectancy low in underdeveloped countries?ㅡWhy is there such a large difference between the average life expectancies of developed and underdeveloped countries? l Lack of national healthcare infrastructureA lack of national healthcare infrastructure is the biggest reason. Countries in Africa and South Asia are struggling to diagnose and treat diseases due to lack of medical staff, facilities, and medicine. In addition, lack of national vaccination projects and healthcare projects make disease prevention challenging. Malaria, typhoid, cholera, dengue fever, polio, and measles are diseases that can be prevented by timely vaccination and proper sanitation. However, they remain fatal in underdeveloped countries. △ In April 2019, a baby is lying outdoors in a dirty bathtub in Senegal. Diseases that can be prevented by timely vaccination and hygienic environment can be still fatal in underdeveloped countries. l PovertyPoverty makes receiving proper treatment challenging. Without money, a person cannot go to the hospital or buy medicine even if he or she is sick. About 800 million people in the world spend more than 10 percent of their household income on medical expenses, and 100 million of them live in extreme poverty. For these 100 million people, after their medical expenses, they only have $1.90 a day (as of 2018) to survive on.l Lack of disease awareness Lack of awareness around disease is also a big challenge. It is difficult for poor people in underdeveloped countries to receive proper education, which leads to a lack of awareness of health, hygiene, and medical care. These people often neglect personal health and miss the proper timing of receiving medical treatment due to poor concepts of hygiene, blind faith in traditional medical beliefs, and poor understanding of diseases, prevention, and treatment methods.l Facilities with poor hygiene conditionsUnhygienic bathrooms are hotbeds for diseases. In underdeveloped countries, there are often insufficient sanitation facilities, and so it is common for people to defecate near open places by the river where food is being prepared or near where children are playing. These unsanitary practices encourage disease outbreaks. It is common to be infected with germs and parasites as well as diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, and typhoid from using contaminated water. △ February 14, 2015 – Unsanitary toilets in remote villages in the central region of Kasai, Democratic Republic of the Congo provide favorable conditions for disease outbreaks.l Drugs that are not researched due to low profitabilitySome drugs, despite need, are not researched due to low profitability. Treatments for frequent endemic diseases and infectious disease that occur mostly in developing countries are much less profitable than various health supplements and cancer treatments mostly sold in developed countries. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are passive in developing drugs for diseases in developing countries and it becomes even more difficult to receive proper treatment in developing countries. ㅡGoal to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all peopleㅡThe United Nations set the following goals to achieve good health and well-being for all by 2030. This the third of the Sustainable Development Goals set in 2015, which aims to raise the level of health of vulnerable people. SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages① Reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.② End preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.③ End the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.④ Reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.The international community is working hard to achieve these goals. l Strengthening basic health systemsStrengthening basic health systems is a major focus of international efforts. International organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF work with governments to operate and support programs that provide education, training, and information related to disease prevention and hygiene improvement for households and communities. Such organizations provide technology, strategy, etc. to governments and provide necessary medical equipment and train public health personnel. They provide basic health services mainly to underdeveloped countries where health services are not available due to lack of essential medical facilitiesl Support for neonatal healthSupporting neonatal health is also important. Around 7,000 newborns die every day worldwide. Lack of awareness of unsanitary environment and lack of essential medical services are the biggest causes of newborn deaths in underdeveloped countries. To address these issues, international organizations, governments and related agencies work together to implement programs that provide vaccinations and nutrition and help prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and other infectious diseases.l Support for maternal healthJust as important is supporting maternal health. Around 830 women worldwide die from pregnancy and childbirth related complications every day. The death of mothers due to pregnancy and childbirth can be sufficiently prevented by proper medical support, systematic prepartum and postpartum care, and provision of pregnancy and childbirth related information. International organizations and governments are carrying out health and medical projects to help mothers and newborns around the world to be able to receive professional help during childbirth and have access to clean water, proper nutrition, basic medical services and vaccines.ㅡWe must work together to protect the health and human rights of all peopleㅡ
Peace Issue We need to create a better world where we live together with refugees
