Senegalese President Macky Sall and Bishop Munib A. Youman of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Palestine have received the 2020 Sunhak Peace Prize.
The two received their prize at the ongoing World Summit on Peace, Security and human development in Seoul, South Korea.
However, Sall’s prize was received on his behalf by Senegalese Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Minister Amadou Ba.
President Sall was awarded in October last year for exemplifying good governance. He has consistently upheld the rule of law and human rights, while working to eradicate poverty and promote economic development.
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According to the Sunhak Peace prize Committee, Sall has made Senegal one of the most stable countries on the African continent. He is also credited for upholding democratic principles by resisting the temptation to extend his rule by implementing reforms, such shortening the presidential term from seven years to five.
In addition, Sall’s administration has been hailed for contributing to the prosperity of Senegal and West Africa’s economic development.
On peace, the Senegalese president has been promoting dialogue as a means to resolving conflicts in Africa.
In his pre-recorded acceptance speech, Sall, who was elected Senegalese President 2012 and again in 2019 urged all us to embrace dialogue to promote mutual prosperity and peaceful co-existence.
“We must defend the ideals of a better world in future’’, he said
Conversely, Bishop Dr. Munib A. Youman of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Palestine was awarded for devoting his entire life to promoting religious harmony among Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Bishop Younan has been promoting harmony between religions for more than 40 years. Through continued dialogue with the Catholic Church, he was able to overcome differences and build mutual trust between the Catholic and protestant churches, demonstrating the beautiful harmony that is possible between believers of different faiths.
In his speech, the bishop urged the religious leaders to raise their voices prophetically for peace based on justice and to speak boldly against the waves of hatred and oppression making their way globally.
“Religion must be the conscience of the world today, he said’’.
The Lutheran bishop said world leaders should talk about the wellbeing of the society instead of focusing on security alone.
“A commitment to ensure the wellbeing calls us to work for a safer world, a world without weapons of mass destruction’’ he added.
In addition, Bishop Younan said world leaders must commit to ensuring that we have violence free schools, neighbourhoods and societies.
The former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki moon was given the special founder’s award. His award is in recognition of his devotion in leading the UN towards a sustainable world in the face of unprecedented global challenges such as global economic crisis, terrorism, and climate change.
Ban Ki-moon is particularly credited for pushing for international awareness of the seriousness of climate change which resulted in the Paris agreement.
In his address, the former UN Chief said he was deeply concerned about protectionism, individualism, isolationism and unilateralism ideals by countries that benefitted from multi-lateralism.
“Multilateralism has been the basic guiding framework of this world particularly after Second World War, those countries who are leading this world have been the most benefiting from multilateralism’’, he said.
According to the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee, the laureates were people who had committed themselves to breaking the boundaries and believe in cooperation and co-prosperity for a better peaceful world.
The Sunhak Peace Prize was founded by Dr Sun Myung Moon and his wife Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.