DR. ARUN KASHYAP // Official Launch of the St. Catherine Parish Safety and Security Committee

Feb 14, 2013

> Your Worship, Counsellor Norman Scott – Mayor of Spanish Town & Chairman, 
   St. Catherine Parish Council;
> Other Distinguished guests, Ladies & Gentlemen, good afternoon.

On behalf of UNDP, it is a pleasure for me to be here at the official launch of the St. Catherine Parish Safety and Security Committee. The establishment of this Committee is a major success of the UNDP-supported “Enhancing Civil Society in Local Governance for Community Safety” Project which, since 2011, has been assisting the civil society, local authorities and central state agencies in strengthening their partnerships in order to better plan, coordinate and harmonize their strategies and interventions with regard to community safety.

The National Crime Prevention and Community Safety Strategy from 2010 stated that “Local Governments can play a pivotal role in community safety, establishing local priorities through engagement of the community, local NGOs and service providers, fostering multi-sectoral partnerships, defining action plans and coordinating the delivery and evaluation of interventions”.

The Parish Safety and Security Committees, chaired by the Mayors, will be the mechanism through which this comes into effect. The development and establishment of these committees, which started two years ago with the assessment of the fourteen parishes’ capacity, has been possible through an inclusive and participatory process that engaged key parish stakeholders. This will consequently ensure the sustainability and ownership of this mechanism while ensuring the community participation in decision-making with regard to critical issues related to public health, quality of service delivery, community amenities, physical planning, and public order matters. Active citizenship in the public decision-making enhances the social cohesion of countries which is a basis for stable democracy.

UNDP is also pleased to know that Local government authorities have mainstreamed addressing gender-based violence into parish level safety planning and implementation of safety plans. Through two consecutive projects UNDP built the capacity of local authorities and civil society to address the safety of women and girls at the parish level through training in conducting women's safety audits and preparing and implementing parish safety plans.

The UNDP is pleased support your efforts and underscores our continued commitment to working with partners to identify and implement appropriate interventions that meet the human development needs of Jamaicans. This supports our overarching goal of achieving the targets of the Millennium Development Goals and ensuring that there is sustainable development beyond 2015. The assistance being given to Jamaica will help to further put the country on a path to realizing the Vision 2030 Jamaica, and thus truly make Jamaica ‘the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business’.

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