The Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, has called for more collaborative efforts to address marginalisation and vulnerabilities that pose a threat to national peace and security.
He said while the country was enjoying relative peace, more effort was needed to achieve "positive peace" by resolving issues of marginalisation, which included poverty, hunger and social injustice.
According to him, people's perception of a peaceful nation — the absence of conflicts, riots and violence — was not enough to make a country peaceful.
Mr Kan-Dapaah made the call at the launch of a book on sustainable peace, authored by the Department of Peace Studies of the School of Development Studies of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in memory of Mr Francis Kojo Azuimah, a peace and security expert who also worked with the National Peace Council.
Titled: "Towards sustainable peace in Ghana: Essays in memory of Francis Kojo Azuimah”, the book covers governance, migration, chieftaincy, religion, land management and conflict resolution.
Causes of conflicts
The minister said unmet human needs and disparities in the distribution of resources for the benefit of a group and at the expense of others could trigger conflicts and disrupt societal peace.
He said the concept of human security demanded that vulnerabilities, which manifested in the form of food, energy, the environment, political and personal insecurity, were mitigated.
Mr Kan-Dapaah said it was important to pursue human security as the ultimate way to sustain the nation's peace.
He also urged stakeholders to aggressively advocate a shift from the traditional notion of national security, which focused on the use of the armed forces to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, to a new paradigm of thinking which placed premium on human security, adding that a country was as safe as its citizens were.
He further said the government’s agenda of reducing unemployment, poverty and inequality was the way to go to sustain the nation's peace.
A former Vice-Chancellor of the UCC, Prof. D.D. Kuupole, who launched the book, said peace in the country must not be downplayed, considering the volatile situation of the subregion.
Another former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, said security was everybody's business and urged all to support efforts at sustaining the nation's peace.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, asked the citizenry to jealously guard the peace in the country.
He bought the first copy of the book for GH¢10,000.