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General News of Saturday, 23 February 2008

Source: GNA

Veep unveils ambitious National Peace Plan

From Nana Kodjo Jehu-Appiah, GNA Special Correspondent, Havana

Havana, Feb. 23, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Thursday unveiled an ambitious national peace agenda, dubbed: "National Architecture for Peace" that aims at pre-empting all acts that could undermine stability in the West African State.

The initiative is aimed at attracting broad sections of people including chiefs, civil society organisations, public institutions and the security services to promote national peace and integration in consonance with a resolution adopted at the first standing Conference on Stability, Security and Development in Africa, held in Durban in 2002. Vice President Mahama made this known when he interacted with African diplomats in Havana, as part of his seven-day official visit to Cuba.

He observed that political intolerance; succession to traditional leadership structures; access to land and mineral resources among other things were some of the causes of national instability. "Sharing responsibility for peace building has many advantages. First a sense of ownership is a crucial motivation to success. It has also a strong potential to institutionalise a culture of peace," he said.

Vice President Mahama said Ghana was committed to the ideal of a world at peace with itself hence the national commitment to administer justice and manage grievances in a responsive manner.

"We believe in a global village. Conflicts anywhere, however low the intensity can have consequences everywhere. Specifically for Africa, durable peace is the only basis for accelerated growth for prosperity and human security."

He said Ghana had stuck to the adage that "charity begins at home by keeping its house in order.

Vice President Mahama said Ghana had fostered respect for the rule of law, transparency, accountability and free and fair elections for the past eight years under the leadership of President John Agyekum Kufuor, leading to internal peace.

"President Kufuor has led the quest for world peace by first keeping his house in order." He expressed regret about the post election carnage in Kenya, which had led to the loss of over 600 lives and displaced over 300,000 persons.

"Ghana would continue to strive for peace not just on the African continent but on the globe as a whole," he said. Mr Fidele Diarra, Malian Ambassador to Cuba and the Acting Dean of African Diplomats, called for workable approach to solving conflicts in Africa.

Currently there are 22 African diplomats serving in communist Cuba. The country is an archipelago with a population of 11.2 million. The Communist Party, which was formed in 1965 rules Cuba. Its ailing leader, Fidel Castro resigned from the post last week. A new Leader would be elected on Sunday, February 24, 2008. 23 Feb. 08

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