The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), has called for stronger regional partnerships to promote stability.
“International peace and security is a shared responsibility, so too is regional peace and stability. Regardless of the might and resources of any given country in the region, peace and security cannot be underwritten by a state alone, but by the collective efforts of states and the collective will and involvement of the population,” Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas stated in his speech at the Council on Foreign Relations Ghana second distinguished guest series public lecture in Accra.
Dr Chambas, who spoke on the topic: “An Agenda for Building Partnerships for Peace in West Africa and the Sahel: Challenges and Opportunities,” said efforts to sustain and build peace could only be guaranteed through partnerships at the communal, national and regional levels.
“The key point to be made here is that from a human security perspective, ensuring security is beyond the capacity of any individual actor or entity,” Dr Chambas said.
“We, therefore, need partnerships at various concentric levels: from the communities to the national, to the regional, continental and the global levels.”
He said that given the current and future dynamics and ramifications of conflict, no single entity, be it state, regional, international or non-state, was capable of responding to them alone.
Dr Chambas said several actors were indeed necessary and building a coalition of the like-minded and committed is unavoidable; declaring that “the prospects for peace are therefore ultimately defined by the quality of partnerships, as measured by inclusivity, consensus, capacity, and anchored on national (not merely state) ownership”.
He said given the potential implications of dynamics in neighbouring countries on peace and security in Ghana, it was imperative that the country paid particular attention to its regional diplomacy through effective partnerships within the framework of ECOWAS.
Thus, strengthening the national social contract with non-state actors to bridge the gap between state and society, and with neighbouring countries to promote and strengthen the regional peace and security architecture through layered partnership building represents a major and essential pathway for peace.
He noted that as aptly illustrated in the UN-World Bank joint report Pathways to Peace, the human and economic cost of conflict around the world required all concerned to work more collaboratively; adding that “this is also true for our region. Therefore, partnership is key, inclusion is indispensable for conflict prevention and sustaining peace”.
He said several actors were indeed, necessary, but none was singularly sufficient for peace.
He said the quality of partnerships was inter-linked at various concentric levels, and these multi-layered and multidimensional partnerships represent a major and essential pathway for peace.
Daniel K. Osei, President, Council on Foreign Relations Ghana, said Ghana had a key interest in the happenings in the West Africa sub-region.
The function was chaired by Mr Bentsi-Enchill, Senior Partner and Head of the Energy and Natural Resources Practice Group, Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa and Ankomah (BELA), a corporate and commercial law firm.