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General News
UNDP Earmarks US$800,000 For Conflict Prevention In Ghana 2/23/2007
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Office in Ghana has earmarked 800,000 US dollars to build the capacities of various local institutions and groups to play effective roles in conflict prevention and management in the country.

Mr Daouda Toure, UNDP Resident Representative, who announced this at ceremony where he presented a 33,000 US dollar Toyota Land Cruiser to the National Peace Council (NPC), said it was important to put as many institutions and groups in the country on the alert for early warning signals to nib potential conflicts in the bud.

The groups and institutions captured under the conflict prevention capacity building project included the NPC, Regional and District Peace Advisory Councils, chiefs, the media as well as youth and women groups.

Mr Toure said UNDP considered conflict prevention as a vital part of the development of any country and that the identification of early warning signals was critical to the success of any conflict prevention and for that matter development process.

“The entire project, dubbed; “Strengthening National Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in Ghana”, is based on the recognition and conviction of the UNDP that conflict and poverty are closely interrelated and that to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), conflict management and peace building are critical components of sustainable development in Ghana,” he said.

He noted that the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) II objective of attaining good governance, sustaining and deepening democracy was under threat to chieftaincy disputes with its under currents of inter-group, ethnic and political considerations.

Mr Toure said UNDP therefore considered unemployed youth for instance constituted a potentially dangerous group, which could aggravate conflicts by yielding to their survival instincts and thereby follow recalcitrant persons who were willing to buy their services participate in conflicts.

Mr Toure said job creation for the youth was therefore very critical not only to the development of the nation but also to conflict prevention. “It is also very important to deal with conflict with a regional approach as there is a possibility of spill-over from neighbouring countries,” he said.

Mr Francis Azuimah, Peace and Governance Programme Officer of the UNDP, told the Ghana News Agency that media was specifically targeted for training in the management of information, investigative journalism, conflict reporting and ethics to ensure that media reportage on conflicts would not aggravate them.

He said chiefs were also targeted for training in modern leadership styles to make them more transparent and open to the subjects and thereby allow participatory decision-making and the involvement of youth and even women in the discussion of issues that affected their communities.

“We are making a headway in that direction because in several of the communities we have implemented the project, chiefs now sit with women at decision-making tables and even in some cases, women have been given leadership roles in the community,” he said.

His Eminence Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson, Chairman of the NPC, received the vehicle on behalf of the council and expressed their gratitude to the UNDP.

He noted that the council was in the process of lobbying Parliament to begin the process of backing the council with a proper legal instrument and funding, saying that until then, the council would continue to depend on the kind gesture of UNDP for all its activities

Source: GNA

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