By Dawda Baldeh
The two days training of inter-party committee dialogue (IPC) mediation process aimed to bring together members of the Gambia’s 16 political parties together as the country is heading to the polls in the next 12months.
“Dialogue is the only possible solution to all the problems people are facing today” UNDP Rep The UNDP boss highlights the relevance of dialogue in peace building mechanisms.
The event was organized by the West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and other partners.
Aissata De UNDP Resident representative calls for the inclusion of more women in the decision making system in politics.
She said women should be given the space to take part in decision making. “Dialogue is the only possible solution to all the problems people are facing today. She highlights the relevance of dialogue in peace building mechanisms”.
She further urged politicians to go back and focus on development after elections. She added that there can’t be any development without peace.
The county Adviser for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Claude Condo said, it can be recalled in 2016 during the political impasse , that the first attempt of the ECOWAS in the country was to have dialogue. “The political space is now open in the country and ECOWAS is so grateful for that”, She said. Political pluralism is very important Condo told the gathering.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Halifa Sallah, Co-chair of the inter-party committee dialogue and mediation process said it is because of dialogue, the country didn’t plunge into chaos in the 2016 elections, Sallah said dialogue is fundamentally key to any national development.
Honorable Sallah said dialogue must have contests and content and that’s why we are here, he told the gathering. He added “dialogue should be our pillars in everything we do”. We have gone through a lot of hardships and we don’t want to experience that anymore. If we do not want the recurrence of such, then we must have a preventive strategy.
He said citizens’ education required us to know why we are citizens. “If the civil society is weak, they won’t be able to hold the government accountable”, said Halifa.
For us to achieve our goals as Gambians we must embrace democracy and put aside our political affiliations and work together as one Gambia one nation.
The event was attended by religious leaders, ECOWAS adviser, UNDP resident representative, political figures among many others.
Editors Note: My apology for the Caption quoting UNDP Rep as calling on President Barrow to invite politicians for dialogue before the 2021 elections ;n rather it should read: Dialogue is The Only Possible Solution