President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Mrs Graça Machel, Chair, Board of Trustees, African Centre for Constructive Resolution to Disputes (ACCORD) on Monday jointly launched the Global Peace Intergenerational Dialogue (IGD), a global peace movement.
The Global Peace IGD is a global effort engineered by ACCORD to garner a global discussion among young future leaders, city mayors, captains of industries and their country leaders to deliberate on their aspirations for what a better world should look like.
The Accra Dialogue, which is the first in the series, is a follow up to a commitment statement made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Co-Chairman of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocate Group on 2nd December 2018, at the Global Citizen’s Festival in the Johannesburg, South Africa, in that, “Ghana would host the inaugural Intergenerational Dialogue in the Accra City, to help forge the connection between peace and development in the country and worldwide”.
Throughout 2019, Global Peace would coordinate the convening of a series of IGD that would be held in a minimum of a 100 cities across the world.
The aspirations and outputs from the dialogues, held globally, will be collated into a Global Peace Charter, which will be adopted at the inaugural Global Peace Forum at the end of 2019 in Durban, South Africa.
Global Peace would then use this Charter to lobby the UN to host the first Summit of Heads of States and Governments on Global Peace through a partnership with the United Cities and Local Government (UCGL) Association, the Global Citizens, the SDG Action Campaign, the All-Africa Students Union, the Junior Chamber International and other Global Development Partners.
Mrs Michel in her remarks at the Accra Dialogue noted that, the IGD was to give a platform to the youth to amplify their voices to shape their present and the future.
“We chose to launch this intergenerational dialogue from here, Ghana is to remind African young people that the political freedom they enjoy started here,” she said.
“Ghana is the first country to become independent. But is also the first to open its doors to all liberation movements of that time.”
She noted that liberation movements such as the African National Congress (ANC) and the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) were based in Ghana from where they strategized to free the continent from colonialism.
“So we thought it was appropriate for us to honour history and to say to Africans and to the rest of the world that this global peace movement is being launched from here. Because it is a sort of second liberation of the world for a peaceful, prosperous and inclusive world,” she said.
“We want you also to remember that it started again here in Accra, Ghana.”
Mrs Machel said technology had created a difference between the world of young people and the world their parents grew in.
She urged the youth to use technology to end the root causes of conflict; which were poverty, unemployment and inequality.
She said while many young people would adapt to technological innovations, many would also be left behind.
“Those that would be left behind would fear for the future and this today is what is driving the anxiety, that is driving people to racial, religious, ethnic and other identity prejudices and leading to extremist behavior,” she said.
Mrs Machel also called for support for the poor and the vulnerable in society.
Dr Vasu Gouden, Founder, Global Peace, said peace was not merely the absence of war; stating that “peace is the absence of poverty, unemployment and inequality”.
Dr Emmanul Kwesi Aning, the Director, Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre; and Dr Chukwuemeka B. Eze, the Executive Director, West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP) on the behalf of their respective institutions pledged their support for the Global Peace IGD initiative.