목요일, 9월 10, 2015

The 2015 Inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize Ceremony

▲ The 2015 Sunhak Peace Prize Awards Ceremony 
The inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize Awards Ceremony was held on August 28 at Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas.

About 1,000 delegates and VIPs came from all across the world, representatives of politics, academia, business, and religion attended the ceremony.

▲ Chairman Il-Sik Hong giving his welcoming address
Chairman Il-Sik Hong mentioned “This year makes the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, and the 70th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Korea, thus making this event all the more meaningful,” and he emphasized that the role of The Sunhak Peace Prize is to change the concept of peace to not just the present or the past, but extending it well into the future to broaden the scope of peace and awaken our moral responsibilities. Furthermore, he also said, “Under the banner of ‘One Global Family, Making the World Better for Future Generations,’ The Sunhak Peace Prize will go beyond the limits of civilizations that humanity has constructed until now and create a new peaceful civilization based on love for humanity.”

▲ Korean National Assembly Speaker Ui-Hwa Chung giving a congratulatory address
▲ Vice president of Indonesia Muhammad Jusuf Kalla giving congratulatory address
Korean National Assembly Speaker Ui-Hwa Chung honored the President of Kiribati Anote Tong and Dr. Modadugu V. Gupta, “Through the lives of these two men, we find hope that we can restore these intrinsic values in us,” and he added, “The vision of The Sunhak Peace Prize carries great significance, as it envisions a world based upon love for humans. I have every confidence that in pursuit of that hope, all humankind will soon move forward toward a life of true co-existence and co-prosperity.” Another congratulatory speaker, the Vice President of Indonesia, extended his congratulations to the laureates and accentuated our attitude toward peace for humanity.

After the introduction and awarding ceremony the laureates gave acceptance speeches.

▲ The founder awarding the president of Kiribati Anote Tong with The Sunhak Peace Prize
▲ The founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the laureate President of Kiribati Anote Tong, 
and Chairman of TheSunhak Peace Prize Committee

▲ The founder awarding Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta with The Sunhak Peace Prize
▲ The founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, the laureate Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, 
and Chairman of TheSunhak Peace Prize Committee

▲ The acceptance speech of the laureate, President of Kiribati Anote Tong
The laureate, President of Kiribati Anote Tong said, “It will be remiss of me if I do not pay tribute to the late Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon and to you Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, for the work that you have done underpinned by the ultimate aim of global peace for all.” He also spoke of our moral obligation of ensuring that our children’s future will be safe. He shared the glory with his wife and people of Kiribati and showed his respect to the co-recipient, Dr. Modadugu V. Gupta, for his lifelong work in food security. He closed his speech with his traditional blessing by saying, “Te Mauri (Health), Te Raoi (Peace) and Te Tabomoa (Prosperity).”

▲ The acceptance speech of the laureate, Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta
The other laureate Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta stated, “I feel it an honor and privilege to be selected for the first Sunhak Peace Prize. I am glad that the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee recognizes the importance of food security, environmental integrity and overall socioeconomic development as essential pre-requisites for a peaceful society.” He expressed his gratitude to the farming communities, NGOs, scientists, planners and administrators in different countries where he has worked. He acknowledged the sacrifices his wife and children have made in order to support his work. He also promised to pursue his goals of contributing to a peaceful society through the alleviation of hunger and poverty. In closing, he paid homage to Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon for the ideals he stood for and his vision of one global peaceful family.

▲ The laureates and attendees watching a performance
After the awards ceremony, the world-renowned Soprano singer Sumi Jo and the Little Angels gave performances.

The Little Angels first sang <Mong Guem Po Taryeong> which opened the heart of the audience.

Next, Soprano singer Sumi Jo sang <Adagio> and <Inside a cloud made of flowers>. The audience was touched by her beautiful voice

In closing, Sumi Jo and The Little Angels sang ‘Heal the World’

One attendee who came from Brazil said, “This was my first time participating in such an important event. Through this ceremony, we could understand more about two exemplary men who did great work not for their own benefit, but to help other people. I’d like to thank The Sunhak Peace Prize Committee for providing this opportunity. I wish more organizations could give recognition to those who live for the sake of others.”

