International Peace Day commemorated
This year’s International Peace Day has been commemorated with a call on citizens to help minimise the occurrence of hate speech to maintain the prevailing peace in the country.
The Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery, who made that call, said hate speech had the potential to plunge the country into insecurity and affect national development.
He, therefore, urged media practitioners to be loyal to the country by always upholding the truth in their reportage.
“It is only through good journalism that society can rely on all of us for the truth.
Therefore, I call on members of the media to be independent, free, bold and serve the interests of the people and the state for our common good,” Mr Dery added.
The minister whose speech was read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the Ministry, Adelaide Annor-Kumi, further urged journalists to uphold high professional standards and always push for zero tolerance for misinformation, fake news, misrepresentation and exaggeration, as well as stories that promoted prejudices, misconceptions, hatred, violence and discrimination, especially as the nation gets closer to the 2024 elections.
Mr Dery also entreated the National Peace Council (NPC) to live up to its mandate by engaging both state and non-state actors to resolve chieftaincy conflicts in the country, adding that their frequency posed a threat to the stability of the nation.
“The citizenry must also assist the police with information to enable them to fight crime since maintaining peace is a collective responsibility,” he said.
This year’s International Peace Day was on the theme: “Actions for peace: Our ambition for the #GlobalGoals.”
The day, which was established in 1981 by the UN, is used to strengthen the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.
It is also a period of non-violence and cease-fire by warring factions across the globe.
The event, organised by the NPC was also used to launch an “I Pledge Peace Campaign” which logo was unveiled to the public.
A Board member of the NPC, Nana Dr Susubiribi Krobea Asante, said for a long time, Ghana, which was rated as the most peaceful country in West Africa, and the second most peaceful country in sub-Saharan Africa, had dropped from its 40th position in the world to 51st.
“The foregoing statistics means that there is a significant increase in the incidence of conflicts in the country, and that substantial amount of our resources are now devoted to the maintenance of peace instead of sustainable development.
“This retrogression must be reversed; it 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 to eradicate conflicts,” he said.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani, also stressed the need for all stakeholders to work towards sustaining the nation’s peaceful environment.
"No one institution or person can solve them all.
Advancing peace and safety for all peoples is our collective responsibility because peace requires partnership, sustained attention and continued commitment," he added.