The Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES-Ghana), has called on government and other stakeholders to make young people central to national efforts towards achieving peace in the 2020 general election and beyond.
It said Ghana’s peace regime had become a “shining light” within the sub-region and globally recognized as having all-hands-on-deck approach, thus the need for the involvement of more young people in ensuring and maintaining the nation’s peace.
In a release issued to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, the Organisation said on the occasion of this year’s International Day for Peace, “the YES-Ghana urged Ghanaians to work together once again to consolidate our peace by fostering togetherness even in the face of divergent views and provocation.”
It said “we must fight for peace rather than fight ourselves as we are a people with a common destiny.”
The statement said since 2008, YES-Ghana had been implementing the Youth Peace Ambassadors (YPA) project to support youth-led action for peace in major conflict flashpoints across the country.
It said the YPA project had been deepening youth leadership in peacebuilding and conflict transformation in various regions across the country through voluntary participation, collaboration and networking.
The release said YPA Project was in line with SDG Goal 16 of promoting peace, justice and strong institutions, and also in line with their corporate commitment of amplifying the voices of the youth in the country’s peacebuilding architecture.
It said this year, YPA project was supporting young activists in the Northern, Savannah and Upper East regions with the skills and capacity they needed to collaborate and facilitate community cohesion in preventing conflict and electoral violence
“As part of activities under the project, a youth forum will be held at the end of September in each of the participating regions to bring together over 200 youth groups and key stakeholders under one roof to learn and share ideas about the peace architecture and how they can use their voices to promote peace during the elections.”
It added that a week-long peace camp was also scheduled for October, following, which Young Peace Ambassadors will be deployed in their communities to forge peaceful coexistence before, during, and after the general election.
It said the efforts would deepen youth-led efforts for peace across the participating regions, and urged young people to be ambassadors of peace wherever they found themselves and not allow themselves to be used by anyone to disrupt peace in Ghana.
“We also implore all politically-active youth to engage each other with decency and decorum on campaign platforms and during discussions on traditional and new media. Let us not take the peace of the country for granted by engaging in acts that will cause mayhem as the polls draw nearer. Let us go to the polls peacefully and return united than ever.”