Another attendee who came from Bangladesh said, “I will always remember the great contribution given by the laureates. And I was very impressed by the celebratory performances.”

▲ Founder of The Sunhak Peace Prize(far left), Chairman Il-Sik Hong(far right), 
co-recipient president of Kiribati Anote Tong(second to the right), 
and Dr. Modadugu Gupta (third to the right)

화요일, 8월 25, 2015

Reasons for the laureate selection - Dr. Modadugu Vijay Gupta, a Pioneer of the Blue Revolution

Hello, this is the Sunhak Peace Prize blog.

Before introducing main achievements of the laureate, let me explain the background.
To suggest alternative solutions for food crisis, Dr. Gupta went here and there in Asia and Africa. He is known as a saint from India in Southeast Asia slums. Dr. Gupta who thought other’s hunger as like his own one was a ray of hope for many these hungers.
While having a time to think about problems of food crisis and the solutions, let us explain the background of laureate selection.

Modaudugu Vijay Gupta

What does peace mean to you? In addition to the absence of war, peace is the absence of violence, conflict, and deprivation which all threaten humanity. Dasgupta chief researcher raised awareness of the seriousness of the third world countries. And he insisted solving this problem is the task of peace study.  Through expanding on Dasgupta’s agenda, Johan Galtung separated violence into two categories ‘direct violence’ and ‘structural violence’, and suggested that we should solve ‘organized violence’ and focus on realizing world peace.

Food Crisis

After a discussion on the most urgent non-violent threat to future generations, in accordance with these modern peace studies, the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee has focused on “food crises” directly related to human life.

■ Two out of three undernourished people in the world are Asian.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, changes in the distribution of the world hunger.

■ Global food prices are continuously rising.

World population growth 
Fertilizer, food, and oil price 

In the short term, signs of food crises appear in soaring grain prices. If this phenomenon is prolonged and globalized, there is a possibility of the weaponization of food resources. Due to population growth, rising price of oil and foods, and climate change, poor countries that lack self-sufficiency are in danger of facing food crises.

■ There is a serious shortage of seafood products as well as agriculture products.
The world fisheries production and supply per person per year.

■ Aquaculture has received attention as a solution to the global food crises.

CFS(Committee on World Food Security) High Level Panel of Experts 2014

Due to these circumstances, Dr. Vijay Gupta developed aquaculture technologies to allow the poor to easily pioneer their difficult environment. He has also devoted himself to solving the unbalanced distribution of food by sharing his methods and training people for self-sufficiency. 
Growing up, Dr. Gupta often went to the beach near his home with his father. He was inspired to become a fishery scientist (marine biologist?) with the aim of helping people after watching fisherman search for insufficient but necessary fish. 

This is the same idea with the founder of the Sunhak Peace Prize Rev. Sun Myung Moon who emphasized the importance of oceans to solve food problems.

 “The issue of food will present humankind with a very serious crisis in the future. We cannot build a world of peace without first resolving the food issue. Sufficient food supplies for all the world’s population cannot be produced on the limited amount of land area that is currently available. We must look to the oceans for a solution. !e oceans hold the key to solving the food crisis of the future. This is the reason I have been pioneering the oceans for the past several decades.”

In Chinese, peace is 和平[hépíng]. 和[hé] is composed of two parts: the left side means “rice”(禾), while the right side means “mouth”(口). Dr. Gupta is indeed a peace maker who understands the meaning of peace very well.

Because of the enormous support from people who were helped by Dr. Gupta, as well as the world’s recognition of his dedication, the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee selected Dr. Modadugu V. Gupta as the inaugural laureate for the prize. 

[YTN Radio] Metropolitan Dating with the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee Chairman Il-Sik Hong

The Sunhak Peace Prize, the Korean Nobel Prize, will spread its vision of peace.
The chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee is Il-Sik Hong

The awards ceremony for the Sunhak Peace Prize will be held on August 28. We invited the chairman of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee, Il-Sik Hong, to further explain what the Sunhak Peace Prize is and its meaning.
Chairman Hong, could you please explain what this prize is?

Yes, it is an international peace prize which will be awarded for the first time this year. It honors individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to peace. Particularly, the Sunhak Peace Prize has a concept of peace for future generations and we are focusing on people who make efforts to bring peace to the world. This year’s theme is ocean. We announced our inaugural laureates on June 9 at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., U.S. The awards ceremony will be held this coming August 28 in Seoul.