△ Syrian refugees aboard a ship from Turkey arrive near Molyvos, Lesvos, Greece, on October 29, 2015. Refugees are seriously injured or killed during the dangerous journey.In 2015, the death of a child shocked the entire world. The three-year old child was found dead on the Turkish beach was named Alan Kurdi. Kurdi had died from shipwreck while trying to escape to Europe from the Syrian Civil War. This single photo of an innocent child’s death was more than enough for the world to realize the seriousness of the refugee problem. Who is responsible for Kurdi’s death?ㅡThere are people who flee for their livesㅡRefugees are people who “owning to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinions, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”Refugees are people who have to emigrate to preserve their lives and freedom. Most refugees leave their homeland empty-handed in desperate situations. These people cannot seek protection from their home country and sometimes, their home country is the one persecuting them. If other countries do not accept them and they cannot receive help from their own country, their lives become as if they have received the death sentence. They will have to continue their lives without any rights under conditions where it is difficult to sustain their livelihoods. △ Syrian refugees are passing through Slovenia’s Doveba Station on October 25, 2015, to head to Germany, their dream destination.Reasons people become refugeesl War refugeesThose who are forced to flee due to armed conflicts due to racial, ethnic, ideological, territorial, and underground resource disputes. Syrian refugees, Somali refugees, and Afghan refugees due to civil war and conflict between countries are examples of war refugees. l Political refugeesThose who flee to escape suppression by the regime due to different political ideologies. Yemeni refugees, Kurdish refugees, and Venezuelan refugees are examples of political refugees. l Religious refugeesThose who leave their homes to avoid conflicts, oppression, and massacres due to religious differences. Rohingya refugees who fled to escape political and religious persecution from the Myanmar government are an example of religious refugees.l Climate refugeesThose who lose their homes due to natural disasters that cannot be controlled by humankind such as floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Kiribati refugees in the South Pacific who face threat of their homes being submerged underwater due to climate change-induced sea level rise and Haiti refugees who lost their homes due to the level 7.0 earthquake are examples. Climate change will become a greater cause of refugees in the future. Damage to drinking water source, increase of droughts and floods, reduction in food production caused by climate change are already seriously affecting Asia, Africa and the Middle East. ㅡOne percent of the world’s population do not have a homeㅡ△ October 2015, Syrian refugees in a refugee camp in Kos, Greece, are in despair. In 2019, 1% of the world's population or 79.5 million people were living as refugees. Every two seconds, a person becomes a refugee fleeing from war and violence. Even at this moment, a person is losing hope.The number of refugees worldwide has doubled compared to 2010. During the last ten years since 2010, 100 million people sought protection within their country or from another country after leaving their homes due to threat to their safety.More than 80% of refugees are staying in countries or regions suffering from food shortage and malnutrition, and many of these countries are also exposed to the dangers of climate disasters. The top source countries of refugees are Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Venezuela.More than half of all refugees are children and adolescents. Some were forced to leave their hometowns along with their parents, but others became refugees themselves to escape the threats posed to them. Every year, about 10,000 children and adolescents leave in search of safety by themselves. In many cases, they also become orphaned refugees after being separated with their parents during their refugee life.ㅡLife-threatening journey of refugeesㅡWhat awaits the refugees after they leave their homes?l Life-threatening escape and journeyThe refugees' escapes and journeys are always accompanied by danger. Refugees who do not have official documents to cross the border mostly use illegal methods such as using informal passageways or getting help from brokers.As a result, they have no choice but to go over barbed wire fence, ride a boat with water leaks, and even hide themselves in a container with no breathing holes in their journey to find refuge. The number of refugees who lose their lives in accidents during the escape journey continues to increase.Currently, most of the refugees are headed for Europe. Most refugees come from Africa or the Middle East, and to them, Europe is the closest and the most suitable place to settle down. But now, Europe has begun to close its doors to refugees.l Refugee campsMost of the refugees leave their hometowns with empty hands. To protect them, international relief agencies provide refugee camps. Since countries in Africa and Middle East are some of the biggest source countries of refugees, many refugee camps are in neighboring countries such as Jordan, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Kenya. However, these camps are poorly facilitated. Public health care or education is difficult to expect, and there are only small amount of rationed food and tent facilities to avoid rain and wind.According to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, more than half of the world’s refugee camps are unable to provide the minimum recommended amount of water per person, which is 20 liters. Furthermore, about 30% of the camps are not equipped with proper waste disposal and bathroom facilities. △ Refugee camp for Syrian refugees located in Turkeyl Difficult and long path to asylumA person persecuted by one’s own country may apply to be protected by another sovereign authority, and this is called seeking “asylum”. Only when asylum applications are accepted can refugees who arrive in a new country receive official protection from the country's government and enjoy a full life. But it is generally very difficult to be granted asylum, and it may take years for asylum to be finally confirmed.l Forced repatriation of refugeesIf those who have left their homelands cannot attain refugee status, they are repatriated to their home country. The Refugee Convention stipulates that "no person shall be deported or repatriated to the borders of any area where life or freedom may be threatened on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion." This is the most basic principle of refugee protection in the Refugee Convention and is legally binding for all countries in the world under international customary law. However, many countries violate the agreement and forcibly repatriate refugees by prioritizing their interests and relations with neighboring countries.