Transcend barriers and become one True Parents’ Hope for the Sunhak Peace Prize

On February 20, the 10th Youth and Student Hyojeong Service was dedicated at Shoto Headquarters in Shibuya, Tokyo, which was also streamed to churches across Japan via the internet. The sermon was given by Mr. Hiroaki Takeuchi, Regional Group Vice President for the Heavenly Japan of the Heavenly Parent’s Holy Community, who introduced past laureates of the Sunhak Peace Prize and called on the youth to transcend racial, religious, and national barriers to become people who could bless as many people as possible.

Editorial Department

Good morning, dear brothers and sisters across the country. This is the tenth hyojeong service.

When thinking of a new spring, True Mother talks about daffodils. Just like the daffodils that break through the frozen ground and announce the coming of spring, I hope that all of you will be full of vigor despite the cold weather.

World leaders attend the Korean Peninsula Peace Summit

Today, I would like us to consider the idea of “transcending barriers and becoming one.”

The world is in a really tough situation right now. How will NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) respond to the recent threat by the Russian military and its invasion of Ukraine? And what implications will it have if that conflict spills over into the China-Taiwan relationship? Even in the pandemic, there are still countries invading other countries, fighting and killing each other.

As we are about to enter the final stage of the providence centering on True Mother, it can be said, in the true sense of the word, Satan’s evil is raging.

For fifty-two years, she has walked with True Father as True Parents, and in this final stage of the providence, Mother’s real fight is taking place as she is trying to establish a nation centered on the Heavenly Parent (God) on this earthly world by achieving peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula—which is the frontline dividing God and Satan—and the peaceful settlement of the Heavenly Unified World.

Under such circumstances, World Summit 2022: Korean Peninsula Peace Summit (February 11-13) was held under the leadership of True Parents. The summit was co-chaired by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; these are national or even world representatives.

The two sent joint invitations for the event to 157 nations with which the Republic of Korea and North Korea have diplomatic relations. Eighty-five current and former leaders from 70 countries took part in the event either in person or online.

In the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Hun Sen opened the summit by stressing to world leaders, “Peace and security on the Korean Peninsula is a global issue that needs urgent resolution.” He added, “I hope that South Korea, North Korea and other countries concerned will adopt a declaration for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

In addition, Ban Ki-moon reported to True Mother how he had heard many words from world leaders and how they were glad and appreciative of attending the summit. He said he was impressed by everything, including the magnitude of the summit and its content. He expressed his gratitude to Mother, marveling that because of President Hak Ja Han, an event that even national governments could not easily do, was able to be held.

An award given to individuals or organizations that has contributed to future generations

One of the events held during the summit was the fifth Sunhak Peace Prize. From this year, Jose Manuel Barroso, former president of the European Commission, has assumed the post of president of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee. He is also the former Prime Minister of Portugal.

The Sunhak Peace Prize was established in 2013 at the request of True Mother in order to promote the peace ideologies and wishes of True Father, who had been involved in interracial, inter-religious, and international movements with the aim of realizing a peaceful world where humankind can be called one family.

There are three main features to the Sunhak Peace Prize.

The first feature is that it is a prize dedicated to the future generations. If the Nobel Peace Prize and other peace prizes are awarded to individuals and organizations that have contributed to the eradication or improvement of existing problems, the Sunhak Peace Prize is an award that is given to individuals and organizations that have contributed to the betterment of future generations.

The second is the pursuit in the name of respect for human rights, harmony of conflicts and preservation of ecology.

The third is the size of prize money. The award ceremony is held every other year and each winner receives a medal, a commemorative plaque and a cash prize of U.S. $500,000 (approximately 58 million yen). This is one of the largest in the world.

Here’s a quick rundown of the winners so far.

The recipients for the first awards were the President of the Republic of Kiribati, Anote Tong, and Dr. M. Vijay Gupta of India. President Tong has focused on climate change, which is a global crisis, and has taken the lead in addressing it in the international community.

Gupta developed fish farming techniques to prepare for future food crises. He has worked to widely spread technology to poor countries in Southeast Asia and Africa so that people in poverty do not have to suffer from hunger.

The second recipients were Dr. Gino Strada from Italy and Dr. Sakina Yacoubi from Afghanistan. For 25 years, Dr. Strada has been on the front lines of conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, defending the right to medical care for more than 7 million refugees in danger of their lives.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Yakoubi has worked in refugee camps in Afghanistan to help displaced refugees regain homes. She has helped educate people, sometimes at the risk of her life. I have met with Dr. Yakoubi in person and spoke to her. She was very warm and kind, like a mother.

The third recipients were Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, and Ms. Waris Dirie, a women’s rights activist. Dr. Adesina focused on global inequality and spent 30 years innovating agricultural technologies, which have significantly improved poverty in Africa, bringing hundreds of millions out of hunger.

Born in Somalia, East Africa, Dirie is a global supermodel and has shared about her painful experience with FGM. She courageously continued to speak out for the advancement of women’s rights and played a major role in the United Nations unanimously adopting a resolution banning female circumcision in 2012.

