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I. Hong: Address to World Summit 2017

Address to World Summit 2017, Seoul, Korea, February 1 to 5, 2017


The Sunhak Peace Prize was founded at the behest of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the wife of the late Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, to honor and preserve his ideals and achievements. Rev. and Mrs. Moon have devoted their lives to realizing a global community founded on the principles of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universally shared values. In particular, Rev. and Mrs. Moon have emphasized the need to develop a global civilization of peace based on a love for humanity that transcends divisions of race, nationality, ideology and religion. Throughout their lives, they have advocated and led a movement whose aim is to create a world without borders.

In many ways in recent decades, the founders’ foresight can be felt in today’s world where barriers are being lowered, and more nations live together respectfully as neighbors to one another. There are some indications that we are moving toward becoming one global village. Indeed, I myself have also proposed the theory of cultural territory to the academic community, arguing that nations should focus on developing closer ties, based not on geographical territory but building villages based on culture. Unfortunately, in recent times, nations are fortifying their borders as a means to deal with the global refugee crisis. Fleeing the terror and starvation of war, refugees are crossing oceans and seeking refuge in other nations; yet, when faced with strong anti-refugee sentiments, these refugees cannot help but fall into even greater despair.

The refugee issue should not simply be seen as a reality unique to modern times. We must approach and understand this issue from the higher vantage point that is the history of civilizations. Diaspora, throughout the ages, has been one of the oldest adaptation strategies of humankind. Migration is a strategy for survival. Hence, going forward, migration will be an even more important issue in the effort to establish a world of peace for all. The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee selected these two laureates with the expectation that humanitarianism and morality will be given the highest priority.

The international order in the 21st century must not be a struggle among the superpowers to expand their spheres of influence, but should instead be reorganized to promote the benefit of weaker countries and those in disadvantaged positions. The world should be characterized by righteousness ruling on a foundation of peace and respect for democracy and human rights. Throughout their lives, the founders have emphasized that the 21st century will be a century of peace only when all people remove divisive barriers from their hearts, and practice compassion for all the people of the world.

The two outstanding humanitarians we honor today, Dr. Gino Strada and Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, have devoted their lives to providing basic and fundamental solutions to the refugee crisis. In order for the world to become a peaceful community, no one should be excluded from the right to medical aid and education.

The world in the 21st century must overcome an order that is based on the logic of force, which begets enmity, conflict and discord, and establish itself as a community of peace and coexistence, reconciliation and cooperation based on universal principles. Under the banner of "Making the World Better for Future Generations," the Sunhak Peace Prize will continue to recognize and honor courageous and righteous people who live for the sake of others, loving all human beings as members of one human family.


Dr. Il Sik Hong, Chairman, Sunhak Peace Prize Committee

Dr. Il Sik Hong, Chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee, is currently the President of the World Filial Piety Culture Headquarters, the Yeosoon Foundation, and the Korean Institute for Social Science and Humanity Studies. He is the former President of Korea University and the Educational Foundation for Yangjeong Uisook. He is former Head of the Research Institute of Korean Studies.

To go to the 2017 World Summit Conference Schedule, click here.