The municipality of Kauswagan in the Philippines was awarded for this courageous leadership and the ability to connect peace building to socio-economic development! The award ceremony took place during the UCLG General Assembly on 14 October in Bogotá, in presence of Mayor of Istanbul and President of UCLG Kadir Topbaş, and was presided by Mayor Ton Rombouts of Hertogenbosch, Vice-President of the UCLG Committee on City Diplomacy and Development Cooperation. Mayor Enrique Peñalosa of Bogotá handed over the award to Mayor Rommel Arnado, who received it on behalf of Kauswagan municipality.
All finalists presented their initiatives at a special session on 13 October as part of the UCLG Congress. The finalists comprised a diverse range of innovative peace projects by local governments.
- Canoas, Brazil: in Canoas, local authorities have designated Peace Territories in which they combine initiatives in technology, social inclusion and community policing to address causes of violence.
- Cali, Colombia: the Think About Peace programme comprises workshops for children and parents while training community mediators and social workers to promote peace in the community.
- Palmira, Colombia: through the Palmira, tu Voz es Paz urban music competition local authorities raise young people’s awareness of the importance of living together peacefully.
- Shabunda, Democratic Republic of Congo: in this remote area, Permanent Peace Committees have been created to establish peace, restore government authority, reintegrate members of a local militia into the community and end the area’s isolation.
- Kauswagan, the Philippines: the From Arms to Farms programme is a comprehensive approach to demobilization and reintegration of former rebel fighters, engaging them in organic farming.
The jury particularly commended the municipality of Kauswagan for moving beyond addressing the symptoms of violent conflict towards a socio-economic approach that bridges peace and development.
As a recognition for their inspiring work, the municipality of Kauswagan receives an award of €20.000, aimed at strengthening their initiative. Furthermore, the municipality is invited to present the project in the Netherlands in 2017.
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- About UCLG City of Bogota Peace Prize