Include Africa’s viewpoints in global peace, security debates – Prof Duncan
Professor Samuel Ato Duncan, President General of the Center of Awareness Global Peace Mission (COA GPM), has called for the inclusion of the viewpoints of Africa in global debates on peace and security.
Prof Duncan, who said this at a joint graduation ceremony for Masters of Arts and Doctorate of Philosophy students at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in Accra, said a more representative and inclusive United Nations (UN) Security Council would benefit not only African countries but also the international community.
He was speaking on the theme: “Centering African Peace and Security Thought in a Multipolar World”.
Prof Duncan noted that while the UN and its affiliate bodies, since its establishment had developed policies and programmes aimed at promoting human development and sustainable peace, the African Union (AU) and its organs had consistently provided support towards achieving that peace and must be given a voice in the architecture.
He indicated that Civil Society Organisations in Africa, National Security Establishments and reputable educational institutions like the KAIPTC had also been involved in the collective quest for sustainable peace and ought to be acknowledged.
Prof Duncan, who said investments in peace and security globally had not been commensurate with the outcomes so far, said a study by the Institute of Economics, Peace, and Security (IEPS) indicated that conflicts and violence cost the world more than 14 trillion dollars a year through military and security expenditures.
He said while peacekeeping efforts were essential to peace, they were not enough to achieve long-term stability, given the fact that little or no attention had been given to the root causes of conflicts in Africa.
“Addressing these issues will require a deeper understanding of African societies and cultures,” he said.
Prof Duncan noted that peace was a priceless commodity and a necessary requirement for the development of any human society, and that peace must be an inborn quality and not an academic qualification that must be seen as a positive behavioral change.
He said peace must be imparted as a quality, and made a call for everyone to acquire the qualities of peace, noting that peace could only thrive on the principles of truth and love.
Mr Kwame Pianim, a Ghanaian Economist and guest of honour at the ceremony, said, peace constituted the foundation on which a viable and lasting superstructure for economic and social progress was built.
He indicated that importance of peace and security for steady and sustainable national development could not be underated, noting that the KAIPTC was playing a pivotal role in training and equipping its students for a continent that was thirsty for and in dire need of peace.
He said with the African continent being fraught with and prone to social and political instability, it behoved on the graduating students to serve with selflessness, humility and passion to deliver to lessen the challenges facing the continent.
Mr Pianim who commended the KAIPTC for its role in ensuring world peace, encouraged the graduates to live up to the standards of Kofi Annan’s life of integrity and service to humanity, adding that the direction and content of global debate in the 21st century on global affairs on peace and equity were shaped and influenced by him.
The joint graduation ceremony, which was the 11th since the Centre started its Masters and Doctorate programmes, brought together some dignitaries and families of the graduating students.
In all, a total of 71 Masters of Arts (MA) students and three Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) Students from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, La Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Nigeria graduated with MA in Conflict, Peace and Security, and MA in Gender, Peace and Security respectively.
Three others earned Doctorate of Philosophy in International Conflict Management.