Though conflict prevention and peace building are high on the global development agenda, less attention is paid to the great potential of decentralization as a means to these ends. In November, two UN-Habitat staff members – the manager and the Somaliland team leader of the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery – and other joint programme staff participated in a Decentralized Governance, Conflict Prevention, and Peace Building training course by the UN System Staff College.
The training was extremely relevant to the UN-Habitat Somalia Programme activities. It highlighted the central role of local government associations in successful decentralization and peace-building processes in several countries. Another topic was the increasing urbanization of issues pertaining to peace building and conflict prevention: local economic development, participatory local planning, and youth employment.