Paris, France, November 2020 – Efus has become a partner association of the Peace in Our Cities (PiOC) global initiative launched in September 2019 with the objective of reducing worldwide urban violence by half within the coming decade.
Efus will contribute to PiOC’s collective learning by sharing the knowledge acquired over three decades through working with European cities and regions and peer-to-peer exchanges.
11 mayors and 6 global partners
The Peace in Our Cities initiative was launched with 11 mayors from all over the world and 6 global partners with the aim of building a city-to-city platform to reduce and transform urban violence worldwide. Today, the initiative has 16 “early adopter” cities on board.
PiOC seeks to create an international platform in which cities can share lessons learned, researchers can present evidence, and civil society can constructively engage on risks and grievances in such a way that it can support an intentional, measurable reduction of overall global violence levels. This initiative will help the world achieve the global development goals, specifically the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16, to significantly reduce all forms of violence.
Six focus areas
Peace in Our Cities aims to address the most serious violence challenges taking place across cities in the world today. Indeed, many cities have low homicide rates, but struggle with other serious violence challenges, such as high levels of violence against women or the rise in intolerance and discrimination that can escalate into violent extremism. PiOC thus focuses on six main areas: violence against women; informal settlements; organised crime/criminal groups; national-local interaction; social media, and building relationships.
Aware that with targeted policies, programmes, and public engagement models, cities can significantly reduce and transform urban violence, PiOC works with city partners to help them identify the forms of violence they need to tackle in priority. They will then commit reducing them by half over the coming decade.
Efus to promote deeper understanding of the causes of violence in cities
Efus notes that rapid urban growth in Europe can lead to a sharpening of intolerant and discriminatory behaviour, which in turn can escalate into violent or criminal acts, jeopardising social cohesion and affecting the tranquillity and security of individuals, communities and the citizenry in general. By joining the Peace in Our Cities initiative, Efus will promote the importance of understanding and addressing the causes of violence at the urban level, moving beyond a focus on homicide and crime. In particular, Efus will advocate understanding and preventing the violence linked to polarisation and discrimination.
Join the initiative!
Efus is encouraging European local and regional authorities to join Peace in Our Cities. The initiative offers counselling to identify which forms of violence require more urgent action as well as exchanges of experiences. PiOC provides evidence briefs (see here), monthly webinars, exchange opportunities, political events showcasing individual city initiatives with the World Bank, the UN, other international conferences, and events for mayors, civil society and other organisations. The initiative also provides incentive funds to support violence reduction and peacebuilding investments.