The Minister of Labour and Employment Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray has disclosed that women and youth are on record to have suffered the worst atrocities during conflicts.
He made this statement at the official opening ceremony of Christian Aid for Under-assisted Societies Everywhere (CAUSE Canada) regional peace building conference at the Miatta Conference Hall in Freetown with the theme “increase participation of women and youth in the peace building conference in West Africa.” It is a three days programme which will end on the 12th May 2010. Participants were drawn from Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone.
Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray in his keynote address said that the conference is a sequel to the 2009 West Africa Peace Building Project Conferences that were held in Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone organized by CAUSE Canada.
He said during their sojourn in West Africa, CAUSE Canada has become a strong and dependable partner for the promotion of peace in these three countries. “These countries were recently embroiled in violent civil conflicts that threatened the peace of the entire sub-region of West Africa” the Minister said.
Against this background he said the peace building project of CAUSE Canada was initiated to work in partnerships with Governments, NGOs, and International Development Agencies to promote peace, democracy and development in the subregion.
“It became necessary to integrate women and youth issues into the aspiration of the States of Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone” he added.
He informed participants that the aim of the conference is to facilitate experience sharing, information gathering and capacity building.
Giving an overview of the peace building project, Mr. Daniel N’bompa-Turay said CAUSE Canada started in 2008 and its focus is deeply rooted in the conviction that poor people must be catered for.
He said their purpose is to identify the root causes of conflict in Africa which he attributed to the marginalization of women and youth in a country. “Integral in peace building is the women and youth wherein their participation is crucial” Mr. Turay said.
Making a statement co-founder and Executive Director of CAUSE Canada Paul Carrick expressed his love for Africa and stated that he had worked for 30 years in Africa and that he will continue until it reaches its goal.
Also the Country Director CAUSE Canada Sierra Leone partnership, Arthur Cummings said the aspiration of CAUSE Canada is to see that people live their life to the fullest and to divert from negativity, marginalization and humiliation.
The Director of ENCISS, Sybil Max-Bailor, British High Commissioner, Ian Hughes, Executive representative of the UN Secretary General, Michael Shulenberg, representative of women and youth were present at the occasion and made meaningful statements in support of the CAUSE Canada initiative that women and youth must be properly cared for if a country wants to consolidate and maintain peace.
By Emmanuella Kallon