The First Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum was held in Accra, Ghana, this week with the participation of scores of high level delegates, including seven former African Heads of State, and Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS).
The forum, organized by the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) under the theme, ‘Peace Operations in the Context of Violent Extremism in Africa’, was meant to discuss evolving trends in peace and security in Africa and also to honor the achievements of the late Kofi Annan and to immortalize his memory.
“The forum seeks to provide a platform for robust engagement on critical peace and security issues affecting the African continent. Our actions are guided by our mission to foster peace and stability through the provision of a globally-recognized capacity and policy support for all actors on African peace and security issues”, stated the Commandant of KAIPTC, Air Vice Marshall Griffiths S. Evans at the opening of the forum.
In his address, the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, identified key interventions, which can be implemented to tackle violent extremism.
“It is important that we promote and develop, on the continent, a system and culture of accountable governance, free of corruption, whereby our people are governed in accordance with the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability”, he stressed.
He also threw more light on Ghana’s counter terrorism policy to combat violent extremism.
“Our Counter Terrorism Policy seeks to prevent acts of terrorism in the country. The Counter Terrorism Policy has led to the setting up of a Counter Terrorism Unit, within the National Security Council Secretariat, to lead and co-ordinate our efforts in the fight. Ghana has adopted a well-coordinated Inter Agency Approach, which encourages the timely sharing of information and intelligence, operational coordination and joint strategy formulation, and has proved essential towards ensuring the efficient execution of the country’s Counter Terrorism Policy”, he explained.
The Kofi Annan Forum brought together over two hundred high-level delegates and diplomats from governmental and intergovernmental organizations (including the African Union and its Regional Economic Communities, United Nations and European Union).
Security professionals and representatives from policy and research think tanks, development partners, training institutions and civil society groups were all present to participate in the dialogues.