The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, has urged journalists to uphold high professional standards to help minimise hate speech and its consequence on national cohesion.
As gate keepers of news, he said journalists should advocate zero tolerance for misinformation, fake news, misrepresentation and exaggeration to build peace in the country.
Mrs Anno-Kumi (second from left) with Nana Dr. Asante (second from right), Mr Abani (left) and other dignitaries after unvailing the peace logo Photo Victor A. Buxton
Mr Dery made the call in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director, Mrs Adelaide Anno-Kumi, at the commemoration of the International Day of Peace 2023 held in Accra on Thursday.
Organised by National Peace Council (NPC) in partnership with the United Nations (UN), it also launched the “I Pledge for Peace” campaign and logo.
The International Day of Peace 2023 was on the theme; “Action for Peace: Our Ambition for the Global Goals”.
Mr Dery, said as the country was preparing for the 2024 general elections, journalists and media practitioners should not centralise on stories that promoted prejudices, misconceptions, hatred, violent conflicts and discriminations.
“Journalists and media practitioners have an obligation to tell the truth and be loyal in their reportage, it is only through good journalism that society can rely on all of us for the truth.
“Therefore, I will call on the members of the media to be independent, free, bold and serve the interests of the people and the state for our common good,” he said.
The Minister stated that the government was committed to supporting the NPC to deliver on its mandate to ensure peace and unity in the country.
Mr Dery stated that Ghana was losing its position from first to second most peaceful country in West Africa and fourth in Africa in the Global Peace Index was a major concern to the government.
According to him, Ghana had been the most peaceful country in West Africa for the past four years because the government and stakeholders had worked hard to achieve that goal because they believed that national development could thrive in a peaceful atmosphere.
The Chairman of NPC, Nana Dr Susubiribi Krobea Asante, said NPC’s mandate, defined in the National Peace Council Act 2011 was to explore mechanisms for preventing, managing, or resolving conflicts and promoting sustainable peace.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Ghana, Mr Charles Abani, said the pursuit of peace was a shared responsibility that required intentional and concerted efforts from all nations, organisations and individuals to tackle issues like inequality, social injustice and discrimination.
“Our role is to support the Government and the people of Ghana to achieve the country’s development vision and priorities. We therefore contribute to efforts towards strengthening the country’s peace architecture through the National Peace Council, especially to enable the country deal with emerging internal and external threats,” he said.