ㅡChild refugees face an even more dangerous and uncertain futureㅡ△ January 31, 2017, refugee children are playing in Belgrade, Serbia. Less than half of child and adolescent refugees receive school education despite education being the most important factor in helping them start a new life. Education should be provided as a priority. More than half of refugees are children and adolescents. There are 3.5 million refugee children who are unable to go to school due to conflicts and violence. Amidst conflict situations where it is a challenge for refugees to find food and a place to rest, education becomes a luxury. Children and adolescents who do not have prospects for entering school and gaining employment are at greater risk of being taken advantage of and committing illegal acts out of desperation. Refugee children who are unable to receive education are more likely to become subject to human trafficking or child labor.Threats child and adolescent refugees face① In some countries, children are forced to fight as child soldiers.② In some regions, children are forced to marry at an early age.③ Sometimes, the parents or brokers sell the children, and such children are sent to unfamiliar homes to work or are forced to work in factories under harsh conditions.Provision of educational opportunity is the most important factor for child and adolescent refugees to start a new life. Education is a basic right and a very important part of finding hope and dignity for people who have been forced to leave their homes. It is because education is the tool that can enable them to stand on their own to create a better future for themselves. △ August 13, 2015, Students studying at a school in a refugee camp in Gaziantep, Turkey ㅡWe were all refugees or are potential refugeesㅡMany countries around the world oppose accepting refugees because accepting refugees can place huge economic and social burden on the country. To protect refugees, the government must spend enormous budget, which are covered by the people's taxes. Furthermore, there are concerns that if many refugees are taken in, the competition for jobs may intensify.However, refugees may become a source of human capital as well. According to the French National Science Research Center, refugees benefited the economy of European countries. The study says that 3 to 5 years after refugees received refugee status, they increased the accepting country’s GDP, and increased tax revenue by 1%. The world is becoming smaller, and the issue of refugees is becoming an issue for all of us. The refugee issue affects not just the source country but its neighboring countries and even the world. It is a global issue. Therefore, to solve the refugee problem, each one of us need to have the awareness that we are world citizens who belong to a common community of Earth. When we see the world as one community, national borders and nationalities become meaningless and each one of us become an equal member of the community. If we trace back our history, one of our ancestors may be a refugee who came from afar. Also, any one of us can become a refugee fleeing from unavoidable danger and violence. All countries on Earth have the potential to become a source country of refugees as well as a receiving country that protects refugees. With this awareness, we need to find a way to live together with refugees. ㅡWe need to protect and live together with refugees around the worldㅡ
Peace Issue Why we need to take immediate action to stop climate change
In the summer of 2007, the Arctic sea ice that had remained frozen for thousands of years began to melt. Its surface area decreased to a quarter of what it was before. Due to these changes in the Arctic Ocean ecosystem, many animals, including polar bears, have become endangered. But is global warming a problem only for polar bears?ㅡThe threat we are facing nowㅡFor the past 100 years, the Earth has become warmer at a faster pace than ever before. The Earth’s temperature has never changed by more than 1°C in the previous 10,000 years, but in the recent 100 years since the Industrial Revolution, the Earth’s temperature rose by 1°C. This phenomenon of the Earth becoming warmer is called global warming.Reasons the Earth’s temperature is risingl Human activityClimate change can occur due to natural causes but the climate change being experienced in the past 100 years has been accelerated by human activity. l Greenhouse gases and greenhouse effectNinety-nine percent of the Earth’s atmosphere is composed of nitrogen and oxygen. The remaining one percent is mostly made up of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. These greenhouse gases create the appropriate temperature for us to live in. Over the past 100 years, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased by more than necessary, which has warmed up the Earth.