UNICRI and the Government of Portugal
New pilot initiative in Lisbon to enhance Public-Private Partnerships for the protection of vulnerable targets and security at major events

Lisbon, 22 September 2009. On the 22nd September, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) will launch a five year pilot initiative which will be hosted by the Portuguese Government. The initiative intends to enhance public-private partnerships (PPP) for the protection of vulnerable targets and to strengthen international cooperation in preparation of major events such as Olympics, other major sporting tournaments, international expositions and summits.

The initiative, strongly endorsed by the Prime Minister of Portugal envisages the establishment of a permanent mechanism based in Lisbon to promote the adoption of innovative practices on these subjects, while enhancing dialogue and cooperation between different sectors, such as public authorities and the business community. The office will be gathering and disseminating best practices from all over the world and making them available to all requiring nations. Through its work in Portugal, UNICRI looks forward to expand its cooperation with the Portuguese scientific community.

“The world wide impact of the joint venture will bring benefit not just to the Portuguese society but to the international community at large. The selection of Portugal as a basis for such an endeavour is given by the attention traditionally paid by this country to international dialogue and innovation. Portugal hosted several major events in the last years, such as the 1998 EXPO and UEFA 2004; moreover, Portugal is a unique bridge to promote cooperation between different regions, such as Europe, Africa and Latin America, stated Mr. Sandro Calvani, UNICRI Director. He also emphasized “Lisbon will become the platform to launch PPP projects all over the world, acting as a laboratory developing and testing ideas to integrate public and private efforts in the security field”.

The Government of Portugal and other several Portuguese public and private entities have been actively participating in UNICRI’s activities in these fields and set up a consortium to support the United Nations’ work to foster public-private partnerships in the sectors of safety and security. Partnerships between Portugal and UNICRI started in 2002, during the security preparations of the 2004 European Cup of Soccer.

Since 2008, through its Security Governance/Counter-Terrorism Laboratory, UNICRI leads the activities of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), on the Protection of Vulnerable Targets, in full cooperation with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security, and INTERPOL. Relevant work in the field of urban security envisages the cooperation with research institutes and universities such as MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of Boston.

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