Finding better responses to a changing landscape of conflict and violence is becoming an increasing priority in international security, development, and peacebuilding circles. Yet architects, urban planners, and city authorities are only slowly starting to be part of this conversation. Not least, this is because peacebuilding efforts have traditionally been associated with inter-state or civil wars; and this despite a growing convergence among experts that most violent conflicts no longer fit these categories. While wars in Syria, Iraq or Yemen make the headlines, the great majority of violent deaths occur in urban “non-conflict” settings, with Central America, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and South America being the worst-affected regions. There, many city policies have emphasized repressive approaches where state authorities crush crime through “law-and-order” initiatives or a “war on drugs”. These approaches, however, have largely proven to be ineffective in terms of violence and crime reduction, and in sustaining peace.
This networking event builds on over three years of work on the confluence of urban safety and peacebuilding practice in contribution to the High-Level Forum on Sustaining Peace convened by the President of the UN General Assembly in April 2018. The event also launches the second cycle of exchanges of the Technical Working Group on the Confluence of Urban Safety and Peacebuilding Practice convened by the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform – in view of supporting the implementation of the Secretary General’s Report on Conflict Prevention and the UN's sustaining peace agenda. Both agendas are critical components of UN reform, and of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda (NUA).
Venue: Room 406, World Urban Forum, Kuala Lumpur Convention Center
Sustaining peace through urban safety: Introduction and setting the scene
Achim Wennmann, Executive Coordinator, Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, and facilitator of the Technical Working Group on Urban Safety and Peacebuilding
Understanding the nexus between security sector reform and urban safety
Fairlie Chappuis, Programme Manager, Policy and Research Division, Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)
Investigating human rights violations related to the security sector: Lessons and opportunities for urban safety
Jerald Joseph, Commissioner of SUHAKAM, the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) of Malaysia
Urban development and consequences of spatial segregation in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (Mexico)
Bernd Pfannenstein, General Director of the consulting firm Planstadt S.C., Guadalajara (Mexico), and collaborator of the Program Innovative Governance of Large Urban Systems of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne
Reflections on urban safety and sustaining peace
Franz Vanderschueren, Director of the Center for Citizen´s Security, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago, Chile, and Coordinator of the team of technical advisers of the Global Network on Safer Cities
Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)