Prime Minister Hun Sen has received the 2022 Sunhak Peace Prize Founder’s Award by the South Korea-based Sunhak Peace Prize Foundation for his contributions to peace and economic development in Cambodia and to peace initiatives in the region.

According to a January 20 press release by the foundation, the award will be presented at a ceremony to be held on February 12 in Seoul, where he is also slated to attend the World Summit on Peace for the Korean Peninsula, organised by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and scheduled for February 12-13.

“You have been selected for this award due to your steadfast leadership over many years. As Prime Minister of Cambodia, you have contributed to stability, economic development and peace in Cambodia and in the Southeast Asian region at large.

“In addition, [our] committee recognises your efforts to promote peace in the wider region of the Asia Pacific, including your call for the establishment of an Asia-Pacific Union,” the statement said.

The foundation said the Sunhak Peace Prize is an international peace prize established in 2015 to honour the peace vision of its founders, the late Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han Moon. It was established to recognise individuals and organisations that have served humanity in exemplary ways, making the world better for future generations.

Hun Sen was one of the laureates who would receive it according to the themes of peace and human development. Other leaders had received the award for other themes such as climate change, the global refugee crisis or human rights development in Africa.

“Our committee will be honoured to have you accept this award and attend the Award Ceremony in person, and deliver a message of hope for a peaceful future of humanity. The Sunhak Peace Prize wishes to cooperate with you, hand-in-hand, in building a world of peace for future generations,” the statement added.

Kin Phea, director of Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said Hun Sen was an important figure for peace in Cambodia, because it went through decades of civil war which only ended through his win-win policy in late 1998.

“I think awarding this peace prize to him is the correct decision, based on his efforts in bringing about peace in Cambodia. He has also contributed many times to UN peacekeeping missions,” he said, referring to the Cambodian “blue helmets” sent to join these missions.