First Look

Bunting addresses High Level Youth Violence Prevention Summit in the USA

| 2016-06-30 00:00:00

Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) Spokesperson on National Security, Peter Bunting is a specially invited panelist at a high level summit on Preventing Youth Violence currently underway in Baltimore in the United States.

Bunting participated in the plenary panel session on Preventing Youth Violence Across the Americas: Lessons Across Borders. Bunting was invited based on initiatives begun under his watch as National Security Minister in the former government.

In his presentation, Bunting described the Unite for Change Initiative, which he had championed. The initiative recognizes that violence has multiple causes and therefore requires effectively coordinated responses from multiple sectors in the society including government, community organizations, the private sector and the Church, among others.

Unite for Change seeks to broaden public understanding and build broad-based partnerships.

He also spoke to his efforts to transform the relationship between the police and the citizenry, these included downplaying the paramilitary style of policing, the decriminalization of ganja and the virtual elimination of the use of curfews, which has helped to reduce the friction between the police and citizens. Bunting observed that this approach has contributed to 2015 having the lowest number of police fatal shootings in over 30 years.

The two-and-a-half-day forum which started on Monday (June 27, 2016) at the Baltimore Hylton, is the Obama Administration’s final Youth Violence Prevention (YVP) summit and will highlight the work of three of its signature initiatives: The National Forum, Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP), and Defending Childhood Initiative. Participants of the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative will also be in attendance.

The National Forum on YVP is a network of 15 communities and federal agencies in the USA that work together, share information, and build local capacity to stop youth violence and sustain achievements. It is supported by a Federal coordinating team comprising the departments of Justice, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, and Health and Human Services, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Presentations are also being made from senior members of President’s Obama’s Cabinet and international multilateral agencies including the World Bank and the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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