The Chairman of the National Peace Council, the Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, has been awarded the 2014 US Embassy Martin Luther King, Jr Award for Peace and Social Justice.
This is in recognition of his unwavering commitment to promoting peace and security throughout the country during Ghana’s 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The award, which was initiated in 2007, recognises Ghanaian citizens who personify the philosophy and actions of Dr Martin Luther King Jr by helping to build a culture of peace, dialogue and conflict resolution.
“The Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante played a significant role in engaging with the various stakeholders to maintain peace and calm in the country before, during and after Ghana’s 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections” said Gene A. Cretz, the US Ambassador at the ceremony to celebrate Most Rev. Asante in Accra.
Ambassador Cretz said throughout Ghana’s 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections, the demand of the citizenry on the government and the political parties to ensure transparent, accountable and peaceful electoral processes before, during and post-election was high.
He said during the election period, Most Rev. Asante’s role as Chairman of the National Peace Council undertook various interventions in collaboration with other partners to consolidate peace in the country.
The interventions included dialogue with the various political parties; engagement with institutions such as the media, the judiciary, the security services and the Electoral Commission; development of a strategic plan; visits to potential conflict sites across the country; and organisation of capacity-building drives and peace campaigns.
Additionally, the Most Rev. Asante introduced the Ambassador for Peace Initiative and organised Peace Walks across the 10 regional capitals.
He also engaged with the National Youth Authority to organise the National Peace Rally in Takoradi, on the theme: “Partnership Christian Youth for Peaceful Elections”.
“Perhaps the Most Rev. Asante’s greatest achievement during the year was his collaboration with Manhyia Palace, the Institute of Democratic Government, UNESCO and other actors and institutions to encourage all the presidential candidates to sign a peace pact to symbolise their commitment to fighting electoral violence, impunity and injustice in Ghana” the Ambassador said.
Ambassador Cretz said all the programmes and activities initiated by Most Rev. Asante exemplified the principles for which Dr King fought so hard for.
For his part, the Most Rev. Asante, who is also the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, expressed his appreciation for the honour done him.
He said experiences from many parts of the world indicated that human development was often destroyed or derailed or delayed by armed conflict.
“When violence erupts, its destructiveness spreads across actors, structures and processes involved in governance, all of which takes a heavy toll on the local population”.
“Just as the famous statement of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, ‘I have a dream’ I equally have a dream for this country through the National Peace Council. My dream is deeply rooted in the Ghanaian’s quest for peace and sustainable development: I have a dream that one day issues of national concern would be discussed on political platforms devoid of political partisanship, ethnicity and tribe …” the Most Rev. Asante said.
In view of the fact that the National Peace Council is still struggling to equip its offices in the various regions, the Most Rev. Asante dedicated his monetary award to equipping some regional/district Peace Councils with computers and accessories.
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