Urban Security: UNICRI and the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) sign an agreement to promote security and development in urban settings

Turin, 5 November 2015. The President of the National Italian Municipalities (ANCI) and Mayor of Turin, Mr. Piero Fassino, and the Director of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), Ms. Cindy J. Smith, met at the City Hall of Turin for the signing of the agreement between ANCI and UNICRI.

The agreement aims to lay the foundation for the cooperation between the two organizations in order to promote urban security, in particular by preventing crime, reducing vulnerabilities and promoting development and human rights.

Among the many areas addressed by the agreement, the enhancement of urban security through the development of cities, the re-use of assets confiscated to criminal organizations, the fight against counterfeiting and the strengthening of community policing. The agreement envisages the development of pilot projects aimed at strengthening institutional capacity, promoting the development of marginalized districts and improving knowledge and sharing of good practices in the field of crime prevention and security.

Ms. Smith and Mr. Fassino underlined the importance of strengthening participatory practices through the establishment of platforms for dialogue involving institutions, international organizations, local communities and the private sector with the aim of channeling resources and expertise to build resilience and mitigate risks.

"This agreement on urban security focuses on a human-centric approach and is based on the promotion and implementation of measures that have the potential of generating a concrete impact on citizens and building a community shared responsibility over urban settings. In addition, this agreement represents an added value in the framework of the action that ANCI is conducting in the Italian cities to promote security and the rule of law .” said Mr. Fassino.

The approach that ANCI and UNICRI intend to develop aims at reducing the vulnerabilities of specific social actors - including women, the elderly, migrants, young people and children at risk - and at promoting inclusive strategies. The agreement reads that the development of integrated services, the allocation of resources for development and the creation of educational services, training and job placement for young people at risk are the most important tools to counter organized crime’s infiltration and illicit traffics.

"Founded on the principles of the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda, this agreement may allow us to produce a concrete impact at the urban level. Cities are social spaces, networks of networks in which many different economic, cultural and political actors interact. Criminality, violence and injustice combined with the constant pressure that our global society generates, have an immediate and amplified impact on urban settings. We have to work at the local level and promote actions aimed at creating social cohesion, increasing communities’ resilience and capacity to quickly adapt to new challenges. We have to generate a fair and sustainable urban change”, said the Director of UNICRI, Cindy J. Smith.

Concluding the meeting the President of ANCI, Piero Fassino, has launched a new initiative: a forum of European mayors on migration, smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons, and all criminal activities that are associated to the migration emergency in Europe.

On November 16 at UNICRI HQs, Mr. Piero Fassino and Ms. Cindy Smith will deliver the opening speech of the international meeting on community policing and urban security that will see law enforcement agencies from all regions of the world discussing good practices and case studies.

The Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani is the representative body for the Italian municipalities. It promotes their social development and protects their legitimate interests in relations with other public institutions. It is mandated to provide support, technical assistance and service on behalf of Italian municipalities. Moreover, ANCI fosters studies on issues which are relevant to its members and provides the municipalities with information, expert advice and assistance, either directly or by means of other relevant subjects. ANCI facilitates and provide support in the implementation of urban security policies and actions to counter criminal phenomena. It also promotes the exchange of good practices to enhance public accountability and law enforcement services.

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