Accra , Oct 19, GNA – Ms Ruby Sandhu-Rojo, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Ghana on Friday lauded the country’s determination and commitment towards the sustenance of peace on the African continent.
These, she said had been achieved through the country’s effective peacekeeping and other alternative forms of dispute resolution, both within and outside of the country, to promote national and regional security, cohesion , and development to consolidate the gains made over the years.
Ms Sandhu-Rojo, was addressing the press in Accra on activities lined up for the 67th UN Day celebrations in Ghana, which would be observed under the theme: “Good Governance, Peace and Stability for National Development”.
The day, which falls on October 24 each year, provides an opportunity for countries to renew their shared devotions to the aims and objectives of the UN, highlight and celebrate, and also reflect on the achievements of the Organisation through various activities.
In Ghana the theme has been chosen judging from the challenges that confront nation-building and more significantly in line with the country’s preparations towards the December 2012 election.
Activities would include radio and television discussions and discussions on breakfast shows, a Model UN Session by school children, “What do you know” quiz programme on GTV, and a flag raising ceremony at the forecourt of the State House, Accra.
Ms Sandhu-Rojo stressed that it was important to note that development alone could not bring about peace, but rather peace must be recognized as a critical ingredient to development, while development also becomes necessary to sustain peace.
She noted that although Ghana had been successful in conducting five peaceful general elections, the political maturity must be preserved to ensure peace and security both in the country in the sub-Region.
She also spoke about the high level of commitment exhibited by political leaders and Civil Society Organisations towards peace and the peaceful manner in which the Biometric Voter Registration exercise was conducted, as a good sign towards the successes of the elections 2012.
Ms Sandhu-Rojo said part of activities for the celebrations the UN would engage in various forms of dialogue with countries who are likely to miss the realization of some of the Millennium Development Goals, especially those on Maternal and Infant mortality among others, to develop a plan of action for the achievement of such goals.
Ambassador Chris Kpodo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, paid tribute to the UN and its Systems who have remained dedicated over the past 67 years to the service of humanity, sometimes at the peril of their lives.
He noted that the choice of the theme for the celebration was an emphatic recognition of the connection between peace, stability and national development and further cited their significant role in fostering national cohesion and development.
He stated that the reality that development could only be achieved in a peaceful and stable environment underscored the sustained efforts being made by Government to stem the tide of inter and intra-ethnic conflicts, through the intervention of local institutions and structures like the National Peace Council and the Committee of Eminent Chiefs.
“As a country whose constitution imposes on us the responsibility to establish a just and free society, where every Ghanaian would have the opportunity to live long, productive and meaningful lives, we hold a strong conviction that every single life lost as a result of armed violence, represents a setback to our national development”, he said.
“Today, we are less than 50 days away from conducting our presidential and parliamentary elections. H.E the President of the Republic has assured the nation and the international community of his personal, as well as Government’s commitment to ensuring that the elections are free, fair and peaceful. That assurance indeed, reaffirms our determination, as a nation, to sustain good governance,” he said.
Ambassador Kpodo said Ghana’s success in election 2012 would again be a significant test of her commitment to democratic governance as an essential prerequisite for sustainable peace and development.