Making the World Better for Future Generations

2019Sunhak Peace Prize
Award Ceremony

February 9, 2019
Lotte Hotel World, Seoul, South Kore
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
2019 Award Ceremony
  • Sunhak Peace Prize Introductory Video
    선학평화상 소개영상 썸네일
  • Award Ceremony Video
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Welcoming Address

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Dr. Il Sik Hong
Committee Chair

Dear Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome all of you who have come to this Award Ceremony to congratulate and encourage the laureates of the Sunhak Peace Prize for 2019. In particular, the presence of distinguished leaders and representatives from around the world, including current and former heads of state and special guests from Africa, brings great value to this program.

First of all, I would like to express my sincere admiration to the two laureates of the 2019 Sunhak Peace Prize. I congratulate them for their tremendous achievements in devoting their lives for a world of peace for all humanity.

To honor the legacy of the late Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon established the Sunhak Peace Prize as an extension of his work for peace. Reverend and Mrs. Moon have dedicated their lives to building a global community based on their vision of “One Family Under God,” which emphasizes interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values. Especially after Reverend Moon’s ascension in 2012, Mrs. Moon has been expanding this work with the purpose of creating a peaceful future of Africa.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 2019 Sunhak Peace Prize has as its theme “Peace and Human Development in Africa.” When we reflect upon peace and human development, putting down the weapons of war is only one step toward building world peace. Peace can be achieved only when everyone’s human rights are protected and respected.

The two winners of the Sunhak Peace Prize, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and Ms. Waris Dirie, have devoted their lives to protecting the world’s most vulnerable people.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has promoted a vision of good governance for African nations. He has implemented innovative agricultural policies all across Africa, dedicated to a future filled with hope.

Waris Dirie has improved the rights of millions of girls and women by leading a campaign to eradicate tragic act of female genital mutilation.

By observing the paths of dedication and devotion shown in the lives of this year’s laureates, we can see how courage and leadership can steer the world’s communities one step closer to peace and prosperity.

When we reflect on where we are standing at this moment, we understand that we are already heading toward the middle of the 21st century. Therefore, I want to encourage everyone to constantly consider practices that will work for the betterment of our future. Such conscientious introspection will bring about good deeds, which will build up one by one and open a new chapter of world peace, a prologue to a new history.

The Sunhak Peace Prize will continuously seek out brave men and women who love humanity and work to build world peace based upon the vision of “One Family Under God” and “Making the World Better for Future Generations.”

Finally, I want to express my sincere appreciation to all the distinguished guests.

I send you my best wishes and ask that peace live in your families.

Thank you.

Acceptance Speech

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Waris Dirie
2019 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is an honour for me to receive the Sunhak Peace Prize.

I wish to thank Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for devoting their lives to achieving universal peace and promoting the fundamental values of peace, dialogue and cooperation in the name of the human family.

I'm from Somalia, a country where one of the longest and bloodiest civil wars of our time is still going on since 1991.

Somalia, a country plagued by drought and famine.

Somalia, a country with one of the highest birth rates and one that has the highest child and mother mortality rates in the world.

Somalia, a country where only one out of three citizens has learned how to read and write.

Somalia, a country where women are neither thanked nor respected, and where 98% of women have suffered, and are still suffering, under the inhumane torture of Female Genital Mutilation.

Many years ago, I left Somalia because I did not want to be married as a 13-year-old girl to a man who could have been my grandfather.

I had to leave my beloved mother, my family and the desert, from which I have learned so much.

It was a goodbye forever.

I could not and did not want to live in a society where women do not have any rights.

I did not want to live in a society where it was ok to beat up women, to rape them, to sell them and to send a woman away once you have enough of her.

I left my home being absolutely determined that one day I will fight against all this injustice and that I will fight for the rights of girls and women.

In England, where my journey took me for a few years, I taught myself how to read and write. As a girl, I have never had the chance to visit school in Somalia.

To become financially independent, I worked during the day as a cleaning lady and studied in the nights.

One day in London, by coincidence, I was discovered as a model by Terence Donovan, the Buckingham Palace photographer, in a fast food restaurant, while I was scrubbing the floor.

