Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to South Korea, was Friday awarded the Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 for his “contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth”. The award was presented to him by the Seoul Peace Prize Foundation. A short film on the life and achievements of PM Modi was also screened at the event.
Dedicating the prize to people of India, PM Modi said, “I believe that this award belongs not to me personally, but to the people of India. The success that India has achieved in the last 5 years is due to aspirations, inspiration and efforts of the people of India. On their behalf, I accept the Award and express my gratitude.”
“I dedicate this award to the 1.3 billion people of India for giving me the opportunity to serve them. I am honoured that this award is being conferred on me in the year that we celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi,” he added.
Modi is the 14th recipient of the award and the past laureates include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and international relief organisations Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam.
PM Modi contributed the monetary award of $200,000 to the Namami Gange Programme (National Mission for Clean Ganga).
Watch | PM Modi receives Seoul Peace Prize
About the award, Modi said, “The Seoul Peace Prize was established to commemorate the success of the 24th Summer Olympics held in Seoul in 1988. The games ended on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. The games showcased the best of Korean culture, warmth of Korean hospitality and success of the Korean economy.”
Mentioning how terrorism is the biggest threat to global peace and security, the Prime Minister said, “It was a few weeks before the Seoul Olympics that Al-Qaeda was formed. Today, radicalisation and terrorism have become globalised and are the biggest threats to global peace and security.”
“India’s growth story is not only good for the people of India but also for the entire world. We live in an increasingly interconnected world. Our growth and prosperity will inevitably contribute to global growth and development. India, as a responsible member of the international community, has been in the forefront of our collective fight against climate change. Despite having a historically low carbon footprint, India has been playing an active role in the global fight against climate change,” he said.
He also said, “Like Korea, India has also suffered the pain of division and cross-border strife. Our endeavour towards peaceful development has only too often been derailed by cross-border terrorism.”
Asserting that the time has come for all right-thinking nations to join hands to completely eradicate terrorist networks, PM Modi said, “Only by doing so, can we replace hate with harmony; destruction with development and transform the landscape of violence and vendetta into a postcard for peace.”
Hoping for a better tomorrow, PM Modi quoted a portion of the 1988 Olympics Theme Song — Hand in hand, we stand All across the land, We can make this world, A better place in which to live — and said, “It perfectly captures the hopeful spirit for a better tomorrow for all of us.”
While conferring the award on Modi, the award committee recognised his contribution to the growth of Indian and global economies, crediting ‘Modinomics’ for reducing social and economic disparity between the rich and the poor. The committee also credited him for his contribution toward regional and global peace through a proactive policy with countries around the world.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi held bilateral talks with South Korea President Moon Jae-in on a host of issues including trade, investment, defence and security, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a tweet.