What does “Sunhak” stand for?

Similar to the Nobel Peace Prize, it is after the founder’s name. ‘Sunhak’ is composed of the first names of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, who have devoted their lives for the peaceful vision of one family under God.

If the Sunhak Peace Prize starts this year, then will it be awarded annually?

Yes, each year we will focus on a particular peace theme.

Since this is the first awards ceremony to be held, as the chairman you must feel a heavy responsibility..

Yes, I feel a very heavy responsibility as the first chairman of the committee. Especially, in Korea, there are many people who do not know much about the Sunhak Peace Prize yet, so I have the responsibility to publicize it and make it well known. I’m very dedicated to this task.

Who else is involved in the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee.?

Various kinds of people in the world are involved in our committee. Including the former Secretary General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the former Japanese Defense Minister Ohno Yoshinori, and the Big Chief monk of Bulguksa Temple, Jogye Order Venerable Seong-Ta, there are 15 committee members who are representatives of politics, media, education and religion.

You mentioned the theme of this year is the ocean. Is there any reason for this?

Yes, so far we have a stereotyped thinking that peace is the opposite meaning of wars. But in fact, there are a plethora of catastrophes which bring more serious worries and misfortunes to human societies and we thought we have to change our perception of peace. In the 21th century, not a war but climate change like the tsunami phenomenon happened in 2009 is more severe threat to future peace. The El Niño phenomenon and environmental disasters due to energy depletion are the main issues. Oceans cover 71% of the earth. There are vast resources and ocean regulate climate. This  being so, the Committee decided on the ‘Ocean’ which is an alternative solution of peace for human beings and a treasure house for future generations as the theme for the inaugural Sunhak Peace Prize.

You mentioned the Committee already announced the laureates, President of Kiribati Anote Tong and Indian Dr. Modadugu Gupta as the dual recipients. Would you like to tell us the reason for the selection of President Anote Tong?

First of all, the Republic of Kiribati is an unfamiliar country so many people do not know about it. Kiribati is an island country located on the vicinity of the equator in the South Pacific. The citizens have not done anything wrong, but due to global warming, their land is in danger of being submerged. H.E. Anote Tong is the president of this small island country. He raised awareness of the importance of climate change and sought action by the international communities. He gave a warning to the wealthy countries emitting lots of carbon dioxide and urged the international communities to take action to protect the people struggling at the frontline of climate change. Furthermore, Pres. Tong is a global leader who devoted himself to passing down a clean earth to future generations.

Would you like to introduce the other laureate, Dr. Gupta?

Yes, he is a professor at Calcutta University and he has dedicated his whole life to leading a Blue Revolution by developing aquaculture techniques as an alternative solution to future food crises. The Blue Revolution is the significant increase of aquaculture production due to innovative techniques while the Green Revolution is the rapid growth of agricultural output. Dr. Gupta has been a pioneer of the Blue Revolution since the 1960s. He taught his aquaculture methods to the extreme poor in Southeast Asia, in places such as Bangladesh, and in Africa. He improved the nutritional status, the rights of women, and the self-resilience of those living in poverty through his training.

Will the laureates will receive cash prize?

Yes, the laureates of the Sunhak Peace Prize will receive the Sunhak Peace Prize medal, a certificate and a cash prize of Korean \1 billion (~USD $1 million).

What is the distinct characteristic of the Sunhak Peace Prize?

Most peace prizes award the peace dedications of the past. However, the Sunhak Peace Prize focuses on the contributions for future peace. Future peace may seem a bit distant, what the current generation has done will negatively or positively affect future generations. That is why the future is always up to the people who are preparing. God never gives future glory to those who are not preparing. The Sunhak Peace Prize focuses on climate change based on this peace vision. The Sunhak Peace Prize will continue to search for individuals and organizations that have contributed to the peace and create a peaceful civilization for future generations.

목요일, 8월 20, 2015

[Introduction Video of the laureate of the Sunhak Peace Prize]_A global leader creating peace at the forefront of climate, President Anote Tong of Kiribati

Hello~ this is the Sunhak Peace Prize for future generations.

