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Ambassadors for Peace Appointed on Day of Peace in Cote d'Ivoire

Grand-Bassam, Cote d'Ivoire - Ambassadors for Peace and UPF staff in Cote d’Ivoire gathered at the Mantchan Hotel in Grand Bassam on September 21 to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

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The celebration started at 4 pm with around 100 people at the main hall. Most of those present were traditional chiefs who were to be newly appointed as Ambassadors for Peace. UPF in Cote d’Ivoire has been very active through the significant efforts of Ambassadors for Peace in Grand-Bassam, the first capital city of the country.

Ambassador for Peace Imam Dramé gave the opening invocation calling for unity of all the citizens of the nation under God’s dominion. He has been very active in strengthening UPF activities in Grand-Bassam and has attended many international UPF events overseas.

The Deputy Mayor of Grand-Bassam, the President of the UPF Peace Council of Grand-Bassam, and representatives of traditional chiefs respectively gave the welcoming remarks.

Young students of the city and professional musicians entertained the audience through some peace songs.

A play reflecting on the authority and power of traditional chiefs raised awareness of the challenges of the legacy in power management in Ivorian rural society.

It was also an opportunity to celebrate the first anniversary of the establishment of the Peace Council of Grand-Bassam. The President of the Peace Council of Grand-Bassam, Mrs. Dago, invited the Governor and his Deputy to cut the birthday cake.

Twenty new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed. They were representing traditional community chiefs ruling local and foreign ethnic communities as well as heads of NGO.

The Governor of Grand-Bassam, Beudjé Djoman Mathias, gave a lecture on “The Role of Traditional Chiefs in Education for Peace.” He started with an Ivorian proverb: “When there is no tree over a water supply, then that water will not be good for drinking.” He started with that quote to explain the fact that a village without a chief is not a good living environment. His lecture focused on three main points. First, there are a variety of backgrounds that traditional chiefs are rooted in and from where they are educating people, such as culture and customs gained from ancestors as well as civil rules and laws. Secondly, however, there were some insufficiencies in chiefs’ administration that needed to be updated, considering new challenges such us existing laws, the advent of NGOs, the development of the media, the current political crisis in the country, and drug and alcohol issues. Finally, the Governor added that he has been supervising a committee in charge of drafting a mission statement for traditional chiefs in order to help them rule their community properly and maintain peace.

Finally, the Governor expressed hope that the city of Grand-Bassam, which has been newly designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, could remain a city of peace and tranquility with all its different ethnic communities.

New Ambassadors for Peace were then introduced in more details to their mission by Adama Doumbia, Secretary General of UPF-Africa.

Finally, words of acknowledgment were given and a Christian pastor gave a benediction closing the three-hour celebration.

Read press coverage in French.

See photos of UPF observances in other nations of the International Day of Peace 2013.

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