Address of H.E. José Manuel Barroso for the Sunhak Peace Prize Awards Ceremony at World Summit 2022 on 12 February 2022.
Your Excellencies and distinguished guests,
We are gathered today to congratulate and encourage the 2022 Sunhak Peace Prize laureates. I would like to express my sincere appreciation for joining us on this special occasion.
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, legacy and achievements.
In selecting this year’s laureates, the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee focused on the “Response to Global Infectious Diseases.” History remembers the heroes who work for peace. During this time of the pandemic we need “health for peace” and “peace for health.”
The two laureates, Professor Dame Sarah Catherine Gilbert and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, are the heroes who have devoted themselves to “health for peace” and “peace for health” with their love for humanity.
The pandemic has highlighted the centrality of science. In this fight against a virus that jeopardized the lives of everyone in the world, science delivered hope in the form of “vaccines,” which have saved many lives. Without scientists like Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, the pandemic would have left wounds much deeper and more fatal than they are now.
Also the pandemic has highlighted the centrality of solidarity and cooperation. Science gave us the tools to control the pandemic; however, we can only do it if we use them equitably, regardless of economic status. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance emerged at the forefront of COVID-19 as the Avengers, the heroes who led the collaboration to overcome nationalism and make vaccine equity possible.
Distinguished guests and leaders!
Viruses thrive by division, but we can defeat it through solidarity. In the words of the co-founders of the Sunhak Peace Prize, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, “Peace can only be achieved when we cooperate across borders and love each other like one family.”
Our commitment to stronger collaboration for a better world is more important than ever during this pandemic. Virus is not the only challenge. When we work in solidarity in a multilateral approach, we can achieve miracles and find answers to the fundamental inequalities that lie at the root of so many of the world’s problems.
The laureates of today’s Sunhak Peace Prize, Professor Dame Sarah Catherine Gilbert and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, are the driving force in creating these miracles.
Again, I would like to express my deep respect and congratulate the two laureates of the 2022 Sunhak Peace Prize, the heroes of today.
The Sunhak Peace Prize will continue to discover courageous and righteous people who are dedicating their lives for the sake of peace and humanity. Let us all work together toward a noble culture of peace full of grace.
H.E. José Manuel Barroso, Prime Minister of Portugal (2002-2004), EU Commission President (2004-2014) and Chair of the Sunhak Peace Prize Committee
José Manuel Barroso was Prime Minister of Portugal from 2002-2004 and President of the European Commission from 2004-2014. He enjoyed a successful and varied academic career embracing law, European Studies, Political and Social Sciences and became Assistant Professor of Law at Lisbon University and later Director of the Department for International Relations at Lisbon's Lusiada University. In the 1980s he rose through the Portuguese Foreign Ministry and in 1992 became Minister of Foreign Affairs for 3 years before entering Parliament and in 1999 became the leader of his political party and de facto Leader of the Opposition. In 2002, Dr Barroso became Prime Minister and, 2 years later, was appointed President of the European Commission, in which post he served for 10 years, until 2014. He is currently Chairman of GAVI (GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance) and teaches at various American and European universities on issues related to the EU, international business, and international affairs.