We’d like to show you a video introducing the achievements of President Anote Tong the first laureate of the Sunhak Peace Prize.
He is a global leader whose dedication and passionate leadership helped to bring about a consensus by the international community concerning climate peace. He dedicated himself to raising public awareness of the severe impacts of the climate crisis to the international community in order to address its impacts on his country of Kiribati, which is gradually being submerged due to rising sea-levels caused by climate change.

월요일, 8월 03, 2015

Reasons for the laureate selection - President Anote Tong, a hero confronting global warming at the forefront of climate change

This is the Sunhak Peace Prize blog.
Before introducing main achievements of the laureate, let me explain the background
I’d like to call President Anote Tong a hero confronting global warming at the forefront of climate change.

However, global warming is not only an issue for him.
All human beings have to take responsibility and solve problems together.

Now, let’s see why he is selected as the first Sunhak Peace Prize laureate and think about the global crisis due to climate change.

Anote Tong

Sunhak Peace Prize Committee has focused on climate change and food security as the most pressing non-peaceful crisis future generations will be faced with. Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) has released the Fifth Assessment Report. According to the report, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases increased to dangerous levels and the ‘scientific hypothesis’ that climate change results from human activities became a ‘scientific fact.’

The most serious threat of climate change is ‘global warming.’ Even now, Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are getting warmer and the amount of snow and ice are being reduced. Consequently, the sea levels have been rising and islands are being gradually submerged. People in island countries are at the risk of losing places to live.

Climate change is an urgent matter directly related to the survival of humanity

2013 abnormal climate phenomena all over the world

There are direct impacts of climate change like heat waves, droughts, floods, and forest fires as well as indirect impacts like soaring prices and food security issues, etc. These issues are significant threats particularly to the livelihood and survival of the most vulnerable group of the poor.

The major cause of climate change is global warming

 Surface temperature change over the past 100 years

The excessive amounts of carbon dioxide and methane emitted from human activities such as world urbanization, industrialization, and deforestation have accelerated global warming and those are considered as the major causes of climate change. Especially, the concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are unprecedented levels in the last 800,000 years.

Sea level has been rising as a result of global warming

 Sea level change over the past 20 years measured by satellite (CSIRO)

In the 20th century, the Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) rose by 10 to 20 centimeters according to satellite measurement data. However, the annual rate of rise over the past 20 years has been 3.2 millimeters a year, approximately twice the average speed of the preceding 80 years.

If greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated in the current trend, the temperature of the earth will rise 3.7 degrees Celsius on average and the sea level will rise by 63 cm by the end of this century.

금요일, 7월 24, 2015

[Hankyoreh] Climate change, those of us on the frontline can survive?

Kiribati is located on the vicinity of the equator and the population is more than 105,000. It is considered very vulnerable to rising sea-levels because it consists of small islands with an average altitude above sea level of 2m. President of Kiribati Anote Tong has led the country since 2003. He has been speaking out the expected threat of his country people should leave their land by 2050 and sough for action by the international communities. President Anote Tong has been consecutively nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Last month, Indian biologist Dr. Modadugu V. Gupta and Pres. Tong have been selected the first dual laureates of the Sunhak Peace Prize through recognition of their sacrifices for peace. I met President Anote Tong in Kiribati with the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee and heard his thoughts on climate change. The interview took place at President Tong’s private house 10 minutes away from the office of the President in the capital Tarawa.

[Interview with President of Kiribati Anote Tong]

- I heard that Kiribati stands at the forefront of global climate change. What kind of practical effects have surfaced?
“Villages are disappearing due to coastal erosion and the seawater has contaminated the freshwater and destroyed the crops. Earlier this year in March, we had the cyclone Pam which hit Vanuatu. Kiribati has never been subject to cyclones. We are on the hurricane-free belt on the equator so we should not be seeing these events. So these things are happening more frequently and it’s an experience totally new to us.