The dream of so many girls came true for me. Soon my face graced the covers of big fashion- and women’s magazines. The worldwide most famous fashion and beauty brands booked me for their campaigns.

I was travelling around the world, saw the most beautiful places, experienced wealth and glamour, lived in New York and London, and even acted in a James Bond movie.

But I never forgot about my roots and my humanitarian mission.

I have seen and experienced inconceivable violence.

As a child, I almost died after the cruel torture of female genital mutilation.

I asked myself why people engage each other in such cruel ways.

It cannot be the will of a good God that we humiliate each other, kill and torture each other.

We are the ones making this world a living hell for others, and even for ourselves.

And I have asked myself – why?

Do we love each other too little?

Do we love ourselves too little?

Do we respect each other too little?

Do we respect ourselves too little?

Are those the reasons why all this cruelty and evil is happening?

When and where do we learn love and respect?

First with our mothers. Mothers have a big responsibility. Because all their love and care, which we receive as children, shape us - forever.

Mothers and, of course, fathers teach us how to respect ourselves and above all to respect others and Mother Earth.

And here, in parenting, it is where peace begins in ourselves and hence the peaceful coexistence with others.

If we, as parents, neglect our children, do not love them and forget to teach them to respect, we put peace at risk.

After that, it is the job of our education system to teach peace, to not only demand respect from our students, but also to treat them with love and respect.

When our global community reaches this goal, a very big step towards peace is done.

I know that it is possible and I know we can do it together.

For me, John Lennon's composition "Imagine" is the greatest peace-song ever written.

“Imagine all the people living life in peace!

You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one.

I hope one day you will join us and the world will live as one ” is sung by one of the greatest artists and peace activists of all times and I have taken this words to heart.

Dear John, no you are not alone, many people share your dream. All they want is world peace - peace between us and nations and peoples and religions .

Peace in our homes and in our hearts.

In remembrance of you, great John Lennon, and all those people, dreaming every day of a world in peace, like you did, contributing to this mission, I accept with lots of love and respect the Sunhak Peace Prize 2019.

Love and peace to the world!

Acceptance Speech

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Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina
2019 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate

Your Excellencies, the Founder of the Sunhak Peace Prize, Dr. Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon, Chairman and members of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation, distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning everyone!

I am delighted to be here today. It is such a great honor to have been awarded the Sunhak Peace Prize. I would like to heartily congratulate my co-Laureate, Waris Dirie, and commend her for her global fight against female genital mutilation.

This prize is not about me. No one should ever work to win a prize. I serve God and humanity. For my life is only useful to the extent to which it helps to lift millions out of poverty.

But when one's effort is recognized, then one is very humbled: so thank you so much to the Chairman and Committee of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation, and the nominators around the world, for this great honour bestowed on me. The Sunhak Peace Prize is a call to do more for our world - and I will.

I wish to commend the founder Dr. Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon for setting up the Sunhak Peace Prize to recognize work to make the world a better place. The ideals that you stand for, a world where we live in peace, with one another, is not only the decent thing to do; it is a moral imperative.

And your launching the Sunhak Peace Prize shows the power of family bonds. I would like to recognize, as I always do, my dear wife of 35 years, Grace. She is not here tonight but I am sure she is watching this live telecast at home. Grace has been my pillar of support, strength and success. Without her I would not be here tonight. I love you and appreciate you more today, than when you agreed to marry a young man who did not have much more to offer other than his love, affection, commitment and dreams. For believing in me and us, thank you!

The human race is one family, regardless of nationality, religion, race or color. We all have the same blood running through our bodies. We are all citizens of the world. When one suffers everyone does!

There is tremendous suffering going on in the world. Over 850 million people are hungry, with over 150 million children malnourished. While progress is being made, we are not winning the war on global hunger. There cannot be peace in a world that is hungry.

Hunger persists in regions and places going through conflicts, wars and fragility. Those who suffer the most are women and children.

When the ego and pride of the mighty clash, the consequences are felt by the weakest among us: children. They do not create wars but the world's children suffer from it the most.

