First conference on urban security ever organised in Panama: “Experiences, achievements and challenges in citizen security and violence prevention policies in Latin America and Europe”

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15-16 October 2015 Panama City, Panama – The European Forum for Urban Security (Efus), who is collaborating with the Panamean Ministry of Public Security to strengthen its national citizen security strategy as part of its role as Executive Partner in the European Union’s EUROsociAL programme, organised the first national conference on urban security in Panama, on 15 and 16 October 2015.

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Titled “Experiences, achievements and challenges in citizen security and violence prevention policies in Latin America and Europe”, the event was co-organised by the Office for Integral Security of the Ministry of Security (OSEGI according to the Spanish acronym) and the European Union’s SECOPA cooperation programme with Panama, and gathered around 60 participants. These were representatives of the various institutions that work in the area of citizen security in Panama and other countries in the region (Argentina, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala) and in Europe (Portugal, United Kingdom), as well as of the international organisation SICA (Central American Integration System) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

In Panama, the main objective of the EUROsociAL programme over the past three years has been to strengthen the citizen security strategy, focusing on the prevention of violence and the consolidation of the institutions. Now, the challenge for Panama is to strengthen this strategy in the medium term, until 2025. In order to do so, Panama will build on the experience of other Latin and Central American and European countries.

Thus the meeting was mainly focused on Panama’s citizen security strategy, and the speakers all presented innovative ideas and actions that can contribute to strengthen and enrich this strategy.

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María Lucia Navarro, Rogelio Donadío, Giovanni Di Girolamo

Panama’s Deputy Minister for Public Security, Rogelio Donadío, the Deputy Minister of Multilateral Affairs and Cooperation, María Lucia Navarro, and the European Union chargé d’affaires in Panama, Giovanni Di Girolamo, opened the meeting and thanked the EUROsociAL programme, represented by Efus, for the achievements of the past three years.

Three representatives of the Executive Committee of Efus were also in attendance: Chris Williams, from the London borough of Brent in the United Kingdom, as well as Carlos Rabaçal and José Luis Bucho, from the city of Setubal in Portugal. They all stressed the importance of this type of learning and exchange programme between European and Latin American public institutions. They hailed the progress made in Latin American and stressed that the work carried out in the region also provides interesting insights for Europe.

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Closing the conference, the Director of the Office for Integral Security of the Panamean Ministry of Public Security, Hernan Morales, thanked the participants for their support. He said that the work carried out through EUROsociAL would enrich the strategy for citizen security and the prevention of violence for the period 2016-2025.

The next phase of the programme, which will conclude at the end of the year, consists in analysing the citizen security strategy in Panama according to the criteria and recommendations of the Regional Model for an Integrated Policy on Violence Prevention, which was designed by Efus as part of EUROsociAL.

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Read the article published by: La Estrella de Panamá, EUROsociAL II