The recipients of the fourth award were President Macky Sall of Senegal (West Africa) and Rev. Munib Younan, former Chair of the Lutheran World Federation. President Macky Sall strengthened Africa’s transportation infrastructure, helping to achieve rapid economic growth and develop a mature democracy, while implementing transparent politics through legislation. He is a model for good governance. In 2018, he met directly with True Mother, and now he is the Chair of the African Union.

Rev. Munib Younan was born as a Palestinian refugee in Jerusalem. He believes that dialogue and reconciliation between religions are the foundation of human peace, and has dedicated his life to religious harmony. Together with Pope Francis, he helped reconcile the deeply antagonistic Lutherans (Protestants) and Catholics by signing a declaration promising a common path.

At the fourth award ceremony, the Founder’s Special Award was presented to former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ban Ki-moon served two terms as Secretary-General of the United Nations where he presented the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set out 17 items that include poverty eradication and climate change measures, and he also helped sign the Paris Agreement.

The topic for this year’s Sunhak Peace Prize was “Health for Peace.” The recipients were Dr. Sarah Gilbert of the University of Oxford, UK, who has focused on developing a vaccine for covid, and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance.

As co-developer of the AstraZeneca K.K. vaccine, Dr. Gilbert has tackled the common challenge of overcoming the covid pandemic. So far, more than 2.5 billion doses have been delivered to 182 countries through her initiative. Dr. Gilbert also gave a keynote speech at last year’s Rally of Hope for the realization of a Heavenly Unified World.

The Gavi Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership established in 2000 to maintain good health of people in developing countries. This is the first time for a group, not an individual, to receive the award. Since its founding, it has delivered vaccines to more than 820 million children around the world and saved more than 14 million lives. It is co-leading COVAX Facility in response to covid. The organization was recognized for its contribution for the relief of developing countries through increased access to vaccinations.

Also this year, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has been selected for the Founder’s Distinguished Service Award. Prime Minister Hun Sen has demonstrated leadership for the sustainable development and prosperity of Southeast Asia. In particular, he has been keeping pace with the peace system for the Heavenly Unified Korea proposed by True Mother, the founder of the Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation, and he was highly commended for his contributions as Co-chair of the Korean Peninsula Peace Summit. During the summit, Hun Sen made the video available on his Facebook page. I heard about 14 million people saw the video.

Share blessings with more people to realize a world of one human family.

The efforts of True Parents are consistent. He taught us that an interracial, international, and inter-religious movement is necessary for the realization of a world of one human family and he threw himself into this mission. Today’s society is permeated with the individualism that says, “It’s all right as long as I’m good,” and the United States has recently conveyed this idea as a political system that “it’s all right as long as our country is good”. However, in order to realize a world of one human family, it is very important not to be individualistic, but to be able to give happiness to more people and to overcome barriers.

I think you all remember that True Father was the one who practiced the way of life for the greater good. Please take a look at Father in this picture (top left). Not only did he give sermons as a religious leader from the pulpit, but he also walked the talk in order to spread good fortune to more people, even though his face became sunburned and hands became ragged, in order to lead all humankind in the direction that the Heavenly Parent desired.

The same is true of True Mother. This image shows Mother sharing her love with children when she visited Africa (top right). The Sunhak Peace Prize was established in response to Mother’s wish to praise the way of life that gives happiness to the whole good.

Father said, “Peace comes through concrete action, not just having a vague dream.” (As a Peace Loving Global Citizen, p. 242).

In the real world, there are times in society where it is difficult to live following the voice of your conscience. However, as children of True Parents, we of the second and third generations want to become people who act with confidence according to the voice of our conscience.

If you look around, you will see people—whether they know God or not—who challenge themselves and practice giving happiness to others. Please observe these people closely, empathize with them, and cooperate with them.

You may also be active in society with a job, or you may be learning a variety of knowledge in pursuit of a heavenly dream. At that time, it is important to have the perspective of “how can I share this expertise as a blessing to a larger number of people,” rather than simply acquiring expertise that will earn praise in the world. The idea is to go beyond just being recognized in society and adjust your abilities towards the perspective of “how to live a life that meets the hopes of the Heavenly Parent and True Parents.”

As I said at the beginning, True Mother created the Sunhak Peace Prize as a prize for future generations. More to the point, she would like you to become recipients of the prize; she wants to be able to award you all will the Sunhak Peace Prize. Please understand this.

True Father said the following:

“We must have the mindset that all of humankind is our brothers and sisters. You have to think of every problem on the planet as your problem and have a pioneering spirit to solve it. The people of the world, who love the world and place it their bosom, must feel the hunger of humankind as if it were their own and try to help others.”

In addition, True Mother said the following at the Victory Celebration for the Summit for Peace on the Korean Peninsula Marking the Anniversary of the Holy Birth of the True Parents and the 9th Anniversary of Foundation Day. (Feb 15, 2022)

“The only way to become Heavenly Parent’s children is to accept True Parents and live together as brothers and sisters in Heavenly Parent’s embrace.”

Let us depart with the perspective that we are brothers and sisters with the Heavenly Parent as our common parent as we go beyond barriers to place where all people can live as brothers and sisters.