The pictures of walking skeletons breaks our hearts, eyes so hollow, with hearts beatings from skeletal stomachs which seems to say "mama why am I not getting food?". But their mamas are also not getting food.

God made the stomachs to be filled not to go empty. Today the budgets spent on the military far exceeds what we are putting up to improve agriculture and feed ourselves.

The world cannot plow with guns; and beans and rice seeds are needed more than bullets. Seeds give life. Bullets end life.

In the 700s, a Bible prophet by the name of Isaiah urged that the world should turn its swords into plows and spears into pruning forks and that they learn to cease from war.

Wars build nothing. To secure our world we must end the endless desire to look for reasons for conflict. Let's instead find reasons to increase support for millions of the poor to feed our world.

For a peaceful world will be a food secure world.

There must be accountability to the poor. And we must reduce global income inequality. Think about it only 1% of the rich in the world own almost 50% of global wealth. The poor are stuck only to end up eating crumbs, if any at all, that fall from the tables of the rich. We need wealth, yes, but we need wealth for everyone not just a few. The sense of exclusion and lack of equity or fairness often drives conflicts.

But nothing drives poverty more than corruption. Corruption is like a blazing fire, it destroys everything in its path. Children cannot go to school or attend poor schools. Hundreds of millions go hungry every day. People living without insurance, who at the first illness spend their entire livelihoods just to survive, if ever they can. The hope of the future, the youth, waste on our streets. Millions go without health insurance. Those who hoped they would make it in the cities end up in the world's growing urban sprawl and slums, their future drowned.

Yet resources meant for them are lost to the rising tide of corruption. There is a compelling need for public accountability for the people, especially for the poor whose only hope is for governments to help them unlock possibilities for a better future, for them and their children.

I remember my time as Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria when I had to fight corruption. We succeeded in ending 40 years of corruption in the fertilizer and seed sector, using a simple tool: mobile phones, to deliver electronic vouchers directly to farmers. This allowed them to buy seeds and fertilizers themselves from the private sector suppliers. We cut off the middlemen; the rent seekers, who for decades have gotten fat on Government contracts, while the poor were drained. We ended Government direct distribution of seeds and fertilizers.

It was tough, but it worked. Within four years the system reached over 15 million farmers. One of the farmers, a woman, told me, holding up her phone to show me she's received her electronic vouchers: "now we can live with pride". This electronic wallet system for farmers is going global and now, at the African Development Bank, we are helping to expand it across several African countries.

The poor do not need handouts, they need accountable governments. The UN estimates that corruption costs $3 trillion per year globally, in terms of bribes and stolen monies. Just think of what that can do. The World Economic Forum estimates that it'll take $116 billion per year to feed the world and end hunger. It'll take $8.5 billion per year to eliminate malaria. Now, that's only 0.28% of what's lost to corruption globally every year. It'll take $26 billion per year to send all kids in the world to school. The International Atomic Agency estimates that $31 billion per year will provide energy for all in the world. That's just 1% of what's lost annually to corruption globally.

Corruption does not invest in the future, it kills the future.

That's why the African Development Bank is working hard, with governments, to improve transparency, governance and accountability across the continent. We are improving the transparency in the delivery and implementation of our projects. Indeed, last year the global report on "Publish What You Fund" rated the African Development Bank as the 4th most transparent institution in the world.

We are working hard to build a brighter future for the continent. At the African Development Bank we are investing $24 billion under a bold "Feed Africa" initiative to help the continent achieve food security within ten years. We are already reaching millions of farmers with our goal to reach over 35 million farmers.

To light up and power Africa and provide universal access to electricity, the African Development Bank is investing $12 billion with goal of leveraging $45-50 billion, over five years. A lot of progress is being made and in the past five years we've provided electricity to over 25 million people.

Yet, there's still so much to do to make the world a better place for all. That's why this Sunhak Peace Prize is a great inspiration for me. It is a call to do more for those least privileged around the world and especially in Africa.

Nothing is more important than ensuring that we feed the world and eliminate hunger and malnutrition. Hunger is an indictment on the human race. Any economy that claims growth without feeding its people is a failed economy. Nobody has to go hungry, white, black, pink, orange or any colour you can think.

