Peace Efforts Must Be a Sustained Process – UNDP
Mr Louis Kuukpen, Assistant Country Director for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has said efforts geared towards maintaining peace in the society must be a sustained process.
A sustained peace process would ensure people understood and appreciated the importance of peaceful coexistence among families, communities, tribes and religious groups, he said.
Mr Kuukpen said this during National Peace Council (NPC)’s “Engagement with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to develop a coordinated strategy for public awareness creation on election related matters” in Wa.
He said it was for that reason the UNDP and the European Union (EU) funded the NPC through the “Insider Mediator Project” to engage in several activities geared towards ensuring peace during the 2016 General Elections and has since continued the process.
He recognized the roles played by the National and Regional Peace Councils, Faith Based Organizations, CSOs, groups and individuals, saying “the fact that the election was successful was because individually in our homes, we decided that peace was the right thing to choose”.
Mr Kuukpen said two of the goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were peace and partnership which were both geared towards ensuring that no one was left behind.
“If there is no peace, there is no development; where there is peace, there is successful and progressive development”, he said.
He said one could not have peace without partnership which is why the UNDP was pleased to be part of the partnership towards ensuring lasting peace for all.
Mr Justice Agbezuge, Governance and Peace Analyst for EU, said the engagement aims at reviewing the roles CSOs played in the lead up to the 2016 elections in order to reposition them better to strategize towards the upcoming local level elections and the 2020 general elections.
He said it was also to strengthen the capacity of local peace actors in Ghana’s peace architecture for them to be able to mediate ongoing conflicts and prevent potential conflicts from occurring.
Mr Agbezuge said community and media engagements, training for the Peace Council staff and the Regional Election Early Warning and Response Group were some of the activities they undertook under the three-year “Insider Mediator Project” which started in 2015 and is expected to end in 2018.
Reverend Dr Aloysius Nuolabong, Chairman of the Upper West Regional Peace Council, commended the UNDP and the EU for supporting the Peace Council to carry out the project which has contributed towards the successful elections in 2016.