Some 52 participants from across the globe gathered in Kuwait City late last month for a workshop on integrated safety priorities in cities for sustainable development.
Held under the leadership of Mr. Fadhel Safar, Minister of Public Works and State Minister of Municipalities of Kuwait, the international workshop brought together participants from 10 Sub Saharan Africa countries, 10 Arab States and from Europe, Kuwait, Japan and Canada.
During the workshop titled "Toward a framework to foster international cooperation for better access to public safety service in Africa and Arab States", experts exchanged knowledge and shared experiences on integrated safety priorities for sustainable urban development from Police, researchers and planners perspectives.
The overall goal of this international workshop was to contribute to the development of South-South cooperation framework between Arab States and Sub Saharan countries on urban development and safety issues. This was achieved through the formulation of the Declaration of Kuwait on Fostering Cooperation in Africa and Arab Regions on Integrating Safety in Sustainable Urban Development, the draft safer cities strategic plan for Africa, and the concept note developed to increase collaboration between Kuwait and African countries on urban safety according to UN-Habitat mandates.
Besides, the workshop was an opportunity to establish dialogue and to harvest constructive inputs on the issue of access to public safety and on crime prevention at municipal level in the context of decentralization. This information are being analyzed for the formulation of an action plan with the aim to foster institutionalization of integrated urban safety and social cohesion for the promotion of sustainable development in cities in Africa and Arab States.
Finally, participants acknowledge the need to promote the development of policies on crime prevention at country level and strategies to empower communities, senior decision makers, police organizations, urban planners and local authorities for improving the integration of safety principles in urban planning, management and governance for sustainable urban development. They also agreed to foster the development of database and information systems at neighborhood and municipal levels as well as learning networks between cities and countries to provide support for the promotion of a culture of community crime prevention through social planning and public engagement. UN-HABITAT and the Government of Kuwait were encouraged to play a leading role to make sure these follow up actions are realized.
Also present at the workshop were Ambassador Jasem Al-Mubaraky, Director of International Organisation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Eng. Ahmed Al-adsani Assistant Secretary General of Arab Towns Organisation, Dr. Adam Abdul Moula United Nations Resident Coordinator and Mr. Alioune Badiane Acting Director of Regional and Technical Cooperation Division of UN HABITAT.