The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) in collaboration with the Women International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF-GH), and support from International Campaign to abolish Nuclear Weapons(ICAN) organized a Civil Society Organisation training workshop on the UN Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons(TPNW) On 15th March, 2023 in Accra.
The workshop brought together 30 participants representing CSO and relevant government and international agencies. The agencies included Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, Ghana National Small Arms Commission, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, United Nations Development Programme, the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre and the Ghana Red Cross Society.
The workshop sought to improve the knowledge of Ghanaian CSO on the TPNW and garner support for the treaty. Most importantly the meeting aimed at canvassing CSO support for the nuclear ban treaty and strengthen the advocay for Ghana to ratify the TPNW.
The TPNW is a UN-engineered treaty adopted by the General Assembly on 7 July 2017 and eventually came into force on 22 January 2021. This International instrument is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons. Ghana signed unto this treaty on 20th September, 2022 but is yet to ratify.
In an opening Statement, The Executive Director of FOSDA, Mrs Theodora Williams Anti called on Ghana to ratify the TPNW as a global leader on Peace and Security Issues. The Executive Director recalled the leadership role Government of Ghana played in the negotiation of the Treaty and called on Ghana, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make good of its leadership by ratifying the Treaty.
Mr. Barima Asirifi, an Assistant Director, Consular Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reiterated Ghana’s commitment to global peace and security and to the TPNW. He indicated that the Government of Ghana has always showed interest in the TPNW and is taking steps to ratify soon.
Ms Ayo Amaale, the Executive Director of the Women International League for Peace and Freedom, who made a presentation on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons urged participants and their organisations to support the treaty due to the devastating effects of Nuclear Weapons on Humanity.
Some CSO organisation represented include WANEP, Africsis, MFWA,WACCE, YPS-Africa, the Network of Women Mediators in Ghana, RAGET-Africa, and Ghana Christian Council.
A key recommendation at the workshop was for civil societies to strengthen their voice for the nuclear ban treaty and devise diplomatic ways to urge the relevant parties to push Ghana to ratify the Treaty.