Mass Violence and Atrocities | Other Publication

Peace in Our Cities

Jai-Ayla Sutherland | December 2019


On the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, the Stanley Center for Peace and Security pledges to join the Peace in Our Cities campaign to halve urban violence by 2030. We have learned that the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities begins with investing in structural changes that encourage peacebuilding and establish inclusive and representative justice and governance systems, which help overcome budding grievances before it is too late. This work must respond to the needs of local communities and benefits from reflecting upon lessons learned and frameworks designed at the global level. The campaign will build concrete, participatory and evidence-based platforms for progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16, with a particular focus on goal 16.1 to significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.

As the world continues to urbanize, there is tremendous opportunity to prevent and reduce mass violence at the local level. Today, nine of ten instances of lethal violence take place outside of conflict zones in locations traditionally considered at peace. Much of this violence takes place in cities where the majority of humanity is projected to reside in the coming decades. We know that violence overwhelmingly affects those who have been marginalized and excluded from society’s justice and political institutions. And while national commitments to prevention remain essential, local authorities understand their communities’ unique needs and have capabilities to invest in structural changes that can strengthen and build more resilient societies.

Our team works to prevent and build resilience to mass violence and atrocities by building collaborative networks, connecting diverse stakeholders, and bringing evidence to policymaking. At a time when traditional global governance mechanisms are struggling or have failed to use collective action to prevent these forms of violence, we are excited to pursue policy progress through innovative, evidence-based subnational approaches to violence reduction. Achieving this goal requires actors of all kinds and at all governance levels working together for change, especially leadership at the subnational level alongside civil society.

Our pledge builds on decades of commitment by the Stanley Center to address global challenges that present a profound threat to human survival and well-being. We work independently and with others to drive policy progress, advance effective global governance, and advocate for collective action.

Read our pledge.



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