There must be political accountability for hunger around the world. A well fed and healthy population will work harder and be productive. Lower price for food will expand disposable incomes, allowing households to save and invest in the education and health of their children. Healthy populations will live longer raising long term savings pool. And most of all, well fed children will learn well, for an empty stomach dulls the brain. That's why the best infrastructure we should build is "grey matter infrastructure," simply put the "brain infrastructure." And nutritious food is the oil for the brain.

So, let's turn our swords into plows and our spears into pruning forks. Let's turn our guns into seed planters and replace bullets with seeds to grow our food. Let's end the indignity of hunger in our world, for God wants it so.

For even when Jesus was asked by his disciples to teach them how to pray, his first request was "give us this day our daily bread." That means Food First!

That's why I am fully dedicating the whole of the $500,000 cash award of the Sunhak Peace Prize to my Foundation, the World Hunger Fighters Foundation, to carry on the Lord's request to provide "daily bread" for everyone around our world.

Thank you all very much and God bless you all.

Congratulatory Speech

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Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn
President of the World Food Prize

I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Ms. Waris Dirie for her truly remarkable leadership on behalf of the human rights of young girls and Dr. Adesina for his great work in developing Africa into a land of prosperity and promoting good governance in Africa and their selection as 2019 Sunhak Prize recipients. These two Laureates truly will bring a distinct focus on uplifting human rights and human development in Africa and thereby advance the Sunhak Peace Agenda for the future.

As the second decade of the 21st Century draws to a close, it is clear that the single greatest challenge that the human species has ever confronted is this: can we nutritiously and sustainably feed the 9 to 10 billion people who will be on Earth by the year 2050, especially given the increasingly adverse impact of climate volatility? A second inextricably linked existential issue is whether global peace and stability, so integral to meeting that overriding global food security goal, can be maintained.

Essential to fulfilling both of these challenges is whether the human dignity of all, particularly the poorest and most malnourished, among them the women and children, can be preserved and elevated.

In my capacity as President of the World Food Prize, I have traveled over 12,000 miles from our headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa in the American heartland, to be here to proclaim that, given these overriding global challenges, there could be no more fitting choice than the selection of Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, son of Nigeria, the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate and President of the African Development Bank, to be the 2019 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureate.

On behalf of our World Food Prize Council of Advisors, I commend Dr. Il Sik Hong and the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee for its selection of Dr. Adesina for this extraordinary high honor and this extraordinarily well-deserved global recognition. More than any other individual, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina embodies the personal attributes, substantive knowledge and a several decade long array of impressive achievements that have already uplifted the lives of millions of people in his native Nigeria and indeed across the African continent. Through this exceptional leadership, President Adesina has demonstrated the path that must be followed if the world is to remain at peace and meet and overcome the unprecedented humanitarian and ecological challenges we face.

The selection of Dr. Adesina, our 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, for this extraordinary honor as a Sunhak Laureate not only recognizes his multiple and diverse achievements, but also provides a 50 year-long historic linkage to the first con-joining of the issues of peace and confronting hunger through agricultural advances. In 1970, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, a native of my home state of Iowa, received the Nobel Peace Prize for developing miracle wheat, which saved millions and millions across South Asia from famine starvation and death. Dr. Borlaug, lauded as the Father of the Green Revolution, founded the World Food Prize in 1986 to inspire those breakthrough achievements that would be needed to eradicate hunger and malnutrition as the world population inexorably expanded.

That same year, Dr. Borlaug became a personal mentor to a young economist from Nigeria who had just graduated from Purdue University with a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics and was starting a position at the Rockefeller Foundation. For the next several decades, with Borlaug ‘s encouragement, Akinwumi Adesina, supported by his wonderful wife Grace, embarked on his odyssey to transform Africa, as an agricultural scientist at the Rockefeller Foundation, just as Borlaug had spread the Green Revolution through Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

Ladies and gentlemen, the challenge of feeding 9 to 10 billion people will ultimately be decided in those areas with between one and two billion people: in China, in India, in Latin America centered around Brazil, and in Africa. Success will be determined by investment in science and research, enhanced nutrition, expanded rural infrastructure especially roads and policies that unleash innovation and increase crop yields, all designed to uplift small holder farmers. Above all, peace will be a critical element of success.

Of all the regions, Africa with its broad array of geographic sub-divisions and multiple political leaders, offers the most difficult challenge of harmonizing all these diverse factors. It will be there in Africa that the greatest challenge in all human history will ultimately be decided. Can a peaceful Africa feed itself?

Last November sitting in the audience of over 1,000 potential investors at the African Investment Conference he organized, I listened as President Akinwumi Adesina mesmerized the attendees, imbuing them with the sense of “Yes, Africa Can.”

There engulfed by the legacy of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nelson Mandela, the man who transformed South African agriculture and brought peace to that country, to guide him, my friend Akin Adesina was extolling the vision of how all of African agriculture can be transformed by Africans themselves and thereby bring peace to the continent. It filled me and everyone who was standing to cheer him with hope and optimism about Africa’s future.

As a World Food Prize Laureate and now a Sunhak Peace Laureate, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has an even higher platform from which to confront this ultimate challenge and bring Africa a Green Revolution. I know that Dr. Norman Borlaug is looking down this day with a large smile on his face for all you have done, my friend, and for all you will continue to do.


Congratulatory Speech

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H.E. Seynab Abdi Moallim
First Lady of the Federal Republic of Somalia

Dear Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to give congratulatory remarks on this stage of the prestigious Sunhak Peace Prize. The Award Theme of the 2019 Sunhak Peace Prize, “Human Rights and Human Development in Africa,” really touches my heart sincerely, because I am a citizen of the 21st century and because I am an African.

A prize cannot be awarded to everyone. A prize is something that is awarded to an individual with great devotion and one who has God-given ability. Therefore, I would like to send great applause and appreciation to the Laureates of the 2019 Sunhak Peace Prize, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and Ms. Waris Dirie, who have devoted their lives to building better world for all.

Waris Dirie is a human rights activist who has been fighting endlessly to eradicate female genital mutilation around the world. Especially, she has contributed greatly to raising worldwide awareness of the female genital mutilation issue, after she was appointed as the UN special ambassador for the elimination of female genital mutilation in 1997.

After she published a book called Desert Flower, the book became best-selling book around the world, and it was adapted into a movie. The movie helped to spread the tragic facts about female genital mutilation and helped people to change their perspectives about female genital mutilation.

For over thousands of years, the cruel act has been practiced in many countries. And fighting against this deep-rooted tradition was surely an unimaginably painful path to take with many threats against Waris Dirie.

However, Waris Dirie devoted her life to improve lives of girls and women, at the risk of her life. In the end, she has improved millions of girls and women’s human rights by saving many of them from female genital mutilation. Now, the number of victims of female genital mutilation is decreasing greatly, through her tireless efforts.

The two nominees of the Sunhak Peace Prize for 2019 are the great man and woman of this century, who have taken the path which no one else has chosen to take, for the happiness of humanity and for the betterment of our future. And they have endured hardships and have been making tremendous achievements through their tireless efforts. They emphasize the value of loving humanity to pave a bright future for everyone.

Again, I would like to give sincere congratulations to Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and Ms. Waris Dirie.

Lastly I would like to send sincere thanks and congratulations to the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation on awarding individuals and organizations with a futuristic perspective in gathering hopes and lights to build a bright future for humanity. I think awarding of a prize is the greatest and glorious way to uplift the humanistic spirit. Also, it’s not only the reward given to the nominee but it’s an opportunity for everyone to celebrate, congratulate and learn the nominees’ marvelous achievements in building a world of peace.


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    2019 Award Ceremony
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    [Performing] Expression Crew's Performance
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    [Performing] Joon-ho Son - You Will Never Walk Alone
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    [Performing] Joon-ho Son & Sohyun Kim - Imagine
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    [Performing] Sohyun Kim - Once Upon a Dream
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    [Performing] Joon-ho Son & Sohyun Kim & Little Angels - You Raise Me Up
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    [Performing] Little Angels - Malaika
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    [Performing] Little Angels - Circle of Life
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    [Performing] Little Angels - Over the Rainbow


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.