The II Forum on Urban Violence closes in Madrid with the commitment to an agenda of cities of coexistence and peace


An article from Tercera Informacion (translation by CPNN)

The II World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace closes Thursday [November 10] with the commitment to elaborate an agenda of cities of peace. Madrid continues the line started in April last year when, in the first edition of this meeting, a line of work was opened that highlighted the potential of cities as a stage to advance in the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (ODS), through the construction of a culture of peace.

The instruments to materialize such actions include:

– implement policies of caring rather than policies of security;

– articulate with the state governments the preparation, implementation and supervision of action plans for the prevention of violence;

– develop local action plans to address them.

In this sense, both the Forum and the commitment with which it closes its second edition “could become the basis for a more continuous and systematic expression of a local effort aimed at the prevention of violence.”

Pope Francis sent, through the archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Osoro, a letter to all the participants in the II World Forum on Urban Violence in which he expressed his hope that these days have served for dialogue and exchange: “That they have been an auspicious occasion to promote the construction of the social fabric of our towns and cities, so fragmented today by selfishness, injustice and aggression.”

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Questions for this article:

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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The Pope’s letter also encourages all participants to welcome certain people in a special way: “To the most fragile members, to the marginalized, to the discarded, so that they may have the opportunity to feel at home in a community that welcomes, integrates, sustains, and favors the recognition of the other in his own wealth and diversity.”

The words of the Holy Father were read by Carlos Osoro in the plenary on interreligious dialogue that was held early in the morning. Subsequently, Juan Luis Cano, the moderator of the closing, who read the letter during that session concluded the forum in a roundtable with a dozen women with experience in institutional representation and in government work and who have participated or actively participate in public life and the responsibilities of city government.

Women, agents of peace

“Women can feel safe being agents of peace. The most positive data on the culture of peace according to the latest statistics available for 2014 show that 16% of interpersonal violence has been reduced in the world “. This was pointed out by Mayor Carmena during the closing ceremony of the second edition of a forum that exceeded the figures of the previous year by bringing together 5,000 participants and sharing1000 experiences.

Liv Torres, executive director of the Nobel Peace Center, recalled that the regard and presence of women in conflict resolution is more important than ever: “The processes of mediation in which women participate last longer and they are more sustainable over time. We have to sit next to each other, support each other and show the value of women in their role as leaders.”

For its part, the Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebecca Grynspan, has pointed out that inequality is one of the main causes of violence and has added: “In Latin America there are 400 homicides per day but 80% of those cases occur in 2% of the Latin American territory.”

All have agreed on the importance of talking about education, changing the conception of masculinity and giving more economic autonomy to women to ensure that future generations really live in cities of peace.

After the debate, 400 girls and boys, between 12 and 16 years old, from different schools in the two districts of Valleca, have drawn the symbol of peace in Plaza Matadero, accompanied by an orchestra of social excluded children, an action initiated by the NGO Mundo sin Guerras.