John A. Kufuor, former President of Ghana to become Chair of Interpeace

October 14, 2009

John A. Kufuor, Former President of Ghana, is to be appointed Chairman of Interpeace, an international peacebuilding organization. Headquartered in Geneva, the organization helps societies manage conflict and build lasting peace. He succeeds former President of Finland and 2008 Nobel Peace Laureate, Martti Ahtisaari, who has held the role of Chairman of Interpeace since 2000.

“I have experienced firsthand the challenges of re-building societies ravaged by civil war. A peace agreement is often only the beginning of a long process to build sustainable unity within a nation. Interpeace is an exceptional organization and makes a tangible contribution around the world. Their hybrid structure, working as an independent non-governmental organization or in partnership with the United Nations adds to their impact.” John A. Kufuor

Expressing his ambitions for the organisation, John A. Kufuor said: “I will work hard to ensure even more societies, communities and individuals can benefit from Interpeace‚Äôs work.”

President John A. Kufuor‚Äôs personality, his exemplary leadership in Ghana as President from 2001 – 2009, his role as Chairperson of the African Union from 2008 ‚Äď 2009, and his experience in peace initiatives throughout the African continent, demonstrate many of the values that are at the heart of Interpeace‚Äôs work.

Scott M. Weber, Director-General of Interpeace said: “President Kufuor is particularly in tune with our commitment to local ownership in conflict resolution and with the importance of peacebuilding involving all levels and sectors of society. We expect that his gravitas and credentials will help our work achieve even greater impact.”

Outgoing Chairman, Martti Ahtisaari will become Chairman Emeritus and Special Advisor, continuing to give his valuable insight. “I have always been proud to be associated with this unique organization,” said Martti Ahtisaari. “The Interpeace process ensures that peace is not imposed from the outside. It enables societies to take ownership of the challenges, the solutions and the peacebuilding process as a whole.”

John A. Kufuor will start to work with the Interpeace Governing Council in December. Council members include Hind Bint Hamad Al-Thani, Director of the Office of the Emir of Qatar; Paddy Ashdown, member of the British House of Lords; Zainab Bangura, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sierra Leone; Thomas Greminger, Head of Peace Policy for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs; Joao Honwana, Director, Africa I Division of the United Nations Political Affairs Department; Hisashi Owada, President of the International Court of Justice, The Hague; Jan Pronk, former Development Minister for the Dutch Government; Mohamed Sahnoun, former advisor to the UN Secretary General for Africa; Matthias Stiefel, Founder of Interpeace, and Anthony Travis, former Senior Partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers.