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(Ziggy Soul and Band Musical Life Performance during JVPPSD Programme Celebration Ceremony & JAMIN Soft Launch; March 30, 2011; Federal gardens Community Centre Trench Town Kingston, Jamaica. Photo UNDP Jamaica/Laura Raccio)
"Poorly distributed wealth and a lack of sufficient jobs, opportunities and freedoms particularly for a large youth population can ...increase the risk of instability. Drug trafficking and international organized crime have found fertile ground in places that lack basic services and economic opportunities, leading to fear in the streets and insecurity across entire regions. Just as the lack of development can feed the flames of conflict, economic and social progress can help prevent it and secure peace"
These remarks made by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, to a Security Council Debate in early February, capture well the linkage between peace, security and development, which the Jamaica Violence Prevention, Peace and Sustainable Development Programme addressed. An initiative that "was conceptualized on the premise that without peace and justice there is no sustainable development" said Ms. Carol Narcisse, UNDP Communications Advisor and Master of Ceremonies of the event to mark the end of the project.
The event, which was held on Wednesday March 30, at the Federal Garden Community Centre in Trench Town, Kingston, Jamaica was a celebration of the positive results of the Programme including the establishment of the Jamaica Musical Institute (JAMIN), which was formally presented to the audience on March 30.
Participants included community representatives donors and implementing parties from the Government of Jamaica, and Civil Society. The positive vibes of the afternoon's celebration' were brilliantly generated by live performances by artiste Ziggy Soul and Band whose album will be produced by the just established Jamaica Musical Institute as one of its first major projects.
The JVPPSD Programme, which began in 2008, supported Jamaica to develop and institute crucial policies and strategies namely:
A Crime Prevention and Community Safety Strategy which along with the Government of Jamaica's Community Renewal Programme will change the game in favour of the development of the people of marginalized communities.
The development and implementation of a Restorative Justice Policy and ensuring the staff capacity for managing the implementation of the policy
Additionally, the programme has strengthened positive community leadership and communities' peace building efforts, investing in training of leaders of Community Development Councils in Trench Town and Jones Town.
The Programme contributed significantly to a coordinated response in the aftermath of the violence in West Kingston in 2010, enabling crucial support to the clean-up and restoration of the Coronation market and other areas and providing technical support to the investigations undertaken by the Public Defender's Office.
Speaking at the Ceremony, Ms Akiko Fujii, Deputy Resident Representative, emphasized that "The JVVSPD has helped to build trust between citizens and between citizens and the police...the project has been comprehensive - helping Jamaica to develop and institute crucial policies and strategies to keep the vision of peace and sustainable development alive and to build the bridges to lasting peace and security in Jamaica".
Special mention was made of the innovative strategies which have been used such as a domino tournament "Dominoes for Peace" and the utilization of a score card to track citizens' assessment of the quality of policing services.
A key aspect of the Programme were activities to address gender based, domestic violence through building the capacity of citizens and police personnel to respond to gender issues in violence and insecurity and take action to reduce the risks.
An on-line Community of Practice - Jamaica Partners for Peace (JamPFP), has been a significant innovation in the process of information sharing among the various actors in the area of violence reduction, peace and sustainable development.
The Programme had a strong focus on supporting livelihood options for youth. As such the JAMIN Music Studio was hailed by participants as a major development in the heart of an historically critical area of Kingston from which some of the greatest stars of Reggae most notaly Bob Marley hailed. Reverend Don McDowell, the manager of Music Business Technology Trainers, said the Institte "will assist in erasing the perception of Trench Town being a dangerous place".
The Jamaica Violence Reduction, Peace and Sustainable Development programme was the product of a partnership, involving the financial commitments of the UNDP's Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Reduction (BCPR), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and UNDP Jamaica. The Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of National Security (MNS), Ministry of Justice and Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) fully owned and implemented the project. The Community organizations including the Agency for Inner-City Renewal (AIR) were critical community partners. In addition to AIR the project has also benefited from the earlier involvement of the Dispute Resolution Foundation, Kingston and St. Andrew Action Forum, Women's Resource and Outreach Centre and Violence Prevention Alliance.
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