The National Peace Council (NPC) has been urged to serve as a centre for social cohesion by engaging more with stakeholders to promote harmony in the country.
The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, said that had become necessary following the growing threat to peace in some parts of the country, particularly in Bawku in the Upper East Region.
As part of preventive mechanisms, he suggested that the NPC should increase its presence in the regions to enable members to monitor, analyse, mitigate and report on violent threats to peace and security in the country.
This was contained in a speech read on behalf of Mr Dery by the Chief Director of the ministry, Ms Adelaide Anno-Kumi, at the NPC staff retreat programme in Accra yesterday as part of the annual meeting of the council to reflect on past interventions and challenges and recommendations of how to deliver on their mandate effectively.
Mr Dery said though the country was relatively peaceful and resilient, its renowned peace architecture had come under stress.
He mentioned the existence of pervasive ethnic and chieftaincy conflicts in northern Ghana and other places, including intra-religious clashes, inadequate capacity of institutions to deal with the challenges, thus, making the teeming unemployed youth vulnerable to radicalisation and violent extremism.
“I want to urge you to re-engineer the NPC and continue to network and collaborate with identifiable partners for support to complement the funding from the government for implementation of peace initiatives,” Mr Dery added.
The Chairman of the NPC, Rev. Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, commended the staff for their contribution to building a robust institution that continued to play its role to sustain the peace of the country.
“It is the desire of the Governing Board to work towards improved conditions of service for staff, including the provision of infrastructure and logistical support to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in delivering our mandate.
“This, we believe, is possible to achieve if we adopt the right approach to mobilise resources and engage relevant authorities,” he said.
During the year under review, the council undertook some activities which included engaging the leadership of both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament to ensure sanity in the House through consensus building.
The council, with support of the Commonwealth, also organised programmes on dialogue at the constituency and national levels on how to prevent and counter post-elections violence.
It also launched a Peace Fund in October last year to strengthen the council financially to effectively deliver on its mandate.