The UCLG Peace Prize recognizes local governments that implement strong initiatives in ensuring sustainable and peaceful development. During the General Assembly, the jury of the third edition of the Prize announced the winner out of the five cities selected as finalists.
The city selected for the prize was Palmira, Colombia, for implementing a comprehensive approach to violence prevention that involved prioritizing resources through its PAZOS (Paz y Oportunidades) project to work with the youth. The other finalists were Mersin, Turkey; Mishiha, Burundi; Monterrey, Mexico; and Recife, Brazil.
The mayor of Palmira, Óscar Escobar, received the award and expressed his gratitude and announced that the 20,000 EUR prize will be “used as leverage with the new national government to increase the funding for programs and keep changing lives of a lot of young people in Colombia.”
Thanks to PAZOS, the mayor explained that Palmira has had its lowest homicide rate for the past seventeen years, a period of time in which they have comparable and good data. The Mayor said that the project helps young people to “find alternative life paths for them and for their families very much away of microtrafficking and in the hope of new opportunities, most important to believe in themselves.”