CALENDAR OF EVENTS
West African Ambassadors for Peace Converge in Abidjan
Written by The Analyst, Abidgjan, Cote d'Ivoire
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Eminent Ambassadors for Peace in West Africa converged this week in Abidjan, capitol of the Ivory Coast, to promote regional understanding and cooperation on peace, security and economic development in West Africa.
The seminar, sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), deliberated on the theme: Principles and Application of Peace and brought together parliamentarians, academicians, religious leaders of diverse faiths, media practitioners and leaders of non-governmental organizations, among others.
The UPF Director for Africa, Rev. Eiji Tokuno, emphasized in his opening statement that the UPF seeks to assist the United Nations in making needed reforms that would help all nations to make progress towards a culture of peace.
UPF has been working through an emerging network of national and local peace councils harnessing the experience, wisdom, and creativity of more than 75,000 peace ambassadors worldwide.
Rev. Tokuno informed the Ambassadors for Peace about six subsequent conferences scheduled to be held in West, Central, South and East Africa, all geared toward strengthening ties and promoting peace and development on the African continent.
The Secretary-General and International Representative of UPF Liberia, Rev. Augustine S. Arkoi, on his part informed fellow delegates of ongoing Mano River Union (MRU) sub regional reconciliation and peace initiative recently held in Monrovia with the specific goal of instituting National Peace Councils.
Rev. Arkoi further emphasized the need for governments, United Nations and other agencies to seriously prioritize the adoption of reconciliation and sustainable peace building programs as major pillars of their programs at all times.
He especially challenged parliamentarians in the gathering to vigorously network beyond national interest and to embark on exchange of visits and experience sharing so as to preserve peace and stability in West Africa.
Rev. Arkoi reminded the delegates to reflect on the scars and bitter war experiences of Liberia and Sierra Leone and concluded that another war in Ivory Coast was unnecessary and absolutely unacceptable.
Member of Ivorian Parliament, Hon. Tano K. Leon, commended Rev. Tokuno and UPF International for the timely intervention made and assured the organizers of UPF seminar that the government and people of Ivory Coast will fully seize the opportunity to reconcile, adding that most countries in the sub region rely on Ivory Coast in many respects.
All participants were certificated and the 3-day seminar concluded with all delegates committing to network beyond borders.
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