Category: General Created on Wednesday, 06 June 2012 10:35 Published Date Written by GNA Hits: 230
Accra, June 5, GNA - Mrs Megan Schmidt, Outreach Officer of International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP), on Tuesday said the Government was helping ICRtoP to implement its objectives.
She said the Government and the Danish Government and other organization were helping the ICRtoP, a body that focuses on preventing and halting genocide, war crimes, crime against humanity and ethnic cleansing, to operate successfully.
Mrs Schmidt made the observation at the opening session of the three-day pilot training on Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) for civil society actors and multidimensional peace support personnel in West Africa, in Accra.
She said Ghana was crucial in the development of the national focal point initiative, which was first launched in 2010.
Mrs Schmidt said the initiative was to increase the ability of governments in preventing and responding to mass atrocities.
She said that the training and toolkit would help civil society groups to understand the operations of RtoP, and enhance the capacity of civil society groups and multidimensional peace personnel in the West African Sub-Region.
She said Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) created a monitoring group in 1990 in Liberia, 1997 in Sierra Leone and 1998 in Guinea Bissau, to protect civilians during conflicts.
ECOWAS adopted the conflict prevention frame work in 2008, which identified the ICRtoP obligations to ensure security through prevention, reaction and rebuilding after violent conflicts and humanitarian disasters.
Mrs Schmidt said that efforts to prevent mass atrocities had been taken by actors at all levels in West Africa, and responses had been sniffed by ECOWAS, individual governments and civil society to crisis such as the post-electoral violence in Cote d’Ivoire and present threat to the population in northern Mali.
Nii Addy, Technical Adviser at German International Agency for Development (GIZ), said the objective of GIZ’s engagement at the Kofi Annan International Peace-Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) was to support the work of the centre in its collaboration with ECOWAS, Trainers’ Centre of Excellence and regional civil society actors, to develop the civilian dimension of peace support operation.
He said the work of GIZ was focused on issues of conflict prevention and post conflict reconstruction which was the two key elements embedded in the RtoP norm.
Nii Addy said GIZ had supported the collaboration between West Africa Civil Society Institute and KAIPTC that led to the development of conflict prevention mechanism.
He said women and children were mostly affected by violent conflicts, and that the international community and human rights activists were concerned, especially with violent conflicts that led to genocide, ethnic cleansing and other crime against humanity.
Nii Addy stressed for cooperation between civilian and uniformed actors, civil society, national and international institutions, to prevent the occurrence of mass atrocities.
He called for active collaboration and strategic partnership between national governments, international organisations, development partners, security agents and regional training institutions.
Nii Addy said: “I hope that the toolkit will be used in future training on the RtoP norm and at the regional Training Centre of Excellence.”
Dr Thomas Jaye, on behalf of Commandant of KAIPTC, said KAIPTC was of the view that prevention of violence in all its forms must be given prominence within the academic and policy circles.
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