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General News of Thursday, 1 November 2012

Source: GNA

Let's use dialogue to settle differences - Minister of Defence

Lt General. Joseph Smith, Minister of Defence has called for the use of dialogue in settling differences and avoiding violence especially during this elections period.

He said during the Second World War, six million people lost their lives and many properties were destroyed but after many years of fighting, a solution was eventually sought on the negotiation table hence the need to consider dialogue first by any group of persons.

He said this at the launch of the Ghana National Action Plan GHANAP 1325 for the Implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution UNSCR 1325 on Wednesday in Accra.

The UNSCR 1325 is an initiative of the united nations (UN) to deal exclusively with women in armed conflicts and establish a comprehensive agenda on women, peace and security.

It also seeks to ensure the participation of women in peace processes and peace building activities and gender-sensitive training for personnel involved in peace support operations.

Madam Juliana Azuma-Mensah, Minister of Woman and Children's Affairs, said the U.N. called on Member States to continue the implementation of the Resolution 1325 through the development of National Action Plans or other national level strategies. .

She said the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, to operationalize and implement UNSCR 1325 was supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), amongst others in developing a three-year Ghana National Plan of Action (GHANAP 1325) on Women Peace and Security to be implemented from 2012 to 2015 which was launched at the event.

The launch which was on the theme: ‘Women, peace and security’ was aimed at creating awareness of GHANAP 1325 and facilitating the dissemination of the plan.

“This Action Plan emphasized the vital roles women could play in conflict prevention, through participation in peace negotiations as well as developing mechanisms to address gender-based and sexual–based violence, with regard to the promotion of women's human rights,” Madam Azuma-Mensa said.

She said the Plan of Action was based on three pillars, namely the participation of women in conflict prevention, peace and security institutions and processes; protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls in situations of conflict and peace support operations; and the prevention of violence against women including sexual, gender-based and conflict-related violence.

Madam Azuma-Mensa said considering the issues embedded in the pillars, the security sector would have a major role to play in the implementation of the National Plan of Action which was co-signed by the Ministries of the Interior and Defence.

Participant at the launch included representatives of all security agencies in Ghana, civil societies and representatives from all ministries.

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