- Please explain the current efforts and future plans of the Kiribati government and its citizens in response to the climate change situation.
“We are hoping that the international community will assist in building our resilience so that after what arises, we will be able to continue to survive on these islands. But at the same time, we’ve got to be realistic that it is very highly unlikely that the international community will come up with the level of resources that would be required to raise all the islands. So whilst we are committed to ensuring that our islands, in one way or another does not disappear, that we remain as a nation, a viable nation in the future in whatever form, we have to accept the reality that some of our people would also have to be prepared for migration. We cannot build our resilience on our own, because we do not have the resources. If the international community does not come forward, then we are talking about our entire population having to relocate.”

- I think that is why you are preparing the ‘immigration with dignity.’ So please explain what the ‘immigration with dignity’ is and what some of the challenges in preparing for it are.
“What I don’t want is for our people to become climate refugees. I reject the notion of refugees. It’s degrading and undignified. It is not because we have mismanaged our economies, our politics. We would have lost our homes, but we do not want to lose our dignity as well. We would prepare our people to migrate as trained and skilled people, people who when they migrate to whatever community they do, they will come in as citizens with skills, worthwhile citizens who will make a contribution to the community they are coming to. They will not be a burden to whichever society they decide to go to. They will go as dignified people. Not as second-class citizens in the countries they go to looking for special consideration.”

- How have you been using the purchased land in Fiji up until now? And what are your future plans for this land?
“The way I've been explaining about the land is that it is an investment. It’s an investment in establishing some degree of food security in the future. I’m often asked by many journalists, “so you’re going to relocate your people to Fiji?” and my answer has always been no. Why I say that is because I am fully appreciative of the political sensitivities with this large number of people migrating to one area. Somebody else might make that decision in the future. The Fiji government has expressed their willingness to accommodate our people if and when it becomes necessary. And this is the kind of humanity that I’ve been challenging the international community to come up with.

- Is there any technological solution such as the method to elevate the islands that will allow the people to continue to live on the islands of Kiribati despite the rising sea-levels?
“I have no doubt that the solutions are there. In fact, I’ve asked the Korean government to assist on this and we’ve had technical people come to visit to do assessment. But we cannot do it on our own; we do not have the capacity to do it. We need supports from the international community. Kiribati needs a special approach because our problem is very urgent and serious. Otherwise, we have no other choice except to migrate.”

- What is the future of Kiribati as a sovereign state? Please share your opinion.
“I can assure you that we have made a commitment that we will continue to have a nation, in whatever form, in whatever scale. If it’s just a piece of land, it’s important that we have this. It may not be able to accommodate everybody. But it’s got to be able to provide somewhere to be pointed to and say “that is our country.” And we will do whatever it takes to maintain our sovereignty over the seas that are part of our Exclusive Economic Zone because there are huge resources there. So yes, we will continue to exist as a nation.”

- Do you believe that the global community will emerge victorious in the war against climate change eventually?
“The entire destruction of the planet is not an acceptable option. So we have to win this war, but the question is those people who have the ability to make the most significant impact, are they going to be willing to sacrifice their welfare and luxuries, in order for those of us on the frontline can survive?”

- How would you evaluate the UN in the international community’s response to climate change thus far?
Well up until now the rate of progress under the negotiations have been very disappointing. We don’t have to think of it from a national perspective. We have to regard ourselves as global citizens with a single planet, a single home. But if we continue to talk about our GDP, what will happen if we agree to do this. What will happen to our GDP? These are unfortunately what guide much of the discussions. No matter what level of greenhouse gases are agreed in Paris, no matter what Celsius degree we agree for the temperature rise, it will not make a difference to us. What I’ve been asking is that we need special progression for that. Don’t say that it is too late for you. No, that is not acceptable.

- Out of the 196 nations in the climatic change convention, the Republic of Korea is a nation with the 7th highest output of carbon dioxide emissions. In the quantity of its green-house gas and the emissions per capita is greater than twice the global average. Is there anything you’d like to say or request to the Korean citizens?
“Climate change is not entirely about its impact on the environment. We’ve gone past that. Now it’s about survival of nations like mine and other nations that are very vulnerable on the front-line. The issue here is the corporations are thinking in terms of their profit and loss statement and they are not thinking about people. But I understand we have very different circumstances. Korea is a country with extreme weather conditions. Very cold, you need energy in order to survive the winter and we don’t. We should be trying to do that rather than going ahead and doing things regardless of what its consequences are for the rest of humanity.”

[source: http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/society/environment/701187.html]