By Baptista S. Gebu
Today, over 70 million people are displaced as a result of conflict, violence, persecution, and human rights violations. Half of them are children. With so many people around the world suffering as a result of war and violence, a peace dialogue is important as ever now. This dialogue must symbolize hope for peace.
The call to imagine this Rotary year is equally a call to prioritize dialogue on peace to promoting global peace and security as our collective responsibility, in a world in which peace amongst other factors will support promote Sustainable Development.
This peace event was put together to commemorate Rotary’s 118 years and to celebrate the power of global solidarity for building a peaceful and sustainable world. This dialogue on peace was a joint project with Rotary International District 9102’s selected clubs in Ghana.
The Rotary Club of Accra in partnership with Rotary Clubs of Accra- East, Morning Tide, Tema Community 25, Weija West and the Rotaract Club of the University of Ghana Legon on February 27, 2023 held this peace symposium at the Labadi Beach Hotel.
This peace event was graced by Rotary leaders and dignitaries to include the District Governor Victor Yaw Asante, District Governor Nominee Maame Hagan, Past Rotary International Director and Council of State member Hon. Samuel Okudzeto who was the Chairman for the occasion, Past Assistant Governor and Chair of the Peace Symposium Planning Committee – Jack Andrews Dotsey.
Professor Vladimir Antwi Danso – an international relations and security expert, Mrs Janet Sarney-Kuma – a director responsible for capacity development outreach with the Peace Council representing the Chairman of the Peace Council, and Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo of UNESCO representing the UN Resident Coordinator took turns to address the gathering on peace and security trends. Present were other Rotary district leaders, Imagine Presidents, fellow Rotarians, Rotaractors and guests.
The event was called to order by the Rotarian President Michael K. Frimpong of the Rotary club of Accra who re-iterated the event concept and gave way for speaker’s submission on the theme. This paved way for participant’s engagement and with some cultural performance put up by the Ashanti Traditional Cultural Troupe. The Event was facilitated by the District Vocational Training Teams and Rtn Juliet Amoah, the Rotary Peace Fellowship Chairs respectively.
To strive for peace,we must all refuse to accept conflict as a way of life. We all can support a call to ceasefire of all hostilities around the world. This Russia – Ukraine war is costing world peace and affecting not only global supply chains but a number of very important thematic issues. Elections are ongoing in the sub regions. Ghana’s election 2024 will be underway soon. Hence a call for stakeholders and all people of goodwill to focus on peace dialogue is a call in the right direction.
New forces of division have emerged, spreading hatred and intolerance. Terrorism is fueling violence, while violent extremism seeks to poison the minds of the vulnerable and young. In the poorest and least-developed parts of the world, climate-related natural disasters are compounding existing fragility, increasing forced migration and heightening the risk of violence.
Since 2002, The Rotary Foundation provides sponsorship for 130 Peace Fellows each year globally at 8 universities for a certificate or a master’s degree programme. The Rotary Peace Fellows are contributing to global peace through their various professions across industries.
The barriers to peace are complex and steep – no one country can solve them alone. Doing so requires new forms of solidarity and joint action, starting as early as possible. To approach the concept of peace with greater cohesion and inclusivity, broadening the scope of what we mean by peace building, we all need to find more ways for people to get involved in peace dialogue which begins with you.
Rotary is a global network of 1.4 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. For more than 110 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, Rotarians are always working to better our world, and stay committed to the end.