UNITAR Newsletter


The CIFAL Global Network is UNITAR's network of International Training Centres, dedicated to provide innovative training to strengthen the capacities of government officials and leaders to advance sustainable development. Our CIFAL centers are jointly managed with 10 partner institutions and deliver some 70 training activities every year.

April - May 2014

Humza Yousaf

A message from our Partners

Disaster risk reduction is about understanding the risks from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes- just to mention a few. Also, that climate change is exacerbating the intensity of hazards such as floods and droughts, and that we shall strive for finding ways to reduce these risks and include climate change adaptation strategies into our agenda. A key element of our approach to international development is that we want to share Scotland's technical expertise and knowledge globally where we can—for example, in areas such as climate change adaptation, renewable energy and education. We are delighted to fund CIFAL's work in Bangladesh and the work and contribution of CIFAL Scotland as a hub for knowledge exchange on these key areas.

Humza Yousaf
Minister for External Affairs and International Development
Scottish Government

Thelma Ramsook

Identifying threatening situations, reducing vulnerability and building citizens' capacity to overcome potentially destructive events, and planning smart infrastructure projects are key elements for enhancing resilience to disasters. The private sector has a unique role to play in disaster preparedness and response. Sharing best practices, planning together and developing cross stakeholder-collaboration are key to successfully responding to and recovering from disasters.

Thelma Ramsook
Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
AT&T – International External Affairs


Editorial: Resilient Cities

Between 2000 and 2012 disasters affected 2.9 billion and killed 1.2 million people, generating costs of 1.7 trillion USD (UNISDR). These figures highlight the importance of taking action to reduce the risks of disasters and to create resilient societies. To effectively implement risk reduction policies, every level of government and part of society must be involved. The role of local stakeholders has been recognized as crucial, especially in the context of increased urbanisation. With the growth of urban populations, cities face a higher pressure on land and services. There are an increasing number of urban settlements in coastal lowlands, along unstable slopes and in areas that are more prone to hazards. In the past years, the world has seen numerous examples of how disasters greatly affect cities, which are home to large numbers of people, as well as engines of a country's economic growth. It is in this context that local governments must act, to build resilient cities, and to advance sustainable urbanisation.

Given that in the near future most of the world's population will live in cities, local governments play a key role in building sustainable and resilient cities, thus ensuring the well-being of their citizens. According to the three dimensions of sustainable development, sustainable cities are economically competitive, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. Local government authorities face the responsibility of promoting economic development in an environmentally sustainable way, and securing human security in an age of increasing vulnerability to disasters and climate change.

Furthermore, the way a city plans and prepares for the future will impact its prospects for sustainable development. Sustainable and resilient cities should be able to anticipate and mitigate the impact of disasters, as well as respond, implement recovery strategies and quickly restore basic services.

An essential component for local governments to advance sustainable urbanisation lays in strengthening their capacities to do so. Acknowledging this challenge, UNITAR through its Decentralized Cooperation Programme and the CIFAL Global Network provides training to build capacities and enhance knowledge, facilitating tools for local governments and other local leaders to create resilient cities, as part of the overall strategy of achieving sustainable development.


Braizilian Anticorruption Law

Strengthening Policies Against Corruption in Brazil

In 2013, the Brazilian Federal Government passed a Federal Law which holds companies accountable for corruption. With the objectives of providing a platform for dialogue and exchange of best practices on anticorruption policies and business compliance models, CIFAL Curitiba and the Federation of Industries of the State of Parana, Brazil hosted the workshop "Risk Management and Compliance Methods in the framework of the Brazilian Anticorruption Law" in Curitiba on 15 April 2014.

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World Urban Forum

Promoting a Dialogue on How to Enhance Resilience to Disasters in Cities from Latin America and the Caribbean

In the framework of the Seventh Session of the World Urban Forum and to contribute to the dialogue on how to plan "Cities for Life", UNITAR's Decentralized Cooperation Programme hosted a training session aimed to foster the exchange of knowledge and best practices on enhancing local government's capacity to reduce disaster risk and manage disasters, while integrating these aspects into urban planning and design.

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Briefing Local Governments on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

UNITAR's Decentralized Cooperation Programme with the support of the Municipality of Quito delivered a briefing session to raise awareness and inform local audiences about the intergovernmental process to formulate the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The briefing included an overview of the process, the current state of the debate and the proposals in some areas that are key to local actors such as water and sustainable cities.

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CIFAL Shanghai

CIFAL Shanghai Becomes the Official Professional Certification Body in China for Requirements Engineering

With the objective of advancing practical knowledge and learning in Requirements Engineering, CIFAL Shanghai is offering a series of "Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering" (CPRE) workshops. Requirements engineering as first step in system development has significant impact on any project's success. The introduction of CPRE in China will certainly bring a revolution in industrial circles.

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CIFAL Merida

Advancing Hurricane Preparedness in Latin America

With the objective of enhancing the capacities of cities and airports to better manage disasters and minimize the impact of hurricanes, CIFAL Merida hosted the ninth edition of the "International Seminar on Disaster Preparedness and Management" on 19-21 March, 2014 in Merida, Mexico. The seminar facilitated brought together airport authorities from Latin American most vulnerable cities due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.

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Enhancing a Victim-centered Approach: Identification, Assistance, and Protection of Trafficking Victims in Asia-Pacific

CIFAL Jeju in partnership with the Regional Support Office of the Bali Process (RSO) gathered government officials from 11 Asia-Pacific countries in a dynamic workshop from 17-24 March in Jeju, Republic of South Korea. The workshop aimed to identify key challenges and best practices to prevent human trafficking, as well as to discuss policy measures for enhancing human security at the local level.

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