Professor Dominic A. Agyeman, Chairman of the Planet Three Peace Programme (P3PP), an international non-governmental organisation that foster peaceful democracy, on Thursday urged Ghanaians to be tolerant of each others’ view irrespective of their political, ethnic and religious backgrounds.
He said to ensure peaceful co-existence in the country, there was the need to build a culture of peace among individuals, the community and the nation.
Prof. Agyeman was speaking at the inauguration of the P3PP that also seeks to entrench democratic stability globally but with much focus on Africa and Asia in Accra.
In addition, P3PP advocates healthy relationship among various groups by educating them to be tolerant of each other and sensitize them about the dangers and cost associated with violence and conflict.
The inauguration, which was attended by chiefs, opinion leaders, various youth groups and schools, was on the theme: “Securing peace for Humankind”.
Prof Agyeman said the equitable distribution of the nation’s resources without prejudice to one’s party affiliation, class, ethnic and religious association, would go a long way to reduce conflicts in society.
He urged people to disabuse their minds on the notion that peace-making was a more expensive venture.
Prof Agyeman said records available showed that between 1990 and 2005 both conflicts and aid to Africa amounted to $284 billion, explaining that the money lost in conflict could have been used in more effective ways for development.
He said armed conflicts were costing African economies an average of $18 billion a year, adding that conflicts of such nature prevented the development of physical infrastructure, the establishment of stable security structures, and the development of civil societies.
Prof Agyeman stressed the need to invest in peace since it promoted sustainable development, which he said was a long term condition for humanity’s multi-dimensional well being.
“Human beings are at the centre of concern for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature” he said.
Mr Emmanuel Bombande, Executive Director for West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP), urged Ghanaians not to take the peace that they were enjoying for granted.
He said without peace and security, the country could not achieve its developmental goals.
He called for continuous dialogue among the various political parties, which he said, would go a long way to defuse political tension in the country.
Mr Paul Agyei Gyang, Founder of P3PP, stressed the need for other organisations to complement government’s effort in the area of peace building in the country.
He said the Government’s security agencies alone could not take up the issue of peace building.
He implored the Branding Ghana Secretariat to make the culture of peace its central focus.
“Let us make the culture of peace our national identity so that through this identity, our commercial brands such as tourism, agriculture, energy, finance and education would be accepted internationally as every business thrives in a peaceful environment” he added.