Nana Dr Susubiribi Krobea Asante, the Paramount Chief of Asante Asokore Traditional Area and Board Member of the National Peace Council (NPC), has expressed regret about Ghana’s recent decline in international peace ranking. He said for a long time, Ghana was rated as the most peaceful country in West Africa and second in Sub-Saharan Africa and occupied the 40th position in the ranking in the whole world. ‘Sadly, Ghana has lost her place as the most peaceful country in West Africa to Sierra Leone, and second most peaceful country in Sub-Saharan Africa to Botswana,’ Nana Dr Asante stated at the commemoration of this year’s International Day of Peace in Accra. The event, on the theme, ‘Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals,’ was organised by the NPC in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) in Ghana. Nana Dr Asante reiterated that Ghana had dropped 11 points to the 51st position in the world ranking. He said the statistics meant that there was a significant increase in the incidence of conflicts in Ghana, and that substantial resources of the country were now devoted to the maintenance of peace instead of sustainable development. ‘This retrogression must be reversed and imposes a duty on all citizens, all political parties, all civil society organisations, all traditional authorities, and all communities as well as all institutions of the state to join forces in eradicating conflicts and the realization of sustainable peace,’ he said. ‘In this regard the National Peace Council would like to seize this opportunity once again to appeal to the chiefs and people of the Bawku traditional area and other centres of conflict throughout the country to commit themselves to peace. Nobody gains from protracted conflicts.’ He was not sure anybody involved in the conflict was happy that children were not in school, the sick could not access health service, the movement of goods and people had been restricted and freedoms curtailed. ‘Let us confront the realities of the times and move on for the sake of our children and the future of Ghana,’ he said. He noted that building sustainable peace was a process which required the efforts of both state and non-state actors and a daily renewal of the commitment to peace and love for their common humanity. He appealed to Ghanaians to continually commit to this process to enhance sustainable peace, stressing that as the country prepared for its general elections next year, it was appropriate to remind all the presidential candidates and political parties of their commitment to the existing peace pact signed in the past three general elections. Within, the past three years NPC had dialogued with various stakeholders, such as political parties, the security agencies, the Judiciary, traditional authorities, and sectors of the youth with a view to creating a peaceful environment for elections, he said. He said the NPC also played a critical role in curbing political vigilantism and appealed to all stakeholders and the citizens to pledge peace throughout the entire election period. Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of the Interior, in a speech read on his behalf by Mrs Adelaide Anno-Kumi, the Chief Director of the Ministry, said Ghana was relatively peaceful, yet there were several issues of concern which required the support of all stakeholders. He cited some of these issues as preventing violent extremism and its spillover from the Sahel region, saying terrorist attacks coupled with the emergence of military takeovers in neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger were major concern to Ghana. The Minister reiterated that all and sundry had a collective responsibility to uphold peace. Mr Charles Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, said as the country prepared for its general election next year, peace would be keen, saying, ‘when you think about what is happening in the sub-region, which Ghana sits in, peace would be extremely important.’ He said for the past 41 years the world had celebrated International Peace Day, which indicated that peace was something which the world must act on. Mr Abani underscored that peace was fundamental for progress and development. At the event, the UN, in partnership with the NPC launched the year-long campaign, dubbed, ‘# I Pledge for Peace GH’, as part of efforts to ensure a peaceful election 2024 in Ghana. Master Kelvin Asumang, a 17-year-old Second Year Visual Art Student of Bishop Herman College, was adjudged the best designer of the logo for the #I Pledge for Peace GH.
Source: Ghana News Agency