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7.3.2021 : 22:18 : +0100

Cities and Security

Urban armed violence and development

For the first time in history the majority of the world’s population resides in urban centres, and it is estimated that virtually all population growth over the next 25 to 30 years will occur in cities.  But as urban areas have grown, so has the problem of urban armed violence.  There is a need for a new agenda to address this urban challenge.

Inclusive Security, Inclusive Cities, a new Policy Paper from the secretariat of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, explores the issue.

Armed violence presents a challenge not only for states, but also for local government authorities, particularly at the city level. Providing the services needed to address armed violence can be costly, and high levels of urban violence impede economic and social development, and undermine local governance, trapping ‘the poorest population in a dangerous cycle of poverty and violence’.

Nonetheless, cities continue to attract considerable in-migration and serve as a pivotal environment for communities. The growth of cities and urban violence demands attention: not only do cities tend to offer greater economic and social opportunities, but they also offer  ideal settings for the promotion of effective policies to enhance development and reduce armed violence. 

As Joan Clos, the Executive Director of UN Habitat says on the occasion of the 7th World Urban Forum, 'With robust urban planning that focuses on public space and takes into account the needs of all citizens, cities can be places of economic growth, which are socially and environmentally sustainable.  There can be no sustainable development without sustainable urban development.'

Inclusive Security, Inclusive Cities is the first in a series of Policy Papers produced by the secretariat of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development. This series is designed to support policy decisions for the ongoing debates about the development framework that will follow the Millennium Development Goals. The Policy Papers will position armed violence reduction and prevention in the broader context of sustainable development to show how dealing with violence can have a positive developmental impact. Based on current evidence, the papers seek to highlight approaches that, it is believed, will reduce and prevent armed violence. They will inform discussion at the Geneva Declaration Regional Review Conferences, the first of which (for the Americas) is being held in Guatemala at the end of April.

Inclusive Security, Inclusive Cities is being released to coincide with UN Habitat’s 7th World Urban Forum: Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life, which is taking place in Medellin, Colombia from 5-11 April.



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