ㅡGreenhouse gases are accelerating global warmingㅡReasons greenhouses gases are increasingl Indiscriminate use of coal and oilThe biggest cause of greenhouse gases is fossil fuels such as coal and oil, which make up more than 90 percent of the energy source used on Earth today. Fossil fuels are used in thermal power plants that produce electricity, factories that mass-produce various products needed in daily life, and transportation methods such as cars and trains. Although the use of fossil fuels has allowed material abundance and convenience for humankind, it is destroying the Earth’s ecosystem.l Methane emitted by livestockMethane emitted by livestock raised for human consumption, especially cattle, has 30 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Surprisingly, about 20% of all greenhouse gases are emitted by livestock. This is more than the amount produced by cars. l Huge increase in garbageThe tremendous amount of garbage being produced since Industrialization is also a factor. A large amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is produced during the process of breaking down the huge amount of garbage that is generated everyday.l Indiscriminate deforestationForests around the world, including the Amazon rainforest popularly known as the lungs of Earth, are shrinking significantly due to indiscriminate development. When forests shrink, nature’s ability to absorb greenhouse gases is also reduced, which further speeds up global warming.ㅡEffects of global warming felt in our daily livesㅡGlobal warming is transforming not just the climate but the Earth’s ecosystem. As climate changes, ecosystems can be destroyed and can lead to big changes throughout the food chain affecting our lives as well. Effects of climate change on our livesl Changes in ecosystemAs the temperature increases, the number of mosquitoes who like warm weather is especially increasing at a rapid pace. The spread of mosquitoes leads to spread of infectious diseases and diseases such as malaria and dengue fever are likely to spread event further. Additionally, extinction of marine animals is being accelerated due to rising water temperatures and ocean acidification.l Increase in natural disastersAs the average temperature of the Earth rises, the sea stores more heat than the atmosphere, and the heated atmosphere and sea change the humidity and wind flow throughout the Earth causing changes in weather. Frequent floods, typhoons, droughts, landslides, and forest fires cause human and property damage and loss of homes.l Genetic variationsClimate change is changing the size of living organisms and causing many types of physiological phenomena that are different from before. For example, plants such as apricot trees and kiwis that can withstand high temperatures are emerging indicating that fundamental changes are taking place in the global ecosystem.l Threat to human healthThe persisting high temperature creates an environment more favorable for germs and pests to be active. The possibility of the occurrence of highly infectious diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea, malaria, bacterial dysentery, is increasing. l Acceleration of global inequalityAll the problems caused by climate change have greater impact on the poor than the rich. The majority of people whose basic human rights are at risk of being violated due to climate change are those who live in poor countries. By 2050, the number of people who are unable to cope with climate change is expected to exceed 140 million. Climate change is a major factor that further exacerbates the problems of poverty and inequality.ㅡWarning! Warning!Global warming cannot be ignored any longerㅡEven if the amount of greenhouse gases were to be decreased immediately, the problems brought by global warming will not be solved soon. It will take at least 100 to 300 years for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to be normalized to the level before. That is why global warming that has already started is a very serious issue and why we need to raise awareness of the seriousness of the problem and act now. ㅡEveryone needs to participate to stop global warmingㅡInternational efforts to combat global warmingThere have been longtime international cooperation and effort to stop climate change. The international society has been taking global measures to reduce overall greenhouse emissions.△ November 30, 2015, Paris, France: Then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French President Francois Hollande are waiting for other heads of state at the COP21 meeting in Paris. The Paris Climate Agreement was adopted at the COP21 meeting.l UN’s basic treaty on climate change, UNFCCCTo actively respond to climate change, the international society signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in June of 1992, promising to address climate change. The key point of the UNFCC treaty is for all signatory parties to participate in stabilizing global warming and for the developed nations, who historically have greater responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, to take greater responsibility. All signatory parties are to submit annually a national report to the UN about their measures to limit the Earth’s global warming and their nation’s greenhouse gas emission statistics.l Kyoto ProtocolIt is an international convention with legal binding force. The 38 developed nations with historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions through active industrial revolutions resolved to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% from 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012.l Paris AgreementReplacing the Kyoto Protocol that expired in 2020, the Paris Agreement became applicable starting January of 2021. The Paris Agreement's long-term goal is to keep the increase of global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.National efforts to combat global warmingEach nation is preparing policies and regulations to minimize its greenhouse gas emissions. l Development of green energyEach nation is conducting research and development green energy that can reduce use of fossil fuels and improve the environment. l Environmental certification marksGovernments are preparing various policies related to business and personal production and consumption and encouraging production and consumption of environmentally friendly products. Consumption of such products are being promoted through designation of environmental certification marks. l Protection and support for those vulnerable to climate changeNational level protection and support aimed at residents of farming and fishing areas who are more severely impacted by climate change, people living in poverty who are vulnerable to natural disasters or infectious diseases, and residents living in low-lying coastal areas are being pursued.l Individual efforts to combat global warmingWhile international and national efforts to combat climate change are important, individual efforts are just as important. Actions that can be taken in daily lives must be implemented. l Conservation of energy and resourcesIf we lower heating by 1°C, 231kg of carbon dioxide can be saved annually per household. Energy can be saved by keeping winter season heating to under 20°C and summer season indoor temperature to between 26~28°C. If we decrease our time in the shower by 1 minute, we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by 7kg. Installing water-saving shower heads and water-efficient toilets, turning off the faucet while brushing our teeth, and doing laundry after clothes have collected are all ways of conserving energy that we can practice in our daily lives.l Use of public transportation and bicyclesWe can improve our health and the health of the Earth by taking the bus, subway and walking. By walking or riding the bicycle, carpooling and using energy-efficient cars, we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.l Use of eco-friendly productsWhen considering products with the same function, consider using a product that produces less environmental pollution. Select products that are energy-efficient or produce less waste.l Planting treesTrees absorb carbon dioxide. A pine tree absorbs 5kg of carbon dioxide per year. Northern Europe, which is heavily forested, have greater absorption level of carbon dioxide and face less pressure of reducing greenhouse gases. Efforts should be made to conserve forests and plant new trees.The climate environment is an international public good that all nations on Earth enjoy together. Therefore, it is impossible to make one nation or individual take responsibility for climate change. Developed nations that have already industrialized need to take lead and support the climate change response of developing nations to reduce the gap among nations. Policy development and implementation on a national level and individual effort in daily lives are also important.ㅡOur house is on fire!The time to act is now.ㅡ
Press Release Macky Sall Acceptance Speech
Macky Sall Acceptance SpeechHonorable Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, co-founder of the Universal Peace FederationLadies and gentlemen, dear friends, distinguished guestsThe health situation which has put the international community in a state of emergency led me to cancel the trip to Seoul I was preparing myself for.It is with the deepest regret that I was not able to join you personally as I had planned. I would like to thank my Korean counterpart President Moon Jae In for all the preparations he made for my visit. It is with deep reverence that I salute the memory of Rev. Sun Myung Moon whose centenary we celebrate this year. He was a visionary leader and the inspiration behind the Universal Peace Federation. I would like to offer my highest esteem to the honorable Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.For several decades, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon has been the embodiment of incredible kindness. Her life demonstrates a profound heart of superlative commitment to the cause of peace and the wellbeing of humanity. Her unique ability and lifelong dedication to comfort those in need is leading to the realization of a harmonious global community filled with love. Her dedication deserves our unending respect and admiration.I would like to once again extend to her my respect and esteem. I see the members of the Universal Peace Federation as my associates. Ladies and gentlemen, in these times of turbulence and uncertainty, there is no task more urgent than fostering dialogue to allay tensions, promote mutual understanding and support the peaceful coexistence of people. It is with this spirit that in January 2018, Senegal welcomed the inaugural Africa Summit of the Universal Peace Federation. It is with this similar spirit that I humbly accept the Sunhak Peace Prize that you have awarded me. It is with humility that I accept this prize because to me, this award is not an end in itself but an encouragement to persevere in the culture of peace and human kinship.I accept this prize with humility because I recognize the essential blessing this prize brings to the people of Senegal. Every member of the Senegalese people has always harbored a profound sense of togetherness in their diversity. This prize is greater than my humble self. it is a prize that honors the people of Senegal and I would like to dedicate it to the people of Senegal. As I accept this award, I think about all those whose peace is usurped by violence and the vicissitudes of life. I think about the victims of war and terrorism, about refugees and displaced people, about those suffering from xenophobia and racial discrimination simply because of their origin or the color of their skin. Peace is fragile.When society is characterized by indifference and the madness of self-centeredness, this society cannot take care of those most in need. Peace is threatened when extremism of all types manipulates the conscience of people and turns faith into activism to feed ideologies of conflict. Peace is threatened when some believe they are imbued with the mission of forcing unto others a unique ideology of action and existence. This stands at odds with the diversity of cultures and civilizations. It is for all these reasons that we must defend the ideal of a better world for all. That is why, in agreement with the African Union Commission, I have decided to donate the entire prize amount of 500,000 USD of the Sunhak Peace Prize to the peace fund of the African Union. I hope for this to promote efforts to realize peace continentally. This is why, as a laureate of the Sunhak Peace Prize, I will endeavor to stay faithful to the ideal that unites us. I will endeavor to pursue together with you, our common efforts for the peaceful coexistence among people, cultures and civilizations. I wish tremendous success at your gathering.