By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Kpeshie Ridge
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), in collaboration with the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations (a Canadian government project) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has started a 10-day cadre for fifty (50) Minor Staff Duties officers and soldiers of GAF.
The rekindled cadre, being held at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC), on behalf of the General Headquarters (GHQ), from 13th to 24th January, 2020, is aimed at enhancing the leadership, analytic and communication skills of junior level officers, men and women, to perform command and staff functions in the UN setup.
Delivering her speech as the Guest of Honour at the opening ceremony, the Senior Liaison Officer of the Canadian High Commission, Ghana – Dianne Tisdall, said the collaboration of the parties involved, seeks to explore ways to increase the meaningful participation of women in peace operations.
Miss Tisdall expressed the hope that participants would build the skills necessary, to be nominated for peace deployment operations, and assured that over the next few years, Canada and Ghana would explore ways to improve the recruitment, retention, equipment, training and promotional opportunities for women.
“We are doing this together, because we know that when women are part of UN missions, communities respond better; they feel more comfortable with UN presence in their country and it also reduces levels of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA)”, the senior liaison officer said.
The objectives for the first batch of participants of the programme are; to understand the techniques used in generaI/operational staff work, targeting UN correspondence, operational briefs and operational report writing, and to also comprehend the structure, roles and functions of the UN and its sister organizations, in Peacekeeping environments.
Participants would also familiarize with some aspects of domestic and international affairs and how these influence security, intelligence, socioeconomic and political stability in UN operations, understand the relationship and application of command, leadership and communication, and to know the fundamentals of Military Decision Making Process and its application in the UN PSO environment.
The course would also seek to create a platform for professionals and key personalities with diverse exposure in PS0 and other fields, to share experiences with participants, and to understand the various dimensions, duties, responsibilities and framework of PS0.
Dignitaries present at the function were the Commandant, GAFCSC – Rear Admiral Moses Beick-Baffour, Assistant Commandant of GAFCSC – Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Mike Akpatsu and the Director-General, International Peacekeeping Support Office (IPSO) – Brig Gen Kwesi Mends.