The National Peace Council has called on the government to develop comprehensive and sustainable programmes to ensure that young people are productive and contribute to the resolution of all forms of violence in the country.

The Council considers that the lack of a coherent, pragmatic and sustainable socio-economic policy for young people in terms of job creation, access to education and social security makes them victims of politicians who commit violence before, during and after elections.

Reverend Samuel Kofi Osabutey, Chairman of the Greater Accra Regional Peace Council for Youth Ambassadors for Conflict Prevention in the run-up to the 2020 elections, said Thursday at a Commonwealth-funded dialogue meeting with young people in selected conflict prevention hotspots before, during and after the 2020 elections.

The programme brought together peace ambassadors in the communities of Nima and Askheiman, who were trained before the December elections to make their voters aware of the need for peace.

It called for the continuation of the dialogue with stakeholders in order to counter the insecurity in the country caused by the public’s mistrust of political leaders and security institutions.

In 2019, there were approximately 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24, or 16 percent of the world’s population.

In Ghana, 57 percent of the population under the age of 25 consists of young people, which has serious socio-political, cultural and economic consequences for the country.

He noted that the country’s young people have great potential if they receive the attention and investment they need, and pointed out that the future of the country could be jeopardised if young people are led astray without taking into account the socio-cultural differences of others.

Article 2 of Law No 818 of the National Peace Council empowers the Council to promote and develop mechanisms for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts and the establishment of lasting peace in the country.

The law also empowers the Council to promote the use of non-violent strategies for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts and the establishment of lasting peace.

Pastor Osabutey said that since its establishment, the Council has played a key role in preventing and resolving conflicts and ensuring peaceful elections in the country, particularly in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections.

He advised young people to show a strong sense of tolerance, trust, mediation, diversity, dignity, honesty and respect for others, as these values are the cornerstones of peace building.

I appeal to all of us to respect differences of opinion in order to strengthen our national development and uncompromising commitment to peaceful coexistence and the peaceful resolution of conflicts and disputes, he said.

He said that ensuring peaceful coexistence for all is not only the prerogative of the government, but also the collective responsibility of all well-meaning Ghanaians to actively contribute to the country’s peaceful agenda.

Dr. Enyonam Kudonu, a professor at the University of Ashesi, advised young people not to use politicians to mutilate themselves in the run-up to the elections.

Don’t let anyone use you to disturb the peace in your country for the benefit of your parish, but be determined not to talk about such tendencies, he said.

She called on them to contribute to their lives and not to make material offers for actions that would destabilize the enviable peace in the country.

The participants expressed their strong commitment to become agents of change by disinfecting young people for peaceful elections.

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