São Paulo Mayor, Ms. Marta Suplicy, and the Secretary-General of the new international local authorities organisation, United Cities and Local Governments, Ms. Elisabeth Gateau, held talks in São Paulo last month with UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan and UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka.The UN Secretary-General was in São Paulo for the United Nations talks on trade and development, UNCTAD XI and visited one of 20 integrated education Ms. Suplicy helped establish for people living in the city’s favelas or slums.
Ms. Suplicy also held a working session with Mrs. Tibaijuka, during which they discussed the key elements of a partnership agreement between UCLG and UN-HABITAT.
In an address to a panel meeting on urban security, Mrs. Tibaijuka said the Latin American region is facing a critical moment because of high crime rates and urban violence: “Youth and the poor are disproportionately affected in this context because of the lack of opportunities for their development,” she said. “On the other hand there is the problem of easy money by entering the world of crime.”
Seated beside the Quito’s Metropolitan Director of Security, Ms. Lorena Ruiz, the Secretary of Urban Security of São Paulo, Mr. Benedito Mariano, the Mayor of Diadema (a municipality in the metropolitan area of São Paulo) José Fillippi, and the Security Delegate from the Municipality of Madrid, Mr. Jesus de la Cruz, Mrs. Tibaijuka outlined UN-HABITAT’s Safer Cities Programme. “It is important that local governments have local strategies against urban violence and crime,” she said.
In Latin America during the 1980s, the average rate of homicides in urban areas was 22.9 for every 100,000 inhabitants, compared to a world average was 10.7. At the end of the 1990s the average had risen to 30 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants.