Nsawam (E/R), Feb. 20, GNA – The Akuapem South Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Mark Dompreh Amoako, says there can be no meaningful, lasting and sustainable development in the absence of peace.

“Show me a nation that has refused to embrace peace and I will show you a nation without a future or hope.”

Mr Amoako made the observation at the launching of the Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG), a non-governmental organisation, at Nsawam on the theme: “Towards Sustainable Development: The Role of the Youth in Building a Culture of Peace.”

He said in an election year such as 2012, there could not be a better theme which called on the Youth to build and maintain a culture of peace as the nation develops.

He said the almost failed states of Somalia and Sudan and the humanitarian crises in all the war-torn nations on the continent of Africa are cases in point adding, this was not what Ghanaians want.

Mr Amoako stated that it was not for nothing that the President John Evans Atta Mills is being referred to as “Asomdwee hene” king of peace and that it was no wonder that the country’s independence was won for us not through violence but through voices of freedom through dialogue and not through armed conflict.

He urged the youth to avoid drug abuse and other vices that would foment trouble and rather be law abiding and patriotic whilst asking them to set goals for themselves that would challenge them to maximize their potential.

The MCE said: “We cannot keep glorifying a culture of impunity where citizens insult even the President under the guise of democracy and expect to have peace. The time has come for us to change our attitudes.  Let us all be involved in the pursuit of peace.”

He called on the YAG not to exist in name only but to let their presence be felt through positive contributions in national debate.

Mr Emmanuel Ametepey, President of YAG, asked Ghanaians to avoid ethnicity so as to ensure peaceful election this year.

He said the organization was formed to build the capacity of young people, promote gender equality by empowering women to get involved in decision and policy making process.

It would also provide innovative, science-based effective health education on HIV/AIDS, malaria, drug abuse, hygiene and general healthcare for young people and to create a platform for discussion